Acid Reflux and Sports Teams
When I was younger, I did all the cliché activities for any other little girl—dance, gymnastics, some swim lessons. As I got older, I got more into organized teams. I went through years of soccer, and swim team among other things. Now, a college freshman, I find myself on crew. It’s definitely been my most challenging yet rewarding athletic experience so far, and has certainly provided me with some surprises along the way!
We practice year round, whether it is on the water or indoors training. Right now is winter training which is hugely demanding time wise and especially physically. Our nutritionist came in before we started this phase and gave us the low down on what we needed to do, which ultimately came out to eating about 6,000 calories a day, plus 24 ounces of water for each thousand calories. Two months later we’re still trying to figure out how to eat this much. After practice every morning we all go straight to the dining hall. They know us pretty well there because we win the prize for being the earliest to show up and definitely for eating the most.
Our team favorites:
- Bagel & cream cheese
- Fruit: usually apples and bananas, and LOTS of grapefruit
- Waffles—extra whipped cream and chocolate chips
- Omelet bar
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Yogurt & granola
- And of course coffee, water, apple juice, powerade, OJ…whatever we can get!
We burn enough calories that we can afford to eat any and all of this but to my surprise, not everyone can stomach it. Twenty minutes into breakfast there’s usually a handful of people already saying they have heartburn. Coincidentally, a lot of them said they had acid reflux when they were babies. From 6 to 8 am, we’re the crew team ready to take on just about anything. But as soon as we get down to meal time, many of us are overtaken by reflux. It doesn’t take much to realize this probably has something to do with our team’s obsession with grapefruit, or with the volume of food we eat. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing that’s going to stop a group of hungry rowers from eating so we tend to forget about eating small, frequent meals and focus getting as much of the less irritating foods as we can.