Common Foods That Cause Stomach Cramps When Running

Stomach cramps are the bane of running. The cramps are in form of sharp pains that interfere with running experience. The pains are so bad that they make runners slow down. The cramps are common among new runners but they start going away with running experience.

Causes of Stomach Cramps

The most common cause of running  stomach cramps are in-experience, dehydration, poor breathing technique, lactic acid build up in the body and poor food choice.

This article touches on foods that make you suffer stomach cramps when running. All runners have a pre race meal but some of the foods eaten before running are prone to cause abdominal pain.

It is good to note runners are different, some runners might feed on these foods and not suffer any adverse reaction. For runners who have been suffering stomach cramps while running and don’t know what is the cause, look at the following food list and see if you feast on any food before racing. Then cut it out of your pre race meal and see whether things will improve.

Foods To Avoid that Cause stomach cramps while running

Dairy products – Foods like milk yoghurt and cheese contain large amount of lactose. Runners who suffer from lactose intolerance will get a negative reaction in form of stomach cramps whenever they consume large quantities of dairy products.

Fiber Rich Foods

Although fiber reach foods are good for digestion, they are bad when consumed a few minutes before running. They stay longer in the stomach and take longer to be absorbed in to the body. Running with that extra matter in your stomach will cause cramps.


Protein rich diets of beef, chicken and pork are good when eaten after the race but bad before the race. Just like fiber rich foods, proteins like meat and beef stay longer in the stomach longer and are hard to digest. Combine that with running and you will suffer stomach cramps.

Gluten rich food

Runners who suffer celiac acids may suffer stomach cramps whenever they eat a diet rich in gluten. Gluten is a protein found in foods processed from wheat, barley and rye


Research has shown drinking a reasonable amount of coffee can be good for running by boosting running performance. However,coffee is a stimulant that can affect the digestive tract. if you suspect coffee is giving you stomach cramps try to reduce the amount of coffee you guzzle before running. If that does not work, trying cutting out coffee from your pre race meal.

Energy Drinks

I love energy drinks but some energy drinks have been show to cause stomach cramps. Different runner react differently to energy drinks. The only way to know the energy drink best suited for you is to experiment with different energy drink during training.

Juices –

Majority of juices sold in supermarkets are made from concentrates. Many contain high levels of sugars. When taken before or during your run, they can cause abdominal pain. Orange juice and grape juice are notorious for this.

Pears, melons, pineapple

These fruits and veggies are high in fiber, but are also known for causing gas. This can lead to painful bloating.


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  1. Pingback: Causes and Prevention of Stomach Cramps when Running | How To Run Faster

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