How To Avoid Nausea & GI Distress During Your Next Race

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses 4 effective strategies to minimize GI distress and vomiting during your next run, ride, OCR, or other endurance race.

4 effective strategies to minimize GI distress and vomiting during your next endurance event:

  1. Eat your last big meal 3-4 hours before race start. This meal should be high carb, low fat, and low protein.
  2. Drink 16 ounces of fluid 2 hours before your race.  This will ensure adequate hydration and help you avoid a sloshy gut.
  3. During the race consume fast digesting carbs and BCAAs.
  4. Consume 1 gram of ginger if you still experience nausea during your race.

Full Video Transcript:

Good morning, family of fast. Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite. If you're an endurance athlete, you've more than likely experienced it coming out of both ends during training and racing. And when I say it, I mean poop and vomit. And by both ends, I mean your butt and your mouth. So, today, we're gonna talk about four strategies you can use to minimize the risk of getting nauseous or getting GI distress during your next race or big training session. And like most things I talk about, it really comes down to nutrition beforehand, hydration beforehand, nutrition during and then possibly a supplement you can take if you end up kind of do getting sick or have GI distress during the race. So let's just hop right into it. 

Don't Eat A Big Meal Close To Race Time

The first thing you wanna make sure is you want to finish your largest meal about three to four hours before your race starts and have it be mostly carbohydrates, a little bit of fat, and a little bit of protein. And this will basically allow the body to digest and absorb all the macronutrients, so there's not a big old brick sitting in your stomach when the race starts. And with the same thing too, you wanna make sure it's the high carbohydrate and low in fat, and low in protein, because the fat and the protein take more work to basically digest and absorbed by the body. So, that's strategy number one. 

Don't Over Hydrate

Strategy number two, is you don't wanna over hydrate yourself leading up to the race. If you drink about 16 ounces of water, or fluid, or beverage of your choice about two hours before the race starts, this will ensure you're well-hydrated and you're not going into the race feeling like your eyeballs are floating or like you have a slushy gut. So, that's effective strategy number two. 

High Carbs & Low Fat And Protein During Race

Now, the third strategy is during the race you wanna consume anywhere from 30 to 90 grams of carbs and hour. We've talked about this before. And you wanna make sure these are quick digesting carbs that can go through the gut and into the bloodstream to keep blood glucose levels elevated. You don't necessarily wanna be taking in a lot of protein and a little fat during the race because the same problem happens, it takes more work for the body to digest and absorb. Now, if you do wanna do like a little bit of protein to minimize muscle protein breakdown, I'd rather have you see you consume BCAAs during the race, especially like those ultra type endurance races. Because those will be digested a lot easier and they have some unique benefits compared to like whole proteins in terms of endurance performance, which we've talked about before. So, that was strategy number three. 

Consider Ginger

Now, the fourth strategy, if you find you've done all these things and you're still getting sick during the race, which happens, again, especially in ultra endurance events, your body's going through absolute hell and all sorts of weird things can happen with your stomach. So, if you find yourself in that situation, probably the most effective supplement to combat nausea or GI distress is ginger. And what you wanna do here is you wanna get about one gram of ginger when you feel that onset of nausea or GI distress coming on. Now, what I like to use and I've used in the past for my 24-hour races is like the ginger chews you can get at your local friendly Trader Joe's. They're delicious and nutritious and it might just be the key to basically kicking that nausea and GI distress out of your system so you can keep on racing hard. 

So, that is all I have for today on the most effective ways to minimize nausea and GI distress during your next endurance race. So, if you have a buddy who has the brown pow coming out or is spontaneously vomiting during races, please share this video with them. If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, supplementation, random musings, busting the BS, subscribe to the EndurElite YouTube channel or head on over to the EndurElite blog at www.endurelite.com. Get social with us on Instagram and Facebook, and until next time stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast, and stay informed.