How to deal with runner’s side stitch

This one goes out to all my fellow runners out there!

How many of you have experienced the dreaded side stitch? I personally would rather have aching, sore legs during an entire run than experience a side stitch. I can push through sore legs. Side stitch? Not so much.

If you’re not familiar with the trendy name for a side cramp, it’s pretty much an aching, sharp, stabbing pain in your abdomen, just below your ribs. According to runnersconnect.net, a few survey-based studies on runners and other athletes who develop side stitches in an athletic event have established that eating a large meal or drinking concentrated, sugary fluids like fruit juice close to the time of the competition will increase your risk of developing a stitch.1 In addition, dehydration and inadequate electrolyte concentrations are also known to contribute to muscle cramping and side stitches.2,3

So how can we deal with them?

First thing, we need to prevent side stitches from occurring, or at least decrease our chances of getting them. This can be done by ensuring proper hydration by drinking enough water the day BEFORE your run and the hours leading up to your run. Don’t think you can skimp out on proper hydration the day before a workout. A fit lifestyle is a cycle and everyday will contribute to your workout performance. The day before a workout, the day of, and the day after are all equally important. So, make sure you’re consuming enough water on a daily basis.

Latest recommendations suggest letting thirst be your guide: if thirsty, drink (exceptions include infants, vigorously exercising athletes, hospitalized patients, and the sick and elderly, who may have diminished thirst sensations). I get a lot of my fluid needs by eating a whole foods diet that is very high in water content (lots of fruits and veggies plus orange juice and coconut water), but sipping on water throughout the day is not a very good habit of mine. I have to consciously make an effort. Plus there are days where my fruit/vegetable intake might not be as high, so I have to make sure to increase actual water intake. Do what works best for you!

One thing is for sure, if you find yourself craving fruit, soda, or other high sugar beverages, YOU ARE DEHYDRATED! Use that willpower of yours and down a glass of water before you take a sip of soda. Trust me, you will notice a difference immediately.

Second, electrolytes are some of the minerals needed in our diet which can also prevent cramping and side stitches from occurring. My personal go-to for electrolytes is coconut water; this way I’m hydrating and getting electrolytes at the same time. Proper hydration with electrolytes maintains the blood’s light viscous flow, increasing the amount the heart can pump and improving performance through heartbeat efficiency and smooth, concise, yet strong muscle contractions.3 Include coconut water, dark leafy greens and other veggies, beans, nuts/seeds, fruit, and use sea salt (refined salt has it’s minerals stripped!) to ensure you’re getting enough minerals in your diet and therefore proper electrolytes. If you’re eating a whole food diet that is naturally low in sodium, do not be afraid of using sea salt in your food, sodium is an essential nutrient/electrolyte (this varies with certain population such as those with chronic kidney disease; e-mail me if you need help determining your sodium level).

In addition to preparing (and recovering) from a run or workout, proper fueling during the run/workout is also an effective way of preventing side stitches. This is especially important for a workout lasting more than an hour, but for some individuals proper hydration for even a 30 minute run is essential. This is especially true for those of us running in really hot, humid conditions (hello Florida!). This also varies among the individual, the duration, and intensity of the workout. Some people like to sip on Gatorade during a workout because of the added electrolytes, but there are some waters (Smart Water) or Vega’s electrolyte hydrator powder that can be used during your workout.

Last but not least, there are additional measures that can prevent side stitches other than nutrition. Warming up (rather than going into a full-on sprint or jog right away) can also help. This allows you to gradually increase your intensity and gently bring up your heart rate, enabling you to focus on your breathing technique. Short, shallow breaths can contribute to a side stitch.

Next time you find yourself with the dreaded side stitch, focus on taking deep, long breaths. This may sound cheesy, but I like to focus on the area that’s hurting while I’m taking a deep breath as if I’m directing oxygen to the area and healing the stitch. (I’m not crazy, try it.) As frustrating as this is, you can also stop running so that you can bend your torso in the opposite direction of the pain, holding this position for 30 to 60 seconds. I guess preventing a side stitch from occurring is ideal. But the good thing is that you can overcome a side stitch during a run. 

Do you have any personal methods or recommendations to dealing with a side stitch?

  1. https://runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/side-stitches-abdominal-pain-causes-and-treatments/.
  2. Nutrition for Sport and Exercise; Marie Dunford and J. Andrew Doyle.
  3. Thrive Fitness; Brendan brazier: pg 159-160.

Ultimate Running Playlist

playlist

It has been becoming more frequent that I listen to music while I go for my runs. Generally, I enjoy a no-fuss workout, just putting on my running outfit, grabbing my sunglasses and out the door. But when you increase your miles you need things like gels, an i.d., and sometimes a little music motivation to keep you running.  (I recently bought this running belt that fits my entire phone, keys, and a gel pack. It’s amazing!).

That being said I still try to run without music sometimes because I enjoy listening to the world around me, hearing myself breathe and making sure I am alert with any cars or traffic going on. BUT, like I said, I have been enjoying the music as well. So over the past few months or so I have been compiling a “running playlist” that I think others will enjoy. Obviously this playlist can be used for any type of workout. I promise, it gets you pumped! I had to go through my songs while typing this list up, and I am ready to workout right now.

