Question:

I have recently completed a 20 mile run, and am suffering with the stiffness and aches that can be expected.  But I am finding i am having problems with my digestive system.  My stomach seems to be excessively swollen, and bloated.  I am not overeating as I am not feeling overly hungry, even though my stomach is making horrendous noises at me,  what could be the cause of this?  I have recently starting taking Glucosamine and omega 3 sports tablets, and am using a lot of deep heat to help with the aches in my legs and swelling.

Julie

Answer:

 Hi Julie,

When we exercise our circulation is focussed on getting blood and nutrients to our extremities. This means that our sympathetic nervous system is in use when we are exercising, or under stress. In contrast our parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for stimulating our digestive system and works better when we are relaxed and our heart rate is slower. This is why it isn’t advisable to eat within 30 minutes of exercise, or when we are stressed.

You do need to replace nutrient loss after exercise and this is why a low allergenic supplement that is easy to digest can be a better option than a meal. Additionally if you constantly eat the same food, particularly wheat or dairy, after exercising it is possible your body may develop an intolerance to that food. Try taking a protein/carbohydrate supplement after exercise and varying your diet.  You may also consider a hypotonic sports drink if you have muscle cramping and swelling.

A common cause of low appetite and bloating after eating or taking supplements is hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid). A Nutritionist can diagnose this with a simple test that can be posted to you.

Kind regards,

Emma Wight-Boycott (nee Wooldrage) MSc Nutr (2009), PGDip Nutr, PGcACNEM, Dip. Sc Nutr

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