Peeing While Running | Causes and Solutions

POTTY BREAKS!!! Had a great question about peeing while running which I think could help a lot of runners!

“WHY do I need to pee during my runs almost right away, even after going before I leave the house?”

Ladies take heart, you are not alone if this issues has cropped up for you! From childbirth to other daily habits, there are things that could be causing it and potential resolutions!

Why do I Pee My Pants When I Run?

Whether you have stress incontinence which is something like you cough and whoops leak a little or urge incontinence which is more like thinking you always need to go, there are things that can help!

  • Pelvic Floor Strength
  • Hydration Levels
  • Caffeine or Pre-Workout Drinks
  • Bladder Training

Pelvic Floor Strength

Leaking while running is super common for women after babies. Pelvic floor exercises are a big way to help start retraining that hold it in tool set (along with core and hip and glute, all working together).


Being dehydrated and overhydrated are both an issue.

  • Try creating habits that help you sip water all day long.
  • Don’t feel like you must drink a ton while running as long as you start out hydrated.
  • Be careful with sports drinks. Too much sugar actually causes bloating, which will create that feeling of needing to pee.


Caffeine is a diuretic. So if you are using a pre-workout or not used to much caffeine this is a possible culprit.

  • Understand how caffeine effects you
  • Caffeine has a 45 minute peak, so that could be the point it hits you hardest and creates the urge to go
  • Stimulants in pre-workout drinks can have that same impact, so start with very small doses
  • See if you can slowly lower the amount of caffeine you drink prior to runs if it’s currently a habit

Bladder Irritating Foods

We often talk about foods that upset our stomachs, but there are foods that also irritate the bladder. A few foods to watch out for and see if they might be the cause of your need to pee while running:

  • “acidic” foods or beverages
  • carbonated water
  • Grapefruit, lemon, oranges
  • Spicy foods, chili, hot peppers
  • Artificial sweeteners

Meanwhile other foods are actually considered soothers!

  • bananas – I often recommend these to runners because it also soothes the stomach
  • potatoes – another great running fuel option
  • oats
  • melon, raisins, watermelon

Bladder training

Don’t laugh, this is literally me! I realized working at home I get up and go pee A LOT. Probably just to do something and the result is having trained my bladder to only hold little amounts of liquid.

I have been consciously going less and already working wonders.

According to Janet Yiu DPT here some normal bladder functions:

  • Pee every three hours: pee “drips” into the bladder at a constant rate which gets full after ~3 hour.
  • Eight seconds long: The bladder approximately contains 8 “Mississippi” seconds of pee.
  • Wake up just once at night: Hormones slow the bladder filling so you really only should wake 1x max to pee.
  • Don’t push it out: Don’t force it! The bladder lets pee out when the pelvic floor muscles relax.
  • Don’t stop early: Let it all out so the bladder can signal to the brain it’s “empty”
  • There will always be some residual. : There’s always from pee left sitting in the bladder which is normal.

Another tip from some runners is utilizing a tampon to provide bladder support. Obviously it’s not catching urine, but it puts pressure on the urethra in order to control urinary leakage during physical stress such as walking or running.

Let go of Embarrassment

Of course, no one wants to deal with this, but you truly aren’t alone! I’m not a mom, so it’s an issue that thus far has passed me by. But as a coach, I can say I’ve talked to many runners trying to deal with bathroom issues on the run.

PLUSSSSSS… you know how many tights end up looking like we’ve peed just from sweat?!

Ya, far too many.

So trust me, no one but you knows it’s more than sweat.

Whether it’s runner’s diarrhea or even the chafing in unmentionable places, these runner issues are common.

If you have any tips that have also worked for you or others, feel free to share and help out a fellow runner struggling with peeing while running!

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Peeing While Running | Causes and Solutions is written by amanda for

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