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How do Antibiotics Affect Running Performance?

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
March 17th 2023

Antibiotics. We’ve all likely taken them at some point to fight off a lingering sickness or to help control more serious infections like strep throat, ear infections or bladder infections.

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Hello, fellow runners. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. And this is the run to the top podcast, the podcast dedicated to making you a better runner with each and every episode we are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner and every budget antibiotics. We've all taken them at some point to fight off a lingering sickness or to help control more serious infections like strep throat, ear infections or bladder infections. But did you know that antibiotics might also negatively impact your running? In fact, taking antibiotics is often unknowingly the cause of poor race and training results. Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't be using antibiotics. You should always listen to your doctor. However, it does mean that you should be aware of what potential changes to your training and racing schedule you might need to make when taking them in today's episode.

Coach Rory and Dylan are going to discuss what you need to look out for when taking antibiotics and how to safely modify your training. Should you need them. If you're looking for one of the best ways to increase focus and performance during your long runs and workouts, you'll love perform from the Amino Company. I'll tell you more about them later in this episode. Or you can check out the research at amino co dot com backslash R T T T. If you're looking for better and safer headphones while you run, then you need to check out the dance there. Open your design delivers premium sound while still allowing you to hear your surroundings to stay safe. I'll tell you more about them later in this episode. But if you're looking for a great gift for the runner in your family, head to Ola dance dot com. Backslash R T T T. Hi guys and welcome back to another episode of up tempo talks brought to you by runners connect. I'm coach Dylan Bellas. I'm coach Roy Moynahan. Today we're going to talk to you about antibiotics. So this was something that recently popped up with me because I had to do a little bit of research mainly because I'm currently taking amoxicillin every day.

So I wanted to know, hey, does this like with any drug that I have to take? Is this going to affect my running? And I had heard over the years or through different message boards and whatnot articles saying how antibiotics can definitely affect how you're feeling mainly because it's, it's killing off all your bacteria, whether that's good or bad to help take care of that bacterial infection. And we're kind of getting to the time of year now where that's becoming more common. You know, we're getting kids and adults when with strep throat, ear infections, you know, I have a tooth issues. So this is something that, you know, a lot of us have to go through. So chances are a lot of us have been on antibiotics at some point in time, especially when we're training for something vigorous. So I wanted to talk about some of the effects that taking these medications essentially have on us. So, like I said, they kill off good and bad bacteria. What are some of the, why did, why, what are some of the reasons why or some of the effects of killing off bacteria have on us?

Roy? Yeah. So first I wonder if I don't think you mentioned, but it's probably the most commonly prescribed one. That's correct. Yeah. So first of all, I think it's kind of funny that when runners go to the doctor, that's like the first thing they're going to be concerned about a lot of other people like, hey, how does this medication affect my alcohol consumption or other things? So obviously, so critical. Uh So among like just the generic side effects are gonna be nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, potentially yeast infections. So what's gonna be most problematic for runners would be that sense of fatigue? Right? So taking the edge off workouts. And of course, of course, when you, you fall ill it's never ideal timing. But, but let's say it's, um, you know, it happens to be in the middle of the week and you have a hard workout coming up. I know we kind of discussed this. It depends how you're feeling and what stage you're, you know, you know, you are in terms of like taking the medication. So, if you have like a 21 day supply, is that basically you're taking, taking?

Okay. So I have 21, 20 one. Yeah, exactly. So obviously you may feel better at the tail end of it versus the very beginning. So I think it would be important to discuss. How are you gonna approach your training? Let's say you have a hard workout midweek. You're taking amoxicillin for your toothache. How do you adjust? Do you adjust? Yeah, absolutely. I, so I'm definitely adjusting. So I'm not running any workouts this week just because, you know, among, among many other things, I do feel a little bit more tired. It hasn't become anything that's been incredibly depressing or really even that noticeable. I'm sure I could continue to go on, but I just decided that I'm not even gonna risk it. I'm just gonna go ahead and run some easy miles this week and not even worry about it. But I think for some of us, like, we're in that point in time where we, maybe we can't make that happen or we have to make adjustments versus kind of curb those, those workouts. Now, obviously, if it's Race week, it's, it's really tough. You know, you're gonna have to kind of stick it through mentally to believe that it's not causing you any, you know, troubling issues.

But, you know, personally, for myself, I haven't had any issues with the nausea, diarrhea, any of that stuff. So that's good. They recommend that you take it with, with meals and whatnot just to kind of help curb that nausea. But back to your question, you know, if we are going to have to take these medications, how should we adjust? I do recommend that most people try to go ahead and go on with their workouts. But know that if they're feeling overwhelmingly tired and to scale back and just go and get your easy miles in or have to adjust the workout, don't expect too much from, you know, your workouts the week that you're taking these antibiotics, but just know that you can go ahead and you can do your workout and you're not gonna be causing really any damage by doing so. But if you do feel tired or it's overwhelming, having stomach issues, it's probably better to just go for an easy run or cut that a little bit short that week. Yeah, I think it'd be miserable to kind of push through like many runners.

