Why marathon runners experience stomach problems: scientific explanation and ways to prevent them

Marathon is one of the most famous and prestigious competitions in the world of running. However, in addition to physical and psychological preparation, marathon participants often face an unpleasant problem – diarrhea. Why does this happen and how can this unpleasant phenomenon be avoided?

One of the main reasons why marathon runners experience stomach problems is the body’s physiological reaction to intense physical activity. During running, especially long-distance running, blood is directed to the working muscles, resulting in less blood supply to the digestive organs. This can cause irritation and reduced functionality of the stomach and intestines.

In addition, marathon runners experience increased pressure on the abdomen while running, especially when breathing and moving. This can lead to displacement and compression of the digestive organs, which can also cause discomfort and stomach problems.

Some studies also suggest a link between stress and diarrhea in runners. The competitive atmosphere, nervousness and anxiety before a race can cause changes in bowel function and lead to diarrhea.

How can you prevent stomach problems during a marathon?

1. Proper nutrition: before the marathon you should avoid foods that can irritate the stomach, such as spicy and fatty foods, alcohol and coffee. It is recommended to consume easily digestible carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and drink enough water.

2. Exercise: regular exercise will help your body adapt to physical activity and reduce the risk of stomach problems during the marathon.

3. Relaxation: relaxation and stress management practices such as yoga or meditation can help reduce nervousness and anxiety before starting a marathon.

4. Gradually increase the workload: increase the distance and intensity of your training gradually to give your body time to adapt to the new environment and avoid stressing your stomach.

5. Consult a doctor: if stomach problems during the marathon become systematic and serious, it is advisable to consult a doctor for additional tests and individual recommendations.

It is important to remember that every body is different, so it is necessary to find the best approach to prevent stomach problems during the marathon based on your own experience and consultation with professionals.

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