Why do I have to go to the bathroom when I am on long runs?

This is fairly common with an estimated 20-50% of distance runners have “runner’s trots” with a range of symptoms from cramping and nausea to bouts of flatulence and diarrhea. This can occur during or after exercise. There have been several suggested mechanisms from the up and down motion of running to the diversion of blood to the legs as possible causes. You can troubleshoot this problem in two ways. First, try to regulate your elimination pattern. By increasing the fiber, water and maybe even fat (if you follow a very low fat diet) you may be able to change the timing and go before you go out on your run. If that does not work, try not to eat high fibers foods, dairy, or caffeine the morning of a run (or race); as all three may speed up the movement of wastes through the intestines.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.