Exercise Induced Heartburn
Exercise is one of the many common triggers of heartburn. Depending on the type of exercise, the food you eat before or after exercising and your personal body chemistry, the effects of heartburn can vary. While you may experience heartburn for a variety of reasons other than exercise—specific foods, large meals, alcohol—any one cause may affect you differently than someone else.
Causes of Exercise Induced Heartburn
- Certain foods—particularly acidic or spicy foods, or drinks like sodas and alcohol—already increase your risk of experiencing reflux, so they should be avoided before, during and after exercise.
- Certain types of workouts, such as ones that require you to lie on your back, involve a lot of bouncing, or put tension on the stomach or chest, can increase your chances of experiencing symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Already being predisposed to heartburn, whether you have GERD or suffer from frequent cases of heartburn, may be reason enough for you to suffer from heartburn after exercising.
Again, these causes may not trigger heartburn for you. In fact, you may be able to eat a spicy sandwich and then go for a run without having any sort of reaction, but your body may react poorly to a different food or a different exercise routine. It’s important to know what triggers exercise induced heartburn for you. Experimenting with foods or asking your acid reflux doctor about problem foods can help you figure out which ones may cause you aggravation.
Ways to Prevent Exercise Induced Heartburn
- Drinking plenty of water before, during and after exercising helps with digestion and keeps you hydrated.
- Find the right exercise routine for you. If running outdoors seems to trigger heartburn, try using a stationary device (i.e. treadmill or standing bike) for your cardio workout.
- Speak to your acid reflux doctor about medication you can take prior to exercise to prevent heartburn, such as an over-the-counter H2 Receptor Antagonist.
- Figure out what foods trigger exercise induced heartburn for you, and either avoid eating them prior to working out or wait at least two hours after eating them before beginning your exercise routine.