Running could be made a more productive part of your workout regime if cramps were not associated with it. But there are some ways to prevent them from happening.
You’re out jogging and suddenly experience a side stitch, stomach cramp, or leg muscle spasm.
It’s common among runners. But you can learn to avoid cramps when jogging and to deal with them promptly.
What causes cramps while running?
In addition to running mechanics, nutritional and hormonal variables are implicated in the runner’s belly.
When you run for a long time, the blood flow to your digestive system is redirected to your cardiovascular system. This may aggravate your digestive system. As a consequence, you may feel compelled to vomit. You may even get diarrheal symptoms. During this time, your body is also going up and down as you run. As waste material is jostled about your intestines and stomach acid splashes, you may feel the need to go to the toilet.
Finally, running induces cortisol release. These hormones may cause a runner’s high, a feeling of pleasure. These hormones may also impact your digestive system, adding to the confusion your body experiences when running.
How to prevent cramps?
There are a few things you can do to lessen your chances of getting cramps.
A change in nutrition may improve running performance. It may help reduce pain while training and racing.
A low-FODMAP diet has been proven to help with GI problems when exercising. Diets low in FODMAP exclude foods such as wheat and dairy, as well as artificial sweeteners.
You may also be aware of when you eat and drink. According to research, eating and drinking shortly before exercising may induce severe stomach discomfort.
Regular bowel movements and gut health may reduce stomach discomfort during endurance activities. Taking probiotics may help strengthen your gut and reduce potty breaks during workouts.
A 2014 research found that taking probiotics for 4 weeks improved endurance and digestion in runners exercising in hot weather. Further, a 2019 research found that probiotics helped runners reduce gastrointestinal problems throughout a marathon.
Inadequate hydration may cause cramps, nausea, and abdominal stitching when jogging.
Improving hydration before and during long runs may be difficult. Too much water may aggravate cramping and intestinal discomfort. The safest bet is to consume enough water and electrolyte-infused drinks before and after your runs.
Home tips for stomach care
Listed below are some home remedies for stomach care.
Drink lemon tea
Lemon not only offers a citrusy taste but also relieves stomach discomfort. Lemon juice’s acidity increases your stomach’s acid production, aiding digestion.
Sip hot water with a few teaspoons of lemon juice. Add honey or crushed mint leaves for extra taste.
Do some gentle yoga stretches
Several yoga postures may help promote digestion and reduce bloating, making you less crampy and uncomfortable.
Try knees-to-stomach (Pawanmukhtasana) for immediate relief.
- Lie on your back.
- Rearrange your legs and put your arms over them.
- Keep your back straight on the floor. One minute in this position, then release.
- Repeat till you feel better.
Use a Heating Pad or Hot Water Bottle
Heat is an excellent stomach pain reliever. Try this technique first if you want to get rid of cramps quickly.
Get a heated blanket, pad, or hot water bottle. You want something warm but not hot. Get comfy and put your heating pad over the sore spot. It may take 10-15 minutes for the heat to begin to relax you.
If you don’t have one, you may create one using dry rice and socks. Find a pair of cotton socks and stuff one with a cup or two of dry rice. Tie a knot and microwave for a few seconds. Reheat your heating pad anytime it becomes cold.
Planning your meals, avoiding trigger foods, taking probiotics, and keeping hydrated may help you run better on track while reducing discomfort. If you regularly get GI problems while running, see your doctor to rule out any potential health issues.