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Many athletes can attest to having experienced some form of discomfort while exercising at one point or another.You've often seen footage of some athletes throwing up at the side of the race track or even found yourself in that situation after pushing through a tough workout.The irony is that exercise could be making you sick.Apparently, gastrointestinal discomfort could be the cause of the entire problem.
Multiple researches have suggested that such symptoms are just because of poor planning, but this might not be the case.The symptoms of this gastrointestinal discomfort may be mild or severe, and they include;
• Abdominal angina
• Bloody diarrhoea
This is a common problem, especially in endurance athletes, and it often impairs subsequent recovery and performance.Research published in Sports Medicine has suggested that about 40 percent of all athletes complain about this.While they can be mild, the whole gamut of hemorrhagic gastritis, ischemic bowels, and hematochezia can bring in problems and can be dangerous.Scientists have identified the three causes of gastrointestinal symptoms, and they are either mechanical, physiological, or nutritional in nature.
During intense exercise, especially when hypo hydrated, mesenteric blood flow is reduced.This is believed to be the main cause of the development of gastrointestinal symptoms.The research also suggests that nutritional training and appropriate choices minimize the risk of getting this condition by ensuring the absorption of water and nutrients, and a rapid gastric emptying.Some nutritional manipulations have been proposed to minimize gastrointestinal problems.These may include the use of transportable carbohydrates and nutrients that stimulate the production of nitric oxide in the intestines.
Effects of exercise on gut function
Research has always concentrated on gut perfusion but lately gut barrier function, absorption and the effect of exercise on motility have been taken into consideration.Having an understanding of the composition of the gut during exercise is essential to recognizing the factors that may contribute to the development of gastrointestinal symptoms
Splanchnic hypoperfusion during exercise ranges from minor circulatory changes to profound gastrointestinal ischemia.The impact of hypoperfusion within the changes in gastrointestinal permeability and digestive tract injury differs greatly among individuals.During a physical exercise or activity, norepinephrine is released from the nerve endings and they bind to adrenoreceptors where they induce splanchnic vasoconstriction.This increases the total resistance of the splanchnic vascular while activities on other body organs such as the lungs, heart, and active muscles are reduced.
As blood is moved from the viscera to the active tissues, the gut mucosal ischemia may increase the mucosal permeability, and this is responsible for the symptoms like vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Nutritional causes of gastrointestinal problems
Nutrition may have a powerful influence on this problem although many problems can occur in the absence of food in your stomach.Fat, protein, fructose, and fibers have all been linked with the development of gastrointestinal issues and have increased the risk by a large percentage.Lack of water or simply dehydration can also be a major cause of this condition.
This condition occurs only when there is ingestion of concentrated carbohydrate solutions, fiber, protein, and fat during an exercise.The research also showed that foods which delay gastric emptying and cause a shift of fluids into the lumen are likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms.
Although there is an argument whether carbohydrate intake causes this condition, it may be a complex play of some factors such as the type of carbohydrate, its concentration, the acidity of a beverage, and osmolality that is linked with gastrointestinal problems.More research is needed to find a solution regarding a carbohydrate solution that will reduce the risk of increased gastrointestinal symptoms.
How to avoid gastrointestinal problems
Some researchers have suggested that exercising on an empty stomach is the most preferred way to work out.This is because it promotes a favorable change in the body fat.James Farmer, a fitness doctor, said, "Training fasted is a much-talked subject.Research has shown that training on an empty stomach burns more fats during the exercise while training on a full stomach leads to a higher fat oxidation over a 24-hour period." He added that the best state to train in depends on what fits you best.If you are training very early in the morning before work eating a meal and waiting for it to digest is a difficult thing so it will be appropriate if you train on an empty stomach.
Otherwise, if you are working out later in the day, you will probably do it much better if you've fully digested the meal beforehand.At the end of the day, if you're not a professional athlete, it's unlikely that there will be any negative effect.
To avoid the gastrointestinal discomfort you need to know that training doesn't start the moment you step in the gym door; it starts four to five hours before the workout.