When it comes to sport, the body actually has enough to do. Unfortunately, flatulence often occurs during physical exertion. This is of course uncomfortable to embarrassing during training or in a competitive situation. But where does it come from?
Why does flatulence develop at all?
“In principle, flatulence is a sign that the intestine is working.” That says Dagmar Mainz, spokeswoman for the professional association of established gastroenterologists .
The air that tries to escape has entered the body together with the food. Part of it leaves it again through the stomach – as a “burp” – and the remaining air travels on into the intestines. Bacteria are located there, which produce gases. If the air ingested when eating meets these gases, the mixture swirls through the intestines and wants to go outside. Voilà, the pup is ready.
Flatulence during exercise
“Exercise paralyzes the intestines, so gas and flatulence can be promoted,” says nutritionist and internist Dr. med. Matthias Riedl on FITBOOK.
How can you avoid flatulence while exercising?
The experts do not guarantee that this will reliably prevent flatulence during sport. But they did tell us what one should do or avoid in order to at least reduce the likelihood of uncomfortable pressure from the intestinal area as much as possible.
No high fiber foods
Various foods can lead to flatulence, warns Dagmar Mainz. Including “raw vegetables in the form of fruit and vegetables, muesli and dairy products”. Note: Even if they are otherwise beneficial for health – before exercise is not the right time for high-fiber foods.
Before stressful sport: do not eat anything
Especially before stressful team sports or a competition, Dr. Riedl recommend not to eat anything. This is because the sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and the symptoms of people who are prone to gastrointestinal problems may worsen.
The sympathetic nervous system is a part of the autonomic nervous system that, depending on evolution, prepares people to fight, for example, or to flee. So-called stress hormones are released, the heartbeat becomes faster and stronger – and the bowel function is also influenced.
Sure, the fluid balance is essential when exercising. At the same time, hasty drinking – especially carbonated – promotes the development of flatulence. So better drink slowly and stay away from the sparkling water.
Various teas (e.g. with caraway and fennel seeds, peppermint leaves and chamomile flowers) can reduce the tendency to flatulence.
No protein shake before exercise
Last but not least, a known side effect of various protein powders for making a shake is that they can promote flatulence. It is therefore better not to take such food supplements before exercising.
What to do if you have to fart?
You can try a light, circular, clockwise massage to keep the bloating away. In a competition or a tennis match, of course, that doesn’t work.
If you want to feel better quickly, sooner or later you have to let the intestinal gases escape. Probably a minor problem when training alone and outdoors. Otherwise (e.g. in the fitness studio), please briefly look for the space or the washrooms. Otherwise there will be thick air.