Stomach Distress After Workouts

Hi everyone,

Wondered if I might bounce a question off folks here?

On the road to 51 y/old later this year, however, this has been an issue for me for over 15 years. Been at this for 31 years now, so I have a decent idea of how my body reacts to things…although, this has stumped me for some time. If I complete an intense workout (or too many workouts without a rest day), I tend to have some gut issues that are relatively substantial. If its a morning workout, I may need to stay close to the restroom for up to 24 hours.

My doctor ( who is well-educated in the field to be sure) has mentioned to me that it could be something akin to a “runner’s stomach”. Best I can gather is that this is when the a good bit of blood volume travels to other parts of the body (i.e. legs) and leaves the gut. This signals to the body the gut in distress (resulting in frequent bathroom stops). It was suggested to me to take glutamine in and around workouts as a fix. I can’t say I have had much success with this, though.

In my case, when I am in the midst of this gut distress…I can go the the gym and, say, work chest and back together. I can achieve a pretty good pump and for that period of time the distress is entirely gone. Completely gone. The issue being is that in the ensuing 2 hours post-workout (as the pump dissipates) the distress returns with a vengeance!

If anyone has any advice or suggestions (or even shares a similar story), I would be extremely grateful to hear them!



No advice, but I’m hoping you get the answers you’re looking for. It sounds miserable!


No help here, I spend most my day near the porcelain pony regardless. Your best bet is continued dialogue with your physician. Maybe Pepto? Good luck!

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What are you taking pre, during or post workout?

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Working out has been stressful for a long time. I get unconfortable in the gut, but nothing like what you’re describing. Giving myself time between sets helps.

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I have been told to use glutamine before and after my workout, which has helped a bit.

I don’t use any pre-workout, although I do drink a protein shake on the way home. Usually 50-65 grams of Whey Isolate.

So far, my best luck seems to be a mixture of pedialyte and some cluster dextrin during the workout (along with some EAA’s). Doesn’t completely solve the problem, but does seem to help out some.

I will say I try to average my HR around 130bpm for the hour I workout. That is, of course, with all the dips and spikes…but, I aim for that average over 60 minutes.

I’m still decent in size (around 225lbs @5’9"). Maybe its just time to start pulling back. Hate to think that, though.

Hmm maybe worth considering a lactose intolerance then. Try skipping the whey a few workouts and see if there’s any difference.


I totally agree with this. Also, maybe give us an average day of food for you. This may be a food intolerance or sensitivity issue.


Thanks for all the advice. I can’t tell everyone how much I appreciate it!!!
I had been contemplating doing a few weeks of beef protein (as my only protein shake source) to see how it went. Sounds like that may be a pretty good idea. I have container of muscle meds beef protein here. I will check and see if I have enough in the container to last.

As far as food goes, I tend to stay around 2800-3000 kcal per day. On average, I end up with “approx”: 260-280 grams of protein, 275-295 grams of carbohydrates and I have been letting the fats fill out the rest of the calories for the day. Lower sugar for sure with a moderate fiber intake of 30 grams or so daily.

Sorry to restart this, but I think I have some additional answers for you that may help. I have been dealing with this exact issue for years. Your doctor is spot on for what causes it, the reduced bloodflow to your gut combined with the tense contraction of muscles in your stomach when lifting weights exacerbates gastric distress. Often manifests as GERD, but can cause all sorts of issues.

To help manage the symptoms you want to avoid making your stomach do any additional work immediately surrounding a workout and increase bloowdflow back to the gut. Glutamine is fine as it is a vasodilator, if sticking with that I would add citrulline as well. They are synergystic. Take both about an hour before your workout. Another option, which may sound funny is cialis. A potent vasodilator. Half pill EoD works great for me and has its other benefits. I actually use all 3 mentioned here.

In addition to that, do things that calm your stomach immediately surrounding a workout instead of stressing it. Save the post workout protein for an hour or more after. Try some calming mint tea, but go easy on caffeine, a vasoconstrictor, opposite of what you want. Even just sitting and stretching/meditating for a few minutes after a workout and focus on relaxing the muscles in your abdomen instead of holding them tight. Hope some of this helps.


Oh my goodness! That’s fantastic information! Thank you so much!!

I do take a 5mg Cialis about an hour before I workout currently. Good news that I’m not causing any more of an issue with that.

I have always immediately downed a big protein shake right after the workout. I know many folks say its not necessary to do that, but it’s been the habit for 3 decades. I will certainly try to wait an hour or so after and see how it goes. Maybe even throw in some gentle stretches in at the end of the workout.

I will also try combining the glutamine with the citrulline. I haven’t given that a shot yet, so worth a try!!

Thank you again!!!

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I’m more interested in the types of foods you’re eating - dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, high FODMAP, etc. Looking into possible food connections.

Hi QuadQueen,

Thanks !!!
After a quick review of the FODMAP foods, I would say my biggest culprit is likely wheat and yogurt on the high end. I can say that, although I am not the best/healthiest eater in the world, it appears I stay clear of “most” of the foods that would be considered High-FODMAP.

However, if I am to consider the different whey proteins I consume (and if that is put in the “milk” category)…then that certainly is something where I am a big offender!

OP this was a clear request, is there a reason you cant list out a day of eating ?

Why not just drop the shakes and eat real food for a while ?

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I start the day with rice n’ grinds mixed with pb2 and a half scoop of whey. I also have a 50 gram protein shake.

Lunch consisted of 2 cups of rice and about 12 oz of chicken w/ some very light mozzarella cheese

Workout intra was 50 grams of cluster dextrin and some EAA’s.

Dinner will likely be 10-12 oz of 90/10 beef on some keto buns and air-fried sweet potato fries or regular potato fries.

Likely finish off the evening with several greek yogurts (perhaps a strawberry or two thrown it).

Somewhere else during the day, I will have another 50-75 gram whey isolate shake and a kodiak protein ball (that my wife makes with some extra protein in it).

*As I have mentioned, I am not the cleanest of eaters.

**Servings sizes vary depending on what calorie count/protein count/macros I want to hit and how training is going (am I pushing hard, etc.)

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Burger Night Bros!

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Thanks for the diet details. I’m really thinking that your issues are rooted in your food choices.

You’re doing quite a bit of dairy with the yogurts, cheese and the whey protein. If you’ve got a dairy intolerance, this might explain why you’re having the problems you’re having. Having to run or stay close to the bathroom after consuming dairy is textbook of an intolerance.

Also, I don’t know how much of the keto products, like the buns, you’re eating but many times those types of products can have sugar alcohols and/or different fibers that may result in some less than desirable GI effects.

My suggestions would be:

  1. Eliminate dairy for 1-2 weeks to see if that helps.
  2. Clean up the rest of your diet - avoid “keto” and other processed foods (the Kodiak protein balls, etc.).
  3. Focus on lean protein from meats and eggs. Get your carbs from potatoes, sweet potatoes, oats and rice. And add in some non-starchy veggies and healthy fats.

Real food is going to do a lot more for you in terms of results and also will likely help put a stop to the bathroom issues too.


Thanks QuadQueen!

Along with some of the great recommendations here, maybe I will try to pull back some on that dairy and see if helps to alleviate some of this distress (and focus on food).

Thanks a bunch again!! Really appreciate the insight!

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