Running is one of the easiest sports to do because it can be done anywhere, anytime, and does not require any equipment. In addition, jogging and running are very good for heart health. According to one journal published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who often jog have a lower risk of developing heart disease compared to people who are not used to jogging. Just like other sports, jogging can strengthen your joints and bones. This is mentioned in a study reported in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
But sometimes things that aren't fun when you jog, appear like stomach cramps and pain. Abdominal cramps are things that often occur while jogging. What causes stomach cramps when running? And how to overcome it?
READ ALSO: 7 Ways to Not Run Out of Breath When Running
Causes of stomach cramps when running
Pain and cramps in the stomach when running will be very disturbing and make the mood to exercise down. There are several things that can cause stomach cramps to occur when you run, namely:
1. Oxygen to the abdominal muscle area decreases
When you run, almost all of your body moves, but the most important thing is foot movement. The body regulates the oxygen that enters the body to be distributed to all parts of the muscle needed so that the muscle produces the energy used when running.
2. Dehydrated when running
If you lack fluids when running, this can cause abdominal pain and cramps.
3. Tired abdominal muscles
Abdominal cramps will occur very often in runners who have traveled a considerable distance. Muscles become fatigued, one of the muscles that are fatigued is the abdominal muscle or stomach.
4. Disorders of the digestive system
If you have just eaten food or drinks just before running, then that might be what causes cramps in your stomach. Some studies even state that running causes a disruption of the digestive system more often than when swimming and cycling.
5. Stomach pressed
This happens because the running movement can make the perut contents of the stomach ’pressed, collide with other organs, then make the connective tissue of the abdomen stretch and cause pain.
READ ALSO: Heating and Stretching During Sports, What's the Difference?
How do you prevent stomach cramps when running?
1. Adjust breath properly
To prevent cramps, you have to properly regulate your breath. All you have to do is take a deep breath. Place your palms on your stomach and then take a deep breath. Regulating breath is one way to prevent cramps in the stomach.
2. Do not immediately exercise after eating
One of the causes of muscle cramps is the schedule and portion of food and the type of food eaten before running. So all you have to do is give a considerable pause between eating schedules and running. You can eat at least 2 hours before running, even more recommended is 4 hours before the flight schedule. Avoid eating fibrous foods just before running. It's better if you eat fibrous foods the day before or at least 4 hours before running.
3. Make sure you drink enough
Lack of fluid or dehydration when running can cause stomach cramps. So, try to keep consuming enough fluids so that you are well hydrated. Drink 400 to 600 ml of mineral water 45 minutes before exercising. Don't forget to maintain your hydration level during the run by drinking 60 to 120 ml of water every 15 minutes. In addition, you can also prepare sports drinks or sport drinks that contain less than 10% glucose. These drinks will help keep you from dehydration.
READ ALSO: Which Is Better: Eat Before Sport or After Exercise?
Then, how do you deal with abdominal cramps that have already occurred while running?
If you feel cramps in the stomach while running, then try to pause, catch your breath, then walk slowly. Take deep breaths for 2 to 4 minutes and this will relieve the sudden cramping.