Heartburn is a condition that many people suffer while working out or after eating a heavy meal. Despite its name, heartburn does not have anything to do with the heart, but rather with the digestive system. Heartburn occurs when stomach acids reach the esophagus and travel to the upper region of the digestive tract. The result is a burning sensation around the chest area. Regularly experiencing heartburn during exercise can get in the way of your workout routines. Here are some ways to avoid heartburn during your workout.
Don’t Exercise after Meals
One of the reasons why you could be suffering from heartburn while working out is that you tend to exercise after meals. Digestion takes several hours, so this is the amount of time you should wait before starting to exercise. If you work out before digestion has taken place, chances are there could still be food in your stomach. This increases the chance that digestive acids may leak out of your stomach. If you know that you will be working out later in the day, avoid eating a large meal or a heavy snack.
There are some individuals who experience relief when they eat something light before working out. To see what works and what doesn’t for you, experiment with a wide range of foods. A cup of yogurt, a banana or a slice of toast can give you an energy boost without putting much strain on your digestive system.
Don’t Drink Fruit Beverages
The International Journal of Sports Medicine published a study which showed that drinking fruit-based drinks can increase the chance of experiencing heartburn during exercise. To be safe, avoid flavored energy drinks as well and stick to purified water to hydrate yourself.
Try Low-Impact Exercises
Jarring and high-intensity exercises like jogging can increase the chance of heartburn. If you feel that these exercises tend to trigger your heartburn then you might want to try other low-impact exercises such as walking or cycling. By increasing your pace and intensity from time to time, these low-impact exercises can help you burn just as many calories as more strenuous workouts. If you’re taking a fitness class like step aerobics or yoga, you might want to ask your instructor to modify movements in order to suit your condition.
Take an Antacid before Working Out
Another safe and easy way to prevent heartburn while working out is by taking an antacid before you exercise. Antacids are over-the-counter medicines that are formulated to avoid acidity in the stomach. When choosing an antacid, select one that is calcium-based to minimize the side effects. Antacids are usually fast-acting drugs, so you can expect to feel relief almost immediately. Even if you’re not sure that you will be experiencing heartburn during a workout, you can still take this medication as a preventive measure.
Drink Water with Baking Soda
If you prefer to try a more natural method of relieving your heartburn symptoms, try adding baking soda to plain water. This concoction helps your heartburn by washing off and neutralizing the acids in your stomach. However, since baking soda has high salt content, you might want to consult your doctor first.