What is it about running hard that causes that awful stomach ache? And why does it strike even if you ate the perfect pre-workout snack? It's a mystery to me.
It's been a few years since I've been stricken with RSA (Runners Stomach Ache). While I was pregnant and recovering, I had plenty of other stomach aches, but nothing caused by running. But now that I'm starting to add some harder intensity into my run training for the 2014 season, guess what came back??!! Last week I did a hard eight mile treadmill progression run, starting at my marathon pace and ending at 10k pace. I nailed my paces perfectly and felt great…until I started making my way to the subway to head home. Before I went underground, I ducked in a cafe to grab a drink and a snack, looking for something that might settle my stomach. I found a bottle of Detox juice that had ginger in it. Nine dollars later, I was on the subway chugging it. By the time I got home, I was able to function enough to carry on with my next task, walking the dog, and recovered fully for my afternoon Pilates class.
Maybe I didn't run hard enough and that's why the RSA wasn't that bad? But I'm confident I ran hard, so I'm thinking was the ginger in the drink that calmed my stomach.
I've decided to stock a gingery drink in my refrigerator to sip before big run sessions and to chug afterwards. And because I don't want to go to the poorhouse buying expensive bottles of juice, I came up with a DIY, make at home version. Apples help round out ginger's spicy kick and lemon gives it that thirst quenching quality.
Any runners out there have their own cure for Runners Stomach Ache to share with us?
Thirst Quenching, Stomach Soothing Ginger Apple Water
1-3" of fresh ginger (I use 3 because I have a high ginger tolerance, but 1 inch is a good place to start)
4 medium sized apples, any variety
Juice from 1/2 lemon
In a juicer, on high, juice the ginger and the apples. Start by putting the ginger in first, so the apples will make sure to push it all through.
Squeeze in juice from a half of a lemon. Then pour in enough water to at least double the amount of juice.**
Transfer juice to a Nalgene bottle or another container and store in the refrigerator. Make up to 3 days in advance.