What Causes Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea After Bike Ride


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Diarrhea is a common gastrointestinal symptom. It can be due to a number of different causes, but one thing is for sure: it’s never fun.

Lot of cyclists engaged in long rides are prone to diarrhea during or after bike rides. The symptoms begin to manifest when the body is over-stressed especially in the stomach.

Having Diarrhea after a bike ride is normal and you have no cause for alarm, Just read through this blog post if you experience intense bouts of diarrhea after long rides.

If you’ve experienced diarrhea after a bike ride, don’t worry, we’re going to tell you what might have been the cause and what you can do about it!

If your diarrhea was preceded by an illness or infection of some kind, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat that specific infection.

What is diarrhea?

Diarrhea is when the stool (or poop) is looser than usual.

When should you be worried?

If you have diarrhea and are vomiting (or vice versa), this can be a sign of food poisoning, a stomach bug, or some other serious infectious disease. In this case, we suggest you see your doctor as soon as possible.

Why is it called diarrhea?

This term comes from the Greek word for “to flow through.” Diarrhea means that you’re passing watery, loose stool.

Main Causes Of Diarrhea

Different types of diarrhea can be caused by:

1. Irritable bowel syndrome: If you’re suffering from this condition, you may feel crampy, constipated, and have diarrhea alternating with constipation. If so, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

2. Diet: If you have diarrhea and aren’t eating at the same time, it could be a sign of food poisoning, which is usually caused by consuming contaminated food or water.

3. Bacterial infection: Diarrhea can be due to a bacterial infection like bacterial diarrhea, infectious diarrhea (related to viruses), or viral (common cold) diarrhea. Talk to your doctor if you develop these symptoms.

4. Stomach flu: If you have stomach flu, you may have diarrhea along with many other symptoms.

5. Travel: If you’re traveling in another country, your doctor might tell you to avoid drinking the water and eating local foods for a few days at a time.

6. Medications: Diarrhea can be a side effect of some medications, including antibiotics, pain relievers (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen), iron supplements, or anti-diabetes medications.

7. Alcohol and marijuana: If you drink a lot or use more than the average amount of marijuana without having a friend around to look after you, you might also experience diarrhea.

8. Sickness: If you have a stomach bug or food poisoning, your stool may be loose and watery.

9. A food allergy or intolerance: Diarrhea can be a side effect of food allergies and food intolerances.

10. Intestinal parasites: If you have intestinal worms like pinworms, hookworms, or tapeworms, you may develop diarrhea after eating, as the worms get irritated by the acidic environment of your gut. These infections are easily treated with medications prescribed by your doctor.


The stool is solid waste, so it’s important that you stay away from anything that will upset your stomach, like spicy foods and dairy.

Water is the best drink to have after a ride. You can also try plain cranberry juice. If you are taking regular prescription medication for diarrhea or other intestinal ailments, discuss side effects with your doctor before stopping.

What Not to Drink?

Avoid carbonated beverages and alcohol.

What Not to Take?

Avoid laxatives, enemas, and anything that will irritate the gastrointestinal system.

How to Help The Situation?

If you are experiencing diarrhea, try taking a sitz bath. If you don’t have a sitz bath at home, try putting warm water in the bathtub and sitting down so that your rectum is submerged in the warm water. Do this for 10-15 minutes each day until your symptoms subside.

READ ALSO: How Much Water Do I Need To Cycle 100 Miles?

It’s not unusual for athletes to experience diarrhea after exercise. If you are prone to diarrhea after a bike ride, we recommend that you eat and drink before and during a long ride. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor if your problems persist.

Treatments Of Diarrhea

If you’re experiencing diarrhea, there are some simple steps you can take to minimize its effects.

  • First, stop exercising. Although this advice may sound counterintuitive, it’s important to rest so that your body can focus on healing itself. Also, strenuous exercise will stress the digestive system and prolong the duration of diarrhea.
  • Second, drink plenty of water or other sports drinks prepared with a low-concentration carbohydrate solution.
  • Third, eat a snack or some other food that is high in sugar (high in simple sugars like fructose), such as fruit, yeast extract loaves of bread and crackers, raisins, and chocolate candy. Doing this will help you to use up the water you’re losing during diarrhea.
  • Lastly, keep a supply of over-the-counter antidiarrheal tablets on hand to help control symptoms.

How to Prevent Stomach Upset While Riding

It really helps to eat a few hours before you ride. If you’re heading out for a longer ride, nutrition and hydration are even more crucial.

If you’re planning on being out for several hours or on a very long ride, try eating something special, such as peanut butter sandwiches (with lots of jellies) or energy bars.

READ ALSO: These Snacks Will Boost Your Energy When Cycling

Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your ride, but not too much – staying hydrated is important, but overhydrating can cause stomach upset as well.

Eating spicy food before riding may also trigger diarrhea. Try to avoid spicy food the day of your ride, and for a few days before.

If you’re heading out for a short ride, eat something light, since eating heavy food won’t help. Although it may be tempting to load up on candy the night before a ride, this will only make you feel ill during the event.

If you’re planning a longer ride, it’s always good to eat a well-balanced meal an hour before you head out.

Precautions While Cycling During Diarrhea

Consider wearing a mask if you’re allergic to pollen, or if you are suffering from severe asthma because pollen can worsen your symptoms.

If you know your allergies, talk to your doctor about using an inhaler or carrying an epinephrine injector with you.

Precautions during Diarrhea

If you’ve been diagnosed with diarrhea, it’s especially important to watch for dehydration. Dehydration can cause dizziness, headaches, and fainting. You may not be able to concentrate as well as you could when riding if your body isn’t fully hydrated.

It’s also important to continue drinking plenty of fluids even throughout the duration of your ride. If you are drinking extreme amounts of fluids (solutions and iced drinks), it can cause thirst or nausea.

READ ALSO: Why Is Biking So Exhausting?

In addition, you should stop to rest if you become faint. There’s no use in pushing yourself if your body isn’t able to handle it.

If you’re suffering from diarrhea and are headed out for a bike ride, be sure not to overdo it. Don’t try to push yourself physically.

Stomach Cramps And Diarrhea After Long Bike Ride – Conclusion

Although it can be an unpleasant experience, diarrhea is a normal bodily reaction that occurs during exercise. It can also be a side effect of certain medications or conditions like food allergies or intestinal parasites.

It’s important to listen to your body and explain to a medical professional any concerns that you might have.

Never try to suppress this symptom yourself, as doing so can cause health problems with your digestive system. Instead, talk to your doctor about how you should treat diarrhea while on a bike ride.

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