What if exercise triggers your heartburn pain? Here are a few tips to keep the burn at bay while you work out.
1. Make sure that you take your medications on schedule as directed by your physician. Non-compliance with medication regimens is one of the leading causes of heartburn or acid reflux breakthrough pain.
2. Wait at least two hours after you have eaten before you hit the gym. This gives the stomach time to digest the food adequately. Make sure the meal you eat doesn’t include foods that trigger your heartburn.
3. Drink lots of water. In most instances, water will help aid in digestion and is really all you need to hydrate. There are many sports drinks out there to help a person hydrate, but most contain more sugar and sodium than is needed for the average person. They also add liquid calories that tend to undo all of your hard work. If you are an athlete who works out for more than an hour at a time, talk with your physician about the best way to hydrate because you may need to replenish electrolytes.
4. Ease into the workouts. Don't start with an Olympic athlete training schedule. If you are coming from being sedentary, you need to allow your body time to adjust. You will be surprised at how quickly this can happen for most people. Walking or swimming laps can be a good way to start. Both are fairly easy on your joints and are great workouts. You can add intensity and length to your workouts gradually. The Couch to 5k program is a great one to do just that!
5. If you have severe chest pain or increased acid reflux symptoms while exercising, stop and contact your physician. Chest pain should always be evaluated until heart disease can be ruled out.