Gastrointestinal symptoms experienced by rugby players and the associated risk factors

  • Jones, Ben (PI)
  • Chantler, Sarah (CoI)
  • Davison, Glen (CoI)
  • Holliday, Adrian (CoI)
  • Crabtree, Daniel R (CoI)

Project Details

Layman's description

Gut health in athletes is being prioritized for its impact on wellbeing, illness risk, performance, recovery and other parts of health. A number of studies have shown that the majority of endurance athletes may experience gastrointestinal symptoms around training or competition. Gut cell damage has been found to increase with exposure to exercise. To date, there is no real data in rugby players around either of these outcomes.

We hypothesize that the contact based nature of rugby may increase the risk of gut cell damage and increase gut permeability compared to non contact exercise. This could increase damage to the gut lining which may be experienced by a player as symptoms such as loss of appetite, gastric pain, bloating, changes in bowel transit time, flatulence, nausea or vomiting. Secondly, there are dietary and medical factors that can influence gut health in both positive and negative ways. Therefore, it is important that we collect data on gut symptoms you may have experienced during the past season (or before) and which nutritional and medical factors may improve or impair the gut's response.
Effective start/end date1/06/202/09/21

Collaborative partners


  • gastrointestinal symptoms
  • appetite
  • rugby


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