  1. I Got U (feat. Jax Jones), Duke Dumont
  2. Love for you, Kove
  3. Jubel (original mix), Klingande
  4. Running (Disclosure remix), Jessie Ware
  5. Cinema (feat. Gary Go)[Radio Edit], Benny Benassi & Garry Go
  6. Firestone (feat. Conrad Sewell), Kygo
  7. Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better), Felix Jaehn
  8. My Love, Route 94
  9. My feelings for you (original mix), Avicii
  10. Bootleg Fireworks (The Rebirth), Dillon Francis
  11. Faded, Zhu
  12. Streamers, Wave Racer
  13. Gold (Moon Booths Remix), Bondax
  14. Long Time (Benny Benassi Edit), John de Sohn
  15. Gecko (radio edit), Oliver Heldens
  16. Thinking about you (feat. Ayah Marar)
  17. Animaux, Kidnap Kid
  18. Lean On (feat. MO & DJ Snake), Major Lazer
  19. You Know You Like It, DJ Snake & Aluna George
  20. Revolution (feat. Faustix & Imanos And Kai), Diplo
  21. Okay, Shiba San
  22. Blame (feat. John Newman), Calvin Harris
  23. Electric Feel, MGMT
  24. I will be here (feat. sneaky sound system), Tiesto
  25. Lost You (feat. Twin Shadow & D’Angelo Lacy, Zeds Dead

I tried to put my most favorites at the top and my least favorites near the bottom… but it was hard. Regardless, I hope you enjoy most of these songs and add them to your workout playlist repertoire!  Let me know what you think.

Now go workout!!

legs

 

Sexy Fit Vegan

I am a new member of Sexy Fit Vegan! Check out Ella and her website, which includes recipes, educational tools, resources, and even an ebook on how to transition to a vegan diet. She’s all about fitness and a healthy plant-based diet and lifestyle. She’s awesome!

http://www.sexyfitvegan.com

COVER-6x9-April-2015

Another 5k!

This past Saturday I did another 5k! Proud to be a plant-based runner. 🙂

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And it was a beautiful day on Sunday here in Miami.

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Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

This article caught my attention because my boyfriend Taylor seems to get acid reflux and heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux) quite easily. It’s pretty awesome actually, because he doesn’t get them as much anymore since we moved in together, and I’m sure it’s because I cook for him most of the time. Any time he eats something fatty and non-vegan he gets a stomach ache or acid reflux! Just goes to show you how powerful diet is. I have never experienced heartburn, and if I ever experienced acid reflux it hasn’t been in the last 10 years at least. And that’s why these natural remedies are pretty awesome, no medication or foreign chemicals your body won’t appreciate.

“5 Home Remedies for Acid Reflux-that work”

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Lemon
  3. Ginger
  4. Aloe Vera
  5. Enzymes

These all help with digestion, are anti-inflammatory, and alkaline-forming. You can read more in depth about these natural remedies here. *In addition to natural remedies, it’s just as important (if not more!) on focusing on prevention as well. It’s important to figure out the foods that give you heartburn and acid reflux so you can better prepare yourself in the future. Taking notice of how our bodies react to the foods we eat demonstrates conscious living, and that alone is a wonderful achievement.

Here’s Taylor and I at a Slightly Stoopid concert this past August.

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Do any of you frequently experience acid reflux or heartburn? And what do you normally do to treat them?

I’m back and I missed you all!

It’s been a long time my friends! [My blog is formerly known as Euphoria Via Health, remember me now?] Plant-Based Strong is my new journey! I have been doing a lot since my last post. For one thing, I have been taking prerequisites so I can start the Masters program in Dietetics and Nutrition (15 classes to be exact–and it is taking forever!). I find all of this time and dedication to taking basic courses well worth it because I am on my journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian. (I really can’t complain about the time and work going into this degree, because those in law and medical school will probably laugh at me.) I have much to do in the next few years, but I have nothing but excitement regarding this goal. In addition to my Master’s, I am studying to become a certified Health Coach, and this is something I will be able to do while I am school. I will keep you all posted about when I take the exam and when I will be offering services.

Oh! By the way, I finally finished my website, although I will not be publishing and sharing until I have taken my certification exam (don’t worry-this is going to be very soon!). I hope all of you have been well and enjoy some of the changes I have made to my blog. I need to catch up and post some new recipes.

Did I mention I also moved to Miami?!

ph1oto

Cheers! 🙂

MIA again..but not Forgotten

Every time school starts up I tend to forget about my good friend WordPress. Not only that, I decided to take on a part time job which just recently opened this week, so we have been doing a lot of training. I have been busy busy busy. And also starting to fall behind in school. It doesn’t help that on Monday we had to put down our almost 15 year old dog, Brandy :(. I miss her every second of the day. Needless to say I was a little less motivated for school work this week. By today though I have cheered up a lot, probably because I was around a lot of good fun people at work. I am not beating myself up over a little slacking because I know things will clear up before I realize it. Here are some photos though, as always. 🙂

photo 1Appreciating the beauty in life.

photo 2Smoothie made with coffee! A real treat.

photo 5Releasing those endorphins 🙂

photo 4Looking good I must say, huh?

ph oto 3Brandy and I on Monday : <3

photeo 1By the way, the new place I work at is a cold pressed juicing cafe which sells fresh organic juice, smoothies, acai bowls and some raw vegan food items. If you know me or read my blog often, you know this place is right up my alley. I truly believe one of the best things a person can do in their life for their soul is to follow their passion. This is what I am trying to do, and it feels right. The photo above was taken today of all our beautiful delicious juice!

photeeo 2Cheers! Go get your fitness on, 🙂