Why Do I Have To Poop When I Run?

Why Do I Have To Poop When I Run?

September 19, 2019 / Franki D'Ambrosio

Although having the need to poop while running is annoying, everyone gets the same feeling. Don't worry! This is highly embarrassing for those people who have actually pooped while running. However, if you are a runner, you know this is a common story. Did you ever wonder what causes the urge to poop when you are running? Keep reading to find out the causes and how you can prevent the feeling of having to poop during a run. 

What Causes The Urge To Poop?

Why Do I Have To Poop When I run

During your run, your stomach hormones begin to increase, and your colonic mortality increases. Your colonic mortality is how often you poop and how soft it is. Basically, anytime you run, whatever you have previously eaten, is being processed through your gastrointestinal tract. It is altered by the bouncing motion occurring during your activity and can cause this sudden urge. This effect allows the stool in your body to become loose and therefore giving you pain. Also while running, your blood flow increases. The better the blood flow, the more oxygen the body can take-in. The only thing is that this oxygen is focused towards the muscles to help keep your body from becoming over-heated. However, this also decreases the amount of blood flowing to the intestines, which can cause abdominal cramping and the need to go to the bathroom. If your run is long and hard, then the urge will come faster and harder as well. A big factor that also causes the urge to poop while running is the food that you are putting into your body. If you have eaten unhealthy or fatty foods and sugary drinks, this will increase the need to go during your run.

Be Mindful Of Your Diet

Why Do I Have To Poop When I Run

If you run daily or are preparing for a race, it is best to avoid any fatty foods or foods with a high fiber content. Fat slows down the digestion process and becomes hard for the body to breakdown. Since the body is transferring oxygen from the gut to the muscles, this process will be even harder for the body. Fiber is usually great for training. However, prior to race day, it should be avoided. The increased amount of fiber can cause diarrhea. Some main foods to avoid would be anything creamy or fried or any gassy vegetables like broccoli. The best thing to do is to keep a food journal of the meals you have eaten. Also in this journal, record poop habits and how the food has made you feel after ingesting it. This will tell you what you can and can't eat before going for a long run. Runners should also avoid items such as coffee or hot tea. These hot liquids loosen the stool and increase bowel movements. By avoiding these food items, you body will have an easier time digesting and processing food as you run. 

Calm Your Nerves  

Why Do I Have To Poop When I Run

Nerves and your stomach are directly related. When you happen to get that flutter in your stomach, also known as butterflies, it increase your chances of having to use the bathroom. There are two sets of glands in the body that deal with the nerves. The two in your head are called the hypothalamus and the pituitary. These glands send a message to the adrenal glands located above the kidneys. When the body is stressed, nervous, or excited, it sends signals from the brain glands to the kidneys. The adrenal glands then produce those butterfly feelings into the stomach, which temporary stops the digestion process. Because of this pause, your body may have the sudden urge to poop. There are some simple ways to avoid feeling nervous before a run. One thing you can do is practice deep breathing. Inhale deeply through the nose, and exhale through the mouth. This calms not only the nerves, but relaxes the whole body. 

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-Franki