Posted by: Joe English | July 17, 2010

Training — Troubleshooting Diarrhea Problems in Runners

A reader named Simone writes in with a follow-up question about running and diarrhea after reading our two-part series on the topic of Runner’s Diarrhea. Here is her question:

I’m getting back into running and am training for a sprint triathlon in mid-August. The problem has been that I have been having diarrhea nearly every day this week. I didn’t know there was a connection with running and diarrhea. I will try some of the things you suggested—your two-part diarrhea article and hydration article were both helpful. I think I have an idea now what might be causing it.

I do have one question, I’m pretty sure I am sensitive to all the sugar in drinks and bars. Is there any product that is not sweet that replaces electrolytes? I read your review on NUUN and will try it. Do you have any other suggestions? And are there any bars that aren’t so sweet? Do “salty” bars exist? I’ve been trying to create my own at home and am getting closer to something I like, but I’m not quite there yet.

I’m glad that you’re working toward solving your problem. Usually experimentation is the key to figuring out why you’re having these kinds of problem and it takes some trial and error to finding the root cause. But let me give you some additional food for thought (pun perhaps in intended.) You may also want to watch the episode of our video series on this topic, which may be less helpful than funny I’m afraid.

Here are a couple of things that I’d suggest:
– Make sure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet generally. Before bed every night you may want to drink a glass of water with a fiber supplement (like Metamucil) or have a bowl of cereal such as All Bran or Fiber-1. Many times these types of problems are caused by a lack of dietary fiber. Ensure that you are getting enough fiber in your diet in general, by eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

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