Is it just imaginary, or does running really increase your need to take a leak?

Have you ever noticed that you seem to have to urinate more when you’re running, whether it’s outdoors or on a treadmill? There are a few explanations for this.

The first one comes from Marc I. Leavey, MD, a primary care physician with 40-plus years of experience, who blogs at STRING OF MEDICAL PEARLS.

He explains, “The act of running, itself, can cause pressure or shifting of abdominal or pelvic organs, putting pressure on the bladder, with the results that cause a pause.”

The second explanation is that while exercising, you’re guzzling more water than you think you are, and hence, you eventually have to relieve yourself before the workout is completed.

A third explanation is that you actually don’t have to relieve yourself any more frequently when you run, but rather, you’re more sensitive to even just a little urine buildup in your bladder when you’re doing any kind of impact activity—of which running is one.

In other words, it’s very important to you to be as comfortable as possible when doing aerobic exercise. So even a tiny bit of urine in your bladder will get your attention—the same amount that would go ignored if you were sitting at a computer.