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Just head to amino co dot com backslash R T T T. That's A M I N O C O dot com backslash R T T T and use the code RC 30 at checkout to save 30% when you're running outdoors, hearing your surroundings like traffic and other runners around you is critical to staying safe and healthy. But listening to your favorite podcast or music can also be essential to staying motivated and enjoying those long miles. That's why we're excited to partner with Ola Dance premium headphones designed specifically with runners in mind. The unique design of their headphones allows you to listen to your favorite music and podcast while running. Yet, still hear everything going on around you so you can stay safe. But my favorite part is that they're open ear design means your ears will never get tired or fatigued even after two hours or more of listening. And that makes them perfect for those super long runs.

Plus their dynamic driver is three times bigger than most headphones which allows them to deliver superior sound while still being comfortable. So if you're looking for better and safer headphones while you run, there's no better choice than Ola Dance to help you out. We've locked in a special deal with Hula Dance for runners connect listeners, just visit Ola dance dot com backslash R T T T and use the code T O P to save 20% on your purchase. That's O L A D A N C E dot com, backslash R T T T to save 20%. And then I just want to add on, let's say so you have a race, you know, you're signed up, maybe it's a date that can't be moved. I guess one thing that could just help from a psychological perspective would be knowing for the most part. Um It's a matter of your perception of fatigue, so you still are capable of a good performance. You may have to push a little bit more and you, you know, push on the gas and just to him that same pace, but you can still run well.

But, yeah, it's kind of measuring expectations as well. Yeah, it's one of those things where if, if you talk yourself out of it, you're gonna talk yourself out of it. So it's better to gonna go into it with a clean slate versus thinking I'm gonna be worse because of this. So, you know, back to some of the research on what I was looking into when we were getting ready for this podcast, I couldn't really find an exact reason why it causes that excess fatigue, tiredness, bad workouts, whatnot. But they think that it's associated with just killing off your, your gut flora. I mean, that controls so much and your energy, your mood, a lot of your serotonin is built in your gut. So if everything's getting wiped out there, that can affect a lot of different things, including your daily energy fatigue, you know, ability to push through those workouts. So it's interesting, but there are some ways that we can help combat this. So one thing you can do is add probiotics. I know about you, but I like a nice kombucha every now and then.

That could be something that can be um any type of fermented vegetables and whatnot for anything that's like fermented, is gonna have good healthy, you know, probiotics in it that can help, you know, kick back up that recreation of the gut flora because again, you're wiping everything out, you want to make sure that that's taken care of. Again, the good news is that can regenerate. Although I believe I've heard some studies saying that the more rounds of antibiotics you take, the harder it is to, to return to those previous levels. So, yeah, but again, if you're being prescribed it, you gotta take it. I'm not sure you have another. Yeah, I mean, there's a couple other things you can help too. So I mean, if you can have the probiotics, but you can also add, increase the amount of fiber you take, you can even take like a fiber supplement that can also help as well as adding vitamin C. So the vitamin C is more for the help prevent liver toxicity. So if you're taking it for a long period of time, I would recommend getting a supplement, vitamin C there.

But for a week you're probably not causing any real damage to your liver, I'd imagine. Yeah, I mean, it's, there's a lot, it's just your gut control so much, right? And that's going to, that's going to affect your running every single time. So there is one class of antibiotics that I wanted to mention before we wrapped everything up today. And the reason I want to mention it is because it's very, very important when it comes into relation to our running street training, daily living and this class is called fluoroquinolones. Often these get prescribed for things like U T I s and the big issue with this class of antibiotics is that it can weaken your tendons, basically allowing, causing you to have a greater risk of rupture. So if you ever prescribed this type of antibiotic, be very careful and I would not be running or doing any type of explosive work on it just because of the damage that it can cause, not worth the risk.

Right. So, it's something good to know. I didn't know before a couple, a couple of weeks ago when one of our athletes actually brought it up on the runners connect stream and I looked into it. I was like, wow, I can't believe, like, I wonder how many people are taking these and have no clue. Most people will probably be okay, but regardless it's important to know and make sure that you're taking the necessary precautions so that you don't find yourself in an unfortunate situation. And now speaking of, you know, viewers listeners, runners connect athletes trimming in if you've taken something yourself or had experienced antibiotics or maybe gotten recommendations from doctors. I know not every doctor as an athlete themselves, but some people go out of their way to find a professional who has that running backgrounds and maybe they gave you some good insight that could be helpful for adjusting your training. Yeah. Yeah. So let us know if you had any experience with antibiotics and how that affected your performance. Maybe it's something you even realize, maybe just had a bad week, one week and didn't, you know, put A and B together.

I'm sure I've had those. I can't tell you how many times I've had to take amoxicillin and didn't even think twice of it. So let us know what you guys think. Letting us know if you have any experience with anything that we've talked about today or have anything to add. Obviously, we would love to hear that, but that's our steel today on antibiotics. I hope that this was helpful for you and just getting a little bit more basic knowledge when it comes to how that can affect your running. So we'll see you guys next week. This is coach Dylan Bellis, this coach Roy Moynahan and you are listening to up tempo talks. Have a great run today. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. As always our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on Instagram at Wasatch Finn and the rest of our team at runners connect dot net. Also consider supporting our show for free with a raid on the Spotify and Apple podcast players. And lastly, if you love the show and want bonus content behind the scenes, experiences with our guests in premier access to contests and giveaways, then subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast.

Until next time. Happy training.

How do Antibiotics Affect Running Performance?
How do Antibiotics Affect Running Performance?
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