Tips to Help You If You Experience Heartburn During ExercisePosted: Dec 17 in Health And Wellness by Dr. Lazarus
You might expect a little heartburn after a rich, spicy meal. It’s possible to experience a burning in the chest and the throat in the middle of a workout, as well, however. If this happens to you, you should know that you aren’t alone. Many athletes tend to experience the problem; some people tend to be more prone than others.
Heartburn during workouts occurs through the same physiological mechanism seen in regular acid reflux. The causes change from food to exercise, however. In both cases, the lower esophageal sphincter, that separates the stomach, from the esophagus loosens up. It allows stomach acid to enter the food pipe.
Some foods can raise the risk of heartburn during exercise
While spicy or greasy foods may cause heartburn, you don’t need such causes when exercise is part of the mix. When you work out shortly after a meal that is high in fiber, you can experience some constipation, and put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which can lead to heartburn.
In general, if you tend to experience heartburn while you work out, you need to put more time between your meals and your workouts. Giving yourself two hours after a meal is a good idea. It can also help to pay attention to the carbohydrates in your meal. Foods rich in carbohydrates often increase the risk of heartburn during exercise.
What else can you do to prevent heartburn during exercise?
If you can’t put two hours between your meals and your workouts, it’s important to at least be gradual in the way you raise the intensity of your exercise. It’s also important to pay attention to understanding what specific exercises send stomach acid into your food pipe. Whether it happens during the bench press or abdominal crunches, you need to pay attention and make sure that you move the exercises that aggravate the condition to the end of your workout so that you give yourself time to digest your meal.
In general, workouts that involve running, jumping, and lying down, put you at greater risk of heartburn than exercises that don’t involve these motions or positions.
Drinking enough water can help you calm your digestive system, as well. At least one study has indicated that sports drinks can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Plain water, on the other hand, helps.
Finally, if you experience more than one episode of heartburn in a week, you should consider using over-the-counter medications for heartburn before you work out. Drugs such as proton pump inhibitors make the stomach produce less acid, and allow you to work out better.
It can be distracting to experience heartburn when you work out. If you’re prone to workout heartburns, it’s important to be sensitive to the condition and to take steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen.