If you’re a runner, you’ve probably heard the term “runners’ gut” or “runners’ trots”. If you’re unlucky, you may have even had a perfectly good run ruined by a bloating, pain or needing to find a bathroom pretty quickly. Today we have 5 tips (including low FODMAP energy gels) to help you fuel your run to optimise performance and reduce the anxiety.
1. Before you run
Our bodies favourite source of easily accessible energy is carbs. So, 1-2 hours before you head out, you want to enjoy a low FODMAP high carbohydrate snack that is easy to digest. Avoid anything with too much fat, too much fibre or too high in protein, as these can sit in your stomach and weigh you down. Some ideas include:
- A low FODMAP toast (e.g. Bakers Delight lowFOD bread, sourdough or Alpine bread) with strawberry jam
- Low FODMAP cereal (cornflakes or GF weet bix) with banana & lactose free milk
- Low FODMAP smoothie made with lactose free milk, banana & oats
- Low FODMAP muesli bar (e.g. Carman’s fruit free bar) & a banana
- Low FODMAP fruit (citrus, berries, rockmelon or banana) & lactose free yoghurt
Pre-workout supplements – what to say about these?
2. During your run
If you run for more than an hour, you will want to fuel during your run. Some simple carbs at this time will help to maintain blood glucose levels and keep your energy up to sustain the intensity for longer. Ideally, you’d be looking at about 30-60g of easily digestible simple carbohydrate per hour.
Some ideas to get this include:
- 3-6 Allen’s snake lollies
- Tailwind Endurance Fuel Stick
- Gu Energy Chews in low FODMAP flavours
- Clif Gel
- Clif Blocks
- Huma Gel
- Winners Energy Gels
Importantly, if you’re training for an event, make sure to train the way you intend to run and don’t try any new supplements or methods on race day.
3. After your run
This is where you want to rehydrate and refuel so you can get up and do it all again. To achieve this, a mixed meal with carbs & protein is ideal. Usually, the easiest is to just follow your run with your next meal. We love eggs on sourdough toast, chicken fried rice or grilled fish/chicken with roast potato’s & veggies. Chocolate milk also stacks up well for recovery and in the research often outdoes expensive protein shakes. Try a smoothie with lactose free milk, banana & cocoa.
Protein shakes aren’t essential, but if you are wanting one, whey protein isolate is low FODMAP and has been shown to be optimal for muscle recovery. Dairy free options don’t always stack up as well, but pea and rice proteins tend to be pretty well tolerated by people with IBS.
Remember to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If you’re eating well most of the week, when it comes to training, its really just fine tuning. If you want to refine your process more, Liz is a Monash qualified dietitian & a qualified sports dietitian. She consults face to face in Burwood and virtually throughout Australia. She can help you navigate your gut journey and optimise performance on and off the field. Book an appt with Liz here