How to Prevent Heartburn While You Exercise

Although exercise is recommended to improve your health, some people find that working out can cause painful heartburn and acid reflux. Should you give up getting in shape? There’s no need to live with heartburn or quit the gym.

4 Tips for Preventing Heartburn While You Exercise

  1. Wait two hours after eating to exercise. A full stomach puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle between your stomach and esophagus that should prevent acid reflux. Give your food time to digest and you’re less likely to suffer from heartburn after your workout.
  2. Eat smart before you exercise. The National Heartburn Alliance recommends eating foods that are low in protein and fat and high in carbohydrates before a workout. Chocolate, citrus juices, caffeinated drinks, and spicy or fatty foods can trigger heartburn symptoms.
  3. Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated before, during, and after your workout will help with proper digestion.
  4. Consider less-intense activities. Exercises that require a lot of bouncing or jiggling are more likely to cause acid reflux and heartburn. Try walking or other activities that won’t shake you up.

Most importantly, keep exercising. Experts agree that occasional heartburn caused by exercise is better than not getting enough physical activity. Exercise may also help you lose weight, which can reduce your risk for heartburn. If heartburn symptoms persist, your doctor can prescribe medication or suggest other treatment options.

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