Causes of Running Stomach Cramps, Pain

Every runner must have at one time experienced some unpleasant and painful sensation in the stomach. The pain is what is called cramps and its caused by the overexertion nature of running.

Stomach cramps and diarrhea

Stomach cramps vary from one runner to another, some runners complain of stomach cramps and diarrhoea others stomach cramps and diarrhea others just upper stomach cramps.

What causes painful stomach cramps during running?

  1. Dehydration. – For your smooth muscles of the stomach/intestines to function properly they require to be hydrated.
  2. Low blood salt – With all the sweating taking place your body will be losing too much salt and your body will soon be starved of salt.
  3. Inadequate oxygenation – During running, a lot of your blood will be redirected from the stomach to other muscle. And since your stomach muscles are starved of oxygen they will not work properly.

The above causes are made worse by factors such as a extreme weather conditions. Too high temperatures will increase rate of dehydration.

Video of How To Get Rid of Stomach Cramps

Medicine for stomach cramps.

This is not your typical medicine to cure cramps but a simple guide on how to avoid them. Its important to make sure you drink enough water. I experience most of my stomach cramps during my training because in training I don’t have water points every 2K like I find in a marathon.

Drinking water is good but drinking too much is dangerous! Drinking too much water will cause your salt levels too go too low causing you stomach pains and in a worst case scenario death! Every runner should remember to put enough salt in his food. During the the race, Eat salt pallets offered. Lastly, Practice good breathing technique.

Remember the more you run and the more experienced you get, the less stomach cramps you will get from running.

8 thoughts on “Causes of Running Stomach Cramps, Pain

  1. sdrunner

    Hmm..I usually run right when I wake up in the mornings, which may increase my chances of getting stomach cramps, since I don’t have any water before the run. Thanks for the tips!

  2. CoachTief

    I know staying hydrated and not eating too much can prevent cramps, but I find I would still get them when I was out of shape. Situps and other core work really stopped all my problems! Take care.

  3. Emm

    I went running for the first time in a while yesterday. I ran about a mile and walked a mile. I got a really bad cramp on the right side of my stomach. I was awoken out of my sleep last night and this morning when I laid on my right side and now have a constant cramp this morning. Any thoughts on why this is lasting so long and what I can do to ease the cramp?

  4. David


    Replace water with sports drinks.

    Isotonic drinks are good to drink whilst running because they contain sodium and other minerals unlike water to hydrate the body quicker to prevent stomach cramping.

  5. Fancher

    I ran 6.5 miles uphill yesterday and have had prominent
    Stomach pain and diahrea since (24 hours
    Straight). I did not get much sleep at all lastnight due to pain and am curious when i should start to get worried or see a Dr. Are stomach cramps after running ALWAYS supposed to subside within the same day of the run.

  6. Maria

    I am just now starting track and I am normally pretty fast, but lately i have been getting such bad cramps in my stomach. They are slowing me down so much. What should i do?? please help!


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