Stomach Pain when Running, Recognize the Cause and How to Overcome It – Running is one of the easiest sports to do. Although easy to do, this activity often causes discomfort in certain body parts, one of which is the stomach. So, what causes stomach pain when running? How do you keep your stomach from hurting when you run? Check out the full explanation below.

Causes of Stomach Pain when Running

The main cause of stomach pain when running is the running mechanism itself. In addition, the condition can also be caused by various foods you consume and hormonal conditions.

When a person runs, the blood flow that was previously normal becomes faster. Blood that should flow to the stomach is then divided into other systems.

This can interrupt the digestive process which in turn can cause pain, pain in the stomach, or heartburn. In some cases, this condition can also cause nausea and vomiting. Some people also have diarrhea because of this.

Then the result is pain, pain in the stomach or heartburn, and even nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience diarrhea because of this. Abdominal pain can also occur due to the continuous up and down movement while running. This movement causes the stomach to feel like it is being shaken and eventually stomach acid rises to the throat.

The next cause, running activity can release the hormone cortisol. Although this is a hormone that can increase feelings of happiness, cortisol can also affect digestion and make the body ‘confused’ causing stomach pain. This condition is experienced by 30-90 percent of long-distance runners.

How to Overcome Stomach Pain while Running

Although it is influenced by many things, the discomfort that occurs in the stomach is a condition that can be prevented and overcome. Here are various ways to deal with stomach pain when running, including

1. Avoid fiber

Fiber can help digestive performance. Fiber also keeps a person full longer because digestion takes longer to process. However, consumption of fibrous foods makes digestion will continue to work hard for up to 4 hours after eating. If you want to run, you should avoid fiber intake about 4-5 hours before your scheduled run.

2. Hydration

Cramps, nausea, and abdominal pain can also be caused by a lack of fluid intake or consumption of the wrong type of drink. Too much water can also cause an upset stomach, so fluid consumption must be done properly. The right way is to maintain the habit of drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day. But stop drinking anything 1 hour before running so that the stomach is not full. In addition, electrolyte drinks should be drunk after running.

3. Avoid fatty and high-sugar foods

You may eat before running for energy reserves. But don’t eat anything 2-3 hours before starting to run. The goal is that the stomach is not full and is working when you start running. In addition, you also have to start paying attention to the menu and the type of food. Avoid foods high in sugar, fat, and carbohydrates in the long term to make digestion healthier. This will ultimately reduce the risk of stomach pain when running.

4. Consuming probiotics

Probiotics will balance the intestinal flora and make digestion healthier. This will increase the strength of the intestines, which means that the food juices will be absorbed more quickly. Consumption of probiotics regularly for 4 weeks in a row will increase runner stamina and reduce stomach pain. Especially when running in hot weather.

5. Exercise regularly

Practicing regularly will cause the body to recognize the pattern and schedule of activities. The body’s reactions will also be more regular and in accordance with the activities you are doing at that time. It may take some time to find the right pattern and schedule. Therefore, stay consistent and regularly run it, so the stomach becomes accustomed and does not hurt anymore.

Do you need to see a doctor?

If the pain stops sometime after you stop running, it’s relatively harmless. To get rid of it do the following movements:

  • Change the position of the body from an upright to a bent position.
  • Place both hands above your head.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, then slowly exhale through your mouth.
  • Press or tighten the abdominal muscles.
  • Do it several times until the pain subsides.

However, if you experience pain that is constant, repeated, and the frequency is the same or even increasing, it’s most likely not a stomach ache from regular running. Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and cramping more than once a week.
  • Recurrent constipation.
  • Nausea, bloating, and gas are felt when you run or not.

The doctor will further check whether these symptoms are a side effect of running or because of another disease. During the examination, the doctor may also perform a colonoscopy for a more intensive examination.


Abdominal pain while running is a relatively common thing experienced by every runner, both amateur and professional.

However, this can be prevented by setting a consistent training schedule. Another way is to regulate the type of food eaten and the time to eat and drink. Avoid eating at least 2 hours before running and don’t drink a lot of fluids 1 hour before running.

Even if your stomach hurts from running, you should still consult your doctor if the condition persists, especially if it is accompanied by repeated diarrhea, cramping, and constipation.