This Article is written by our expert colleague Simone Faby. Simone is a Registered Nutritional Therapist BSc (Hons). You can book an appointment or make contact with her at www.nutritionspace.co.uk
Have you found yourself with digestive discomfort undermining your chances to run your best marathon? Optimum digestive function depends on the composition of the food and fluid ingested, the timing of ingestion before during and after exercise and your stress level. Just as you train your muscles and mind, you can train your gastrointestinal tract to meet the demands of exercise.
Do you suffer from?
- Heart burn*
- Acid re-flux
- Sharp stomach pain & cramps
- Excessive gas and bloating
Tips to improve your digestion on your race day
- Always consume foods and drinks you have tried and tested for a few weeks before your race day: you need to know what nutrition works best for you
- Test your meals timing to determine the optimum timing for you
- Have a fluid/ hydration plan
- Eat a low GI (low Glycaemic Index) diet a few hours before your run
- Limit high fat food, spicy foods, peppermint, cinnamon and vinegar
- Limit your intake of high fibre food for 2 days before the race such as beans, lentils, whole grains, peppers, onions, broccoli, cabbage…
- Avoid milk, caffeinated drinks, citrus juices, carbonated and fermented drinks and do not drink through a straw
- Eat slowly, making sure you chew your food thoroughly
- Avoid excess intake of fructose, xylitol and sorbitol, make sure sports drinks are mixed correctly and test your sports drinks and gels for a few weeks before the race
If you would like to get individualised advice on improving your sports performance and digestive health, please book a consultation with our Registered Nutritional Therapist
* The development of heartburn on exercise must always be investigated fully in order to exclude the possibility of cardio-vascular complication even in younger athletes.