If you’re an endurance idiot like me, odds are that you’ve done a long, pointless, awful event (or maybe several dozen of them) and ended the day with little more than an ill-fitting finisher’s t-shirt, a weird sunburn, and an urgent case of the squirts.
It would be easy to blame feed station contamination, especially if you foolishly stop to ponder how many other strange, snot-and-grease-coated hands have reached into that Costco tub of pretzels before you. Or, if you happen to be Greg LeMond on the 1986 Tour de France, you could blame it on a bad peach.
But odd are that it’s not the grub at all. According to the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (cuz if you can’t trust a Swede, who can you trust?), grueling, mindless torture and dehydration can cause the nerves in your gut to get wacky. This, in turn, can cause your gastroenteropancreatic hormones to go rogue, potentially resulting in delayed gastric emptying, abdominal cramps, and/or a bad case of mud-butt.
While I can’t speak for you runners and triathletes out there, I know firsthand that no right-minded cyclist would ever turn down an opportunity for grueling, mindless torture, so if you’d rather avoid doin’ the green apple dance every time you put the hammer down, work a lil’ harder at staying hydrated. Most of the time, one water bottle per hour (about 24 ounces) should work. If that doesn’t work, drink more next time! It might also behoove you to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs, since they can mess with your tummy too.