Sports on SCD

Background Story:

I’ve had UC since mid 2009, have been to hospital 3 times, and have not had much success with the various drugs I’ve been on. I’ve been on SCD for about 3 months (and for 6 months bfore that, but without doing the intro properly) and have found that to be a big help.

The Question:

I’ve got a week of really intense karate training coming up, and I’m wondering if anyone has any advice for how to do massive amounts of exercise on SCD – what and how much to eat. I’ve written a blog post explaining what my plans are so far (

I’ve done a fair bit of reading on sports nutrition, but because it’s all based on a carb-eating diet, it’s hard to know if I’m on the right track, so if anyone has any feedback, I’d love to hear from you.


Amazon Stuff from this post:

Breaking the Vicious Cycle: The SCD Diet Book


5 thoughts on “Sports on SCD”

  1. Hey Catherine, I wanted to write, but first I should tell you I have Crohn’s, not uc, but I did run my first half marathon in June of 2010 and I trained with Team Challenge and my whole team either had UC or Crohn’s (Adam did the race also!). Since I don’t eat wheat–I remember the few days before leading up to the race and all the books and on the web it says to carbo-load with pasta, etc.–I was happy to see the night before our race in Boston last year that there was a HUGE area set up for gluten-free runners :) I was so happy! It was pretty bad food, but edible and stayed in your gut before the big day. Then, race morning, I had some tea in the morning, basically nothing but water while I ran, and I packed some energy bars that I know I can tolerate. They were handing out the stuff called goo or whatever it was called, and I did not eat that since I didn’t think it was SCD-food at all!

    Remember, glycogen is what gives you energy in the muscles and come from carbs–so you want to eat complex carbohydrates especially…(note: sugar is a simple carbohydrate and the candy energy bars give you short-term energy boosts). I am thinking you probably know this, but these comoplex carbohydrates are what help your body produce glycogen, without which you will become tired during your race or karate tournament…. Veggies are a good source of complex carbs–and many are okay on the diet! So maybe a veggie lasagna the night before made wheat-free, but with veggies as the main course–a veggie casserole more like it with added protein (you will need this a bit more when training).

    There is a rule of thumb among runners I have heard of that you need to cut back on fat and sugars (obviously!), and increase carbs (60%) and proteins (25%) and fat (15%)–but everyone is different and body weight affects this formula. Also, take a good multi-vitamin for sure! and you may need extra zinc and magnesium. I hope this helps! I think exercise is a huge help for keeping uc and Crohn’s in remission. I basically try to “break a sweat” every day… I also follow Hal Higdon’s half marathon training on the website…it is a great way to have a schedule and follow it-with one rest day a week. It starts slow and builds up :)

    Good luck! Write back if you want more research…. I bet some other folks, like Reid, and Adam, will have some ideas for you!

    Make sure you are well-hydrated!

  2. Hey, thanks Dede. That sounds really cool.

    I learnt the hydration lesson the hard way about 7 years ago – I lost 4kg across the week of training, and it was almost totally in fluids. I’m a big fan of the SCD electrolyte drink, even though it isn’t very tasty.

    Veggies are a big part of my plan. I eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days anyway, so that’s not too hard. Multi vitamin is a good idea.

    Did you do anything special while you were training to keep your energy levels up?

    Thanks again,


  3. I would read the “Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf. The diet is no different from SCD and it will help you understand the science behind getting energy for work outs with out any kind grains, even the “good” ones such as brown rice…..

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