The Real Reason Why You Need to Poop on a Run

Don't be caught mid-run by a bathroom surprise.

running
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Be on the lookout, because there’s a Mad Pooper on the loose in Colorado.


According to authorities in Pine Creek, Colorado, a woman has been spotted, ahem, doing a number two in the middle of her run, KKTV reports, and neighbors are staying vigilant to catch the pooper who has been dropping surprises on people’s yards.

As shocking as it sounds, this viral news story has taken the running community by storm and there’s a reason why so many others can relate to her plight. It turns out, pooping on a run is not all that unusual.

A study published in the International SportMed Journal shows that 30 to 83 percent of runners are suffering gastrointestinal problems and need to use the bathroom during, or immediately after, their run. Dubbed “runner’s diarrhea,” it happens because as you run and consistently move your body, the organs shift and your gastrointestinal track moves, giving you the immediate urge to find a port-a-potty or park bathroom.

While you can’t exactly prevent your body from wanting to, well, push out the unwanted waste, you can do something to help prevent it in the first place.

Nix the high-fiber foods. Foods high in fiber are well known for easing the digestion process (read: they make you want to poop), so avoid those in the hours before running.

Drink more water. Staying hydrated during a workout can not only help your muscles recover faster, but it can help prevent diarrhea during or after your cool down is finished.

Listening to your body is key. Pay attention to how different foods affect your bowel movements, especially noting how certain pre-run meals alter your performance, and need to go.

And it might not be a bad idea to carry a little spare tissue on your outdoor jog. And maybe know where to find the nearest bathroom. Your neighbor’s lawn isn’t it.