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Low FODMAP Fuel for Athletes

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Following a low FODMAP diet? Finding fuel for your workouts and sports can be tricky, here are some ideas for Low FODMAP fuel for athletes

Low fodmap fuel for athletes

If you have IBS or have chronic stomach problems, than you are no doubt familiar with the Low FODMAP diet. FODMAP is short for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, types of carbohydrates, starches, and sugars that are difficult to digest by people with IBS.

The Low FODMAP diet was created by the Monash University to help manage IBS and functional digestive disorders. The low FODMAP diet is one of the best ways to manage IBS.

Disclaimer: this post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to replace the advice of your medical professional. Seek medical advice before beginning a new exercise program or workout

I started going on a low FODMAP diet back in February to help me manage my IBS symptoms. It has helped me so far! I am not super strict with the diet since I already have quite a few dietary restrictions as it is, but I have been doing what I can when I can and things have improved.

After looking at the low FODMAP diet for IBS, and I really wanted to find some good carb and fuel sources for racing and training. I found that my go-to fuels had added fructose in them, so I had to find some new fueling options. Having a stomach ache during or after your run is no fun!

First off, here are some really good printable and accurate lists of FODMAPs:

Since carbohydrates are the most difficult to navigate on a Low FODMAP diet, my list is focused on carb-dense fuel options for athletes. Low FODMAP fuel for athletes:

Low FODMAP carb options (food based)

  • Waxy maize (not 100% on whether this is low FODMAP)
  • Lucuma powder
  • Potato
  • Maple syrup
  • Natural dextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Cane sugar
  • Coconut sugar
  • Sweet potato powder – in moderate amounts

I’m not 100% sure about whether waxy maize is low FODMAP or not, it doesn’t show up in many of the lists I have found. Corn is typically low FODMAP in moderate amounts so waxy maize should be safe.

Everything on the following lists also happen to be dairy-free and soy-free as well. I am not 100% sure about the Hammer protein products using whey or soy since I haven’t looked too closely at them.

Fuels Lower in FODMAPs

  • Ultima electrolyte powder – sugar free and sweetened with Stevia and lo han guo extract, and it has non-GMO maltodextrin and this isn’t fizzy, so no bloating, and no sorbitol. So far I have been loving the Ultima powder!
  • GU Chomps – the Gu Gels have fructose in them, but the Gu Chomps do not
  • Cocogo – cane sugar and some fruit juice (carbs + electrolytes). Note: coconut water powder is higher FODMAP, but may be tolerated better than fructose
  • Vega Pre-Workout Energizer (both regular and sugar-free) – in moderation: contains coconut sugar and brown rice syrup
  • E-Boost (both powder mix and shots) similar to Emergen-C, but it is sugar and fructose free. It seems bitter to me but I suspect that is from the green tea extract in it
  • Hammer Gel – no fructose and low sugar (2 grams)
  • Jelly Belly Sport Beans – cane juice and tapioca syrup
  • Clif Shots – cane sugar and maltodextrin
  • Clif Shot Bloks – cane sugar and maltodextrin

Fuels higher in FODMAPs

  • Emergen-C – fructose
  • KIND low sugar bars – honey and chicory fiber
  • Vega Energy Gel – dates
  • Larabars – dates
  • Hammer Fizz Electrolyte Tablets – sorbitol
  • Hammer Heed Drink Mix – no fructose and low sugar, but contains sorbitol
  • Gu Energy Gels – fructose
  • Honey Stinger products – honey
  • Power Gel – fructose
  • Gu Roctane Gel – fructose
  • Gu Electrolyte drink mix – fructose
  • Pocket fuel – depending on the flavor there may be honey (Chia Goji Honey). Hazelnuts and almonds are moderate in FODMAPs so don’t overdo it with these since they are almond butter and hazelnut butter based

Also note that certain fizzing electrolyte tablets can bother IBS symptoms a bit and cause bloating, so I avoid any electrolyte powders or tablets that fizz (like Nuun tablets, Hammer Fizz tablets, etc). Some of those tablets (like the Hammer drink tablets) contain sorbitol, a big problem for people with IBS.

* Dates are high FODMAP, so watch fuels with dates. Some people seem to tolerate them fine yet others don’t, so go with your gut on these (pun intended 😉 )

This list is by no means comprehensive: there are lots of fueling options out there that I don’t know about and I’m not a sports nutrition expert or low FODMAP diet expert, these are just some things I have found that work or don’t work for me personally. If you know of any other great fuel options that are low FODMAP friendly, please share! And if you see that I have made a mistake on one of these, let me know that, too 🙂

14 thoughts on “Low FODMAP Fuel for Athletes”

  1. Hi I have been fueling with Untapped maple syrup gels while training for races. Do you know how many low fodmap gels we can consume during a workout? I typically take a gel every 30 minutes but have been wary of taking more than two in a workout.

    • Hi Sesa, how many you take per hour is going to depend on a few things, like how long is the race that you’re doing? Are you including any other fuels as well (like carby drinks) or just the maple syrup gels? The biggest considerations with race fueling is practicing your fueling regime during training so you can adapt your GI system to your fueling routine ahead of time. If you have calculated your calorie and carb needs to be 1 gel every 30 minutes, you’ll want to try and stick with that during training runs to gauge how your GI system will do with that amount. This also helps acclimate your stomach to your chosen fuel before race day. So my biggest advice here is to experiment with how your stomach does sticking to the 1 gel/30 min routine over the course of a longer training run to see how you tolerate multiple gels in 1 hour. Every body reacts differently to this sort of thing, so you won’t know exactly what to expect on race day if you haven’t tried your entire fueling routine ahead of time.

      Visiting with a registered sports dietitian who specializes in special diets can also help! You might only have to meet with them once or twice to get some good tips for race fueling with IBS. They may also be able to recommend some new brands of low FODMAP gels or drinks that aren’t on our list yet!

    • Hi Paige! I don’t use the Vega protein powders due to my allergies, so I can’t really tell you whether they are low FODMAP or not. But you can look up their ingredient labels on their website and compare it to the foods in the Monash FODMAP app. I use that app to look through foods to see what is low, medium, or high FODMAP. They are always adding to that list, so it’s a good app to have!

  2. Just found this article after struggling through my last two marathons since going low fodmap. Some things that I can normally tolerate in small amounts but I’m a bit wary of trying them whilst racing/training long, so the list of alternative fuels is a great find for me. I’ll have to enter more races to try them out!

    • Definitely let me know what you find that works for you! I think there are some new products out there that I haven’t seen or tried yet, so if you come across some that work great for you, let us know 🙂

  3. Great page. But any print out list of foods is no longer good because it doesn’t update. Monash has had a crazy amount of updates recently including Apple, cherries, watermelon etc. it’s in sane And a lot of portions on other foods have changed

  4. Hi, I am brand new to low FODMAP foods. I saw that you have some Hammer products listed, do you know if Hammer’s perpetuem (orange vanilla) is a low fodmap option?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Jenn, I think that the Hammer Perpetuem is lower FODMAP, but maltodextrin (the first ingredient) is a gray area for FODMAPs, so I’m not 100% sure about it. You might need to give it a try and see how your body does with it.

      • Thank you SO MUCH for the feedback and truly, this page! I have a 100 milenride this week and just started working around FODMAP foods. This is really helpful! Thanks!


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