6 Ways of Preventing Diarrhea Before and After a Workout

Keeping yourself physically active and exercising are two common ways to stay fit and healthy. Hitting the gym, running, or walking for at least 30 minutes a day does wonders for the body. But, as good as the activity may be for your overall wellbeing, too much can also be detrimental.

Some people have watery stools, and it’s not because of eating the wrong food. Diarrhea while traveling or exercising, can be fairly common. So much so, that people have a term to describe the condition: “runner’s trots.”

A brand that sells diarrhea medicine in the UAE explains what causes this form of diarrhea. Also included are tips on how to prevent this from happening while you are stretching or pumping iron.

Potential causes of diarrhea

There are many speculations and theories on what causes people to go to the bathroom more often when they’re physically active. One popular theory relates to blood flow.

Reduced blood flow

When you exercise, more blood is redirected more towards the other muscles. With less blood flowing in your intestines, the assumption is that your body is less able to control the bowel movement and digestion process. As the colon is less able to reabsorb the water, and the food is passing more quickly, this results in looser stools.

Pressure on the abs

In some individuals, situps, abdominal curls, and other forms of exercise that target the abdominal muscles can cause stomach aches and diarrhea. Exercising this region may stimulate bowel movement, thereby speeding it up. The pressure on the digestive organs may cause your body to pass more watery stools.


“Runner’s trots” is something that many runners experience while running or after a run, especially when it comes to marathons or running for long distances. The theory for this cause is that the up and down movement during running may rile up the digestive system. As a result, you may find yourself running to the bathroom more frequently than usual.

How to prevent workout diarrhea

If you are predisposed to experiencing loose stools, especially when exercising, there is good news. There are ways to reduce your chances of bonding with the bathroom. As each body responds differently, experimenting is key to find a method that works for you and your situation.

Watch what you eat

Certain foods can irritate your digestive system. Warm fluids and anything that contains caffeine can induce this reaction. Caffeinated and hot drinks can speed up how waste moves through the intestine, causing you to take more bathroom trips.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may want to limit your consumption of milk or any other dairy products. Some people have difficulty processing the lactose in milk, cheese, butter or similar products, and should stay away from such foods. Yogurt is possibly the only exception, as the probiotics contain bacteria that could help speed up the diarrhea experience.

Other potential irritants include fatty foods, alcoholic beverages, and anything that contains artificial sweeteners. Diuretics, such as coffee and certain types of tea, can cause you to lose more fluids. In other cases, it could make the diarrhea worse.

Instead, go for easily digestible foods such as rice, bananas, and toast. These are great go-to foods if you plan on working out, or have a sensitive stomach. You may also want to eat these when you are in the middle of a bout with diarrhea. Learn more here.

Work around your schedule

Some people have regular bowel movements. If this is you, try to schedule your workouts after you’ve had your trip to the bathroom. You may also want to observe the frequency of your trips.

By looking for patterns, and developing a schedule around your habits, you have a better idea of how much time you can allocate for each workout. If you are going for a run, knowing when you need to go to the bathroom can help you plan your route ahead of time and see if there are restrooms located nearby.

Lower intensity levels

“No pain, no gain” may be the mantra for gym buffs, but pushing your body beyond its limits may not be wise if you have constant bouts of diarrhea. Going on beast mode for one day and being stuck to the bed for days after will not give you the results you want. What you can do instead is to find a level that allows you to exercise comfortably.

Perhaps you can reduce the intensity or the duration of your workouts. See what works before you head to the gym again. Otherwise, you may find yourself constantly heading to the restroom and not get any exercise done.

Take medications

Certain medications can minimize your chances of having diarrhea. Studies have shown that up to 70 percent of athletes have observed a reduction in intestinal issues after taking diarrhea medication. It is an option you may want to consider taking, especially during races and competitions.

There are many diarrhea medications available over-the-counter. You can even take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs before starting your workout. But to be safe, consult a doctor to determine which drugs would be recommended in your situation.

Wear loose clothing

Take care when it comes to picking your workout clothes. Bike shorts, leggings, and other similar workout clothes are often designed to hug the body to show off one’s curves or muscles. However, if they are too tight, they might prevent blood from circulating properly.

Your clothes may limit the blood flow towards your digestive system if the elastic around the stomach area is too tight. Instead, pick loose but comfy clothes. Loose clothing may prevent you from showing off your muscles, but you can work out longer with fewer intestinal issues.

Stay hydrated

Keeping yourself hydrated during exercise is worth following, even if you don’t have diarrhea. Workouts cause your body to lose precious fluids, and diarrhea has the same though worse effect.

To prevent dehydration, you have to replace the fluids your body loses when working out or after a bout with diarrhea. As such, drink lots of water before, during, and after your workout. Alternative fluids include fruit juices, chicken broth, and even coconut water.

Diarrhea can be very uncomfortable and prevent you from living your life to your fullest. But by understanding what causes diarrhea, and following these tips, you can work around this issue, and exercise to stay fit.