Ask the Coach: Altitude, Cramps and Running Flats - Page 2
I have been experiencing what is commonly referred to as the “runner’s trots”—stomachache followed by a need to use the bathroom. It normally happens around mile nine or 10, and either cuts my run short or forces me to have “more intimate contact with nature.” I have tried cutting back on fiber before long runs, hydrating more and avoiding fats, but nothing works.
—Viviana Delgado, Alexandria, VA
The age-old problem of “runner’s trots” needs to be reexamined in light of what we now know about our micro-biomes and gut permeability. Says sports nutritionist Ben Greenfield of BenGreenfieldFitness.com, “In most athletes, runner’s trots are due to poor intestinal health, rather than simply consuming too many calories or too much fiber.”
When your stomach lining becomes damaged, or permeable, it allows food particles to pass through the intestinal cell wall and into your bloodstream. Your body responds by mounting an autoimmune response; unfortunately the quickest way to rid the body of these invaders is diarrhea.
Food allergies are a common cause, but certain antacid drugs can thin the stomach lining, making gut damage more likely. Avoid grains, dairy and beans; these foods (especially when left unsoaked or unsprouted) contain protective agents called lectins, which bind to and compromise the stomach villi.
Greenfield says certain foods can strengthen the integrity of the gut cell wall, including bone broth, collagen, colostrum, probiotics and fermented foods such as Kim Chi, kefir, sauerkraut and natto.