Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Swimming Got You Gassy?

Just like Raging Crotch, Swimmer's Stomach, as we like to call it, is a little talked about subject. Because, well, it stinks.

Do you ever get out of the pool after a hard workout, only to be greeted by an unfriendly bubble in your belly that will only go away after a few hours of embarrassing burping or flatulence? After living with this problem for some time, and hiding out in a cubicle for the first two hours of work, praying nobody will ask you a question and accidentally stumble upon your secret secretions, it's time to think about a solution.

What Causes Swimmer's Stomach?

According to a post on the Gastroenterology Support Forum, when you swim hard, you regulate your breathing. Air comes in in big gulps, and goes out much more slowly. You might even hold a breath to race to the finish faster and more efficiently. That's all fine and dandy. What happens later to some people isn't something to be as proud about as finishing that last tight interval in time.

What happens to these monster gulps? The extra air goes into the stomach. That's right. Because the next time you need to gulp, your lungs need to be ready for it. Thus, you get a nice tummy bubble moving along your intestinal tract. But to relieve you of passing a giant gassy bubble, your kind and efficient body will break it down into several little bubbles. So instead of ripping one big one once you get out of the pool, and being done with Swimmer's Stomach, you get to eek it out over the next couple of hours at your big meeting with the boss man.


How Can Swimmer's Stomach Be Stopped?

Don't breathe so darn much! While you might be cruising along, enjoying your face full of air after every 2 strokes, you might also be setting yourself up for a post-swim swell up. On the other hand, if you're doing breathing drills and breathing less frequently, you might be prone to taking in bigger gasps of air, flooding the stomach with air as well.

So what to do? The benefits of swimming far outweigh the potential for getting Swimmer's Stomach. Swimming makes you leaner, stronger, sexier, and comfortable wearing next to nothing in large groups of people. (Whether that's good or bad, we don't know. But it's a fact.)

Some practical solutions: Get a job 2 hours away from swim practice so the only people who'll know about your issues are you, your car, and the morning radio DJ. OR, swim at night, so the only person who'll have to deal with it later is your spouse. And hey, he/she married you for better or worse, right? We're sure they'll take a little flatulence along with the rest of your athletic and motivated package.

So dive in! And don't worry. You're not the only one who experiences Swimmer's Stomach!

No comments:

Post a Comment