Optimum G.I. Functioning (i.e., Preventing Upset Stomach) During Long Distance Running

  • Prevent dehydration, and get acclimated to heat;
  • Adequate electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium);
  • Anti-acids: Zantac or Pepcid (before and during run; I even start the night before);
  • No diet sodas (before or during run); limit fructose (fruit – sugar drinks);
  • Stomach – soothers during run: Tum’s, ginger (e.g., gel candy), peppermint candy, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), L-glutamine (this may be better as prevention);
  • Caffeine: increases gastric emptying (i.e., good if you tend to get bloated), and keeps kidneys working (but can increase stomach acid, therefore take Zantac/Pepcid);
  • Add ice to fluid for easier absorption (ideal is 50° F);
  • Minimal fat intake, and protein only in powdered vegetable form (especially soy);
  • Ensure is too concentrated and too much fat; HealthShakes from Costco have less fat, but would still need to dilute it significantly; Mountain Dew works well for me;
  • Empty bowels a few days before, i.e., Metamucil &/or Dulcolax tablets (e.g., 3 days before race, while carbo-depleting/high protein and fat intake before the 2 days of carbo- loading);
  • Decrease solids and increased liquid carbs towards end of run/race;
  • Solids that work well for me: rice crispy bars (digest and raise blood sugar almost as fast as sugar but last longer; light and easy to carry, not messy), boiled potatoes, bananas, oatmeal cookies or breakfast/granola bars.

My Homemade Carbo-Gel Recipe:

Water, complex carb. powder (maltodextrin), Perpetuem (from Hammernutrition.com) or soy protein powder (approx. 4:1 carbo:Perpetuem/soy powders), Chia seeds (soak in water for a while before drinking), Lite Salt (sodium + potassium), glycerol/glycerin (small amount, ~1 tsp/5 oz. flask; helps cells absorb water better/fast), chocolate or maple syrup. Mix all together in large water bottle and pour into 5 ounce flasks, shake well after water + dry ingredients, then add the syrup.


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