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Fuelling your run on a Low FODMAP Diet

November 2,2018

By Rachel Eagleton

Endurance runners often suffer from stomach problems. If you also suffer from a FODMAP intolerance, fueling your running can be quite tricky. Next time you’re out on a long run here’s some tips to keep in mind to stop you worrying about where the closest toilet is!

Before your run

Before you set out for your run have a low FODMAP high carbohydrate and low fibre snack that is easy to digest. This will help fuel and hydrate your body, allow you to achieve the most out of your session by being able to train harder for longer and also stop you getting hungry during your run!
Some ideas are:

  • a fruit smoothie from lactose free milk, ½ of a firm banana and a few strawberries.
  • low FODMAP cereal (e.g. gluten free Weet Bix) with lactose free milk and low FODMAP fruit (e.g. blueberries, kiwifruit or a firm banana)
  • low FODMAP toast (e.g. LoFo from Baker’s Delight) with peanut butter

During your run

Once you are out running for longer than 75 minutes or so you should take on some carbohydrates during the run. This will maintain blood glucose levels to fuel your muscles and brain. You’ll also get more out of your training session as you will be able to sustain the intensity for longer. Ideally you should aim to take on 30-60g pf carbohydrates per hour of running. If you want to use a commercial sports drink or gel you need to watch out for high FODMAP ingredients such as fructose or honey.

As far as I can see the handy Monash University Low FODMAP diet app hasn’t reviewed any sports products. So I have started going through them one by one. Please let me know if you come across any low FODMAP products so I can add them to the list.

Low fodmap sports products

  • GU energy chews – sweetened with tapioca syrup*, cane sugar, maltodextrin
  • Clif bloks – sweetened with tapioca syrup*, cane syrup, maltodextrin
  • Clif Gel – sweetened with maltodextrin, dried cane syrup
  • Tailwind – sweetened with dextrose, sucrose
  • Huma Gel – (only some flavours e.g. lemonade – not apple) – sweetened with cane sugar, brown rice syrup**, avoid any flavours sweetened with fruit purees
  • Winners Energy Gels – sweetened with maltodextrin

* Tapioca syrup has not been tested by Monash University. However my understanding is that it’s a glucose syrup and as such should be low FODMAP
** I have assumed brown rice syrup is the same as rice malt syrup and as such is low FODMAP

These sports products should be low FODMAP Based on the recommended portion sizes of individual ingredients in the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app at the time of publication.

The following products contain higher levels of FODMAPs and should be avoided:

  • GU Gels (sweetened with fructose)
  • Hammer gels (sweetened with apple juice concentrate)
  • Endura gels (sweetened with fructose)
  • Dried fruits like dates are also high FODMAP

After your run

Once you get home it’s time to refuel with a mixture of carbs to replenish depleted glycogen stores and protein for muscle repair. It’s often easiest just to follow your workout with your next meal. You could enjoy my favourite breakfast – eggs and low FODMAP toast with a side of spinach and tomatoes. Chocolate milk is a popular option (use cocoa, sugar and lactose free milk) or you could make a smoothie with lactose free milk (great source of protein), ½ a firm banana and strawberries.

A word on protein powders

Monash has tested pea protein and brown rice protein. However dairy protein has been demonstrated to be optimal for muscle recovery. Whey protein isolate is low FODMAP, but whey protein concentrates may contain lactose, which is high FODMAP. Read your label very carefully, or get in touch with your dietitian if you are having trouble navigating the labels.

Remember if you are training for a big event, it is super important to use the same fueling strategies in your training sessions leading up to the big day – never try anything new on race day!

Have you come across any other low FODMAP sports supplements that have helped your running?

Are you training for an endurance event? Did you know that using a scientific approach to nutrition in a marathon takes, on average, nearly 11 minutes OFF an amateur runner’s finish time? I can help up you focus on supporting your marathon training with making nutritious food choices a priority so that you can get to the start line feeling great. On race day you will be armed with well trialed strategies that work for you and will help you run your best fueled marathon, half marathon or triathlon.

About me

Rachel is a university qualified nutritionist and keen endurance runner based in Balmain, NSW. She is also the busy working mum of two teenagers, so is practical and realistic with her advice. She offers in person consultations in Sydney, as well as online programs and support for those elsewhere in Australia. Find out more about Rachel at
w: racheleagleton.com.au
f: facebook.com/nourshd

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