A study by Monash University in Australia indicates that high-intensity exercise may actually lead to bowel damage. The study shows that blood flow is often redistributed to other areas, leaving the cells in the gut to become injured. Both the duration and intensity of exercise impacted the risk of impaired gut function and injury. This issue has been named exercise- induced gastrointestinal syndrome and has been the subject of a number of previous studies. The researchers looked at eight of these studies while conducting research.
According to the data, those who do high-intensity exercise are not necessarily damaging their gut if they exercise in moderation. Continuous, intense exercise for more than two hours, however, can lead to gut damage. Those with or related disorders may have a lower threshold. The key appears to be heat stress. The inflammation of the gut damages the lining and can lead to leaky gut.
These findings were published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics on June 16, 2017.