The gut challenge: understanding and overcoming gastrointestinal discomfort

During an intense workout, when you’re pushing your limits and feeling the burn, the last thing you want is an unexpected visitor: gastrointestinal discomfort.

Or maybe it’s after a hearty meal, and suddenly, your stomach seems to be staging a revolt. Dealing with gastrointestinal distress during exercise or in your daily life can be both puzzling and uncomfortable, but fear not – there are ways to prevent it.


Gastrointestinal distress is a sneaky troublemaker, capable of manifesting in various ways. Imagine savouring a delicious meal, only to be met with bloating, gas, or that unwelcome sensation of heaviness in your abdomen shortly afterward. Or perhaps, during an otherwise ordinary day, it strikes unexpectedly – maybe in the middle of a meeting or while you’re out handling your daily tasks. Abdominal cramps, flatulence, or an urgent need for a restroom break can leave you feeling flustered.

And then there’s the familiar scenario of exercise-induced turbulence, where you might experience nausea, diarrhoea, or that fluttery “butterflies in your stomach” sensation. These diverse symptoms can be puzzling, but understanding their causes and solutions can make all the difference in your quest for digestive comfort.


To get to the bottom of gastrointestinal discomfort, it’s essential to become a sharp detective. Start by investigating what you consumed before the discomfort hit. Is it high-fibre foods? Spicy dishes? High-fat foods? Dairy products? All of them could be potential culprits. Portion control is also crucial! Overindulgence, even in healthy foods, can lead to trouble. And when it comes to exercise-induced discomfort, analyse your workout routine. Intense, high-impact exercises or sudden changes in intensity might be triggering those gastrointestinal symptoms.

Photo source: Wayhomestudio for Freepik


In the realm of gastrointestinal discomfort, missteps can be as notorious as they are varied. We’ve all been there – whether it’s the urge to chug large amounts of water during exercise, unwittingly inviting stomach sloshing and discomfort, or the misconception that more fibre in our diet is always better, leading to unexpected bloating and gas.

But perhaps the most perilous pitfall of all is the tendency to brush aside persistent discomfort as a mere inconvenience. Ignoring the persistent signs and symptoms is like leaving a riddle unsolved. If you constantly battle with gastrointestinal issues, the best course of action is to reach out to a professional. Their expertise can be the compass guiding you through the maze of digestive concerns, helping you restore comfort, balance and performance.


As we conclude our exploration, here are three fundamental recommendations to keep in mind. First, avoid high-fibre foods before exercise. Second, when it comes to hydration, sip water regularly during exercise, avoiding large amounts to be drank in a short time. Also avoid fizzy drinks close to exercise. And finally, never dismiss persistent symptoms. Instead, pay close attention your body’s signals, and if discomfort persists, seek guidance from a professional. These three simple principles can be your compass on the path to digestive well-being.

Tristan Boetti is a sports nutritionist. Through his company Performance & Bien-Être Monaco, he works with professional athletes as well as recreationally active individuals to help them achieve their goals through customised nutrition plans and expert advice.


The Mediterranean diet: a path to health and longevity

Make sure you’re never left out of the conversation. Sign up for the Monaco Life newsletter, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramandLinkedIn. 


Main photo source: Freepik