If you have ever experienced stomach pain after exercising, you may be wondering what the heck is going on, and what factors led to that upset stomach.
Because your post-workout pain can be caused by one or several factors, such as diet or exercise, you can benefit from changing your workout to avoid the most common causes.
Keep in mind that while these factors play an important role in stomach pain after exercise, severe gastrointestinal symptoms can be a sign of a more serious problem, so be sure to check with your doctor if your symptoms are progressive.
Dehydration and stomach pain
Dehydration contributes significantly to alterations in the GI tract, especially when you have lost more than 4% of your body weight. Long distance runners often have difficulty maintaining hydration.
However, if your workout is varied, you can maintain adequate hydration by drinking 400-600 milliliters of water or sports drinks before exercising. Try to drink water during your workouts if you have breaks between exercises, and be sure to drink and re-hydrate after you finish the exercise.
Eating incorrectly before exercise contributes to stomach pain. Having a large meal with high protein and fat content slows down your digestive system and can cause stomach pain. When performing resistance exercises, such as marathons, you should consider your dietary patterns in the days leading up to the race.
Different nutrients pass through the GI tract at different speeds. While carbohydrates break down easily and are absorbed, foods rich in fiber, protein and fat pass more slowly. The day before and the day of exercise, it decreases the intake of these foods to avoid the pain of stomach after exercise.
High Intensity Exercise
A common factor in post-exercise stomach pain is exercise at a high intensity. People who are competing often push farther than they normally do in exercise, causing abdominal pain. In order to avoid overexertion, focus on training.
Work up to your desired intensity level, and if you’re training for a competition, make sure your exercise imitations follow the conditions of the competition as faithfully as possible. By conditioning your body, you may have fewer episodes of post-exercise stomach pain. Most athletes adjust and have fewer gastrointestinal complaints as their learning period improves.
Exercising in cold conditions also plays a role in post-workout stomach pain, especially when you exercise in snowy or icy weather. Due to the cold weather, your muscles decrease circulation, which increases the possibility of muscular tension in the abdominal area.
Warming up of the abdominal muscles decreases the risk of this problem. Perform warm-up exercises indoors, before exercising outside in a cold climate. Also, if you exercise in cold weather, dressing properly can help your body retain the necessary heat.