Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Thessaly, Greece
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In our time, the positive contribution of exercise to health is confirmed. However, negative effects have also been reported. This study tries to clarify the field about the effect of exercise on the gastrointestinal system and the role of nutrition. To achieve this, research has been done on scientific databases. Several keyword combinations were used and the papers identified were categorized. The findings were presented at the level of mechanisms, at the level of symptoms and finally at the level of diseases. Positive effects have been found in colon cancers of gastric cancer in gallstones, inflammatory bowel disease, diverticular disease and constipation. In terms of symptoms, exercise induces gastroesophageal reflux, transient, abdominal pain, bleeding, nausea and vomiting. In diseases, exercise affects peptic ulcer, liver disease, and is associated with abdominal trauma and eating disorders. Specific symptoms of gastrointestinal tract can be avoided if the athlete doesn’t eat 30 minutes before exercise. Hypertonic fluids cause severe symptoms and high fiber may cause vomiting. Therefore, the knowledge of these elements is important and useful in designing exercise programs with the least negative health effects.
Keywords: exercise; gastrointestinal system; nutrition; diet; effect.