Running with the runs is inefficient, and possibly messy. You won’t get the full benefits of aerobic exercise when gastrointestinal issues are exacerbated by the foods you’re consuming before a workout.
A new study, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, suggests a certain type of diet can help.
The study examined exercise-related GI issues and how the low FODMAP diet can control these symptoms when running. With piles of research backing low FODMAP dieting as a way to combat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), researchers wanted to learn if those benefits could translate to athletes, too.
Comparing 16 volunteers’ GI symptoms and ability to exercise, who were given either a low FODMAP diet or a high FODMAP diet to follow for seven days, the researchers found a low FODMAP diet markedly improved running-related GI symptoms in 69 per cent of the participants.
The study group reported improvements in both exercise intensity and frequency on the low FODMAP diet; the researchers concluded that the FODMAP diet could reduce exercise-related and IBS-related GI problems.
“Some people may notice reduced bloating or cramping, others may notice reduced nausea,” said study co-author Justin Roberts, Ph.D., from the Cambridge Centre for Sport & Exercise Sciences in an interview with Runner’s World.
“This largely depends on factors like previous history of symptoms and type of diet.”
Not just a boon to your gut, the low FODAMAP diet could improve your brain, too.
“We found that people reported improved perception of exercise, which may be important during sustained training periods,” Roberts added.If you’re a runner or just have consistent GI issues, you can read more about this study on Runner’s World’s website.