Nothing brings sports fans together like tailgating. The American Tailgater Association estimates that at least 20 million people participate in tailgate parties before sporting events each year. But, if you’re one of those 20 million that has acid reflux disease and are not careful, a tailgate party may cause you to suffer through the main event. These four tips will help you enjoy the party without the pain!
1. Bring Something Safe for You to Eat
Most everyone else at the tailgate will have plenty to eat. When choosing what you will bring to the gathering, be selfish and don’t worry that your dish will not be the most popular. Think lean turkey wraps, a raw veggie tray with a light Greek yogurt dressing, or baked potato chips with an avocado dip. You’d be surprised at others who are attending who are also glad that there is lighter fare to choose from.
2. Avoid the Alcohol
Tailgating can be all about drinking. While the scientific research on alcohol and acid reflux is mixed, there are studies that clearly tie an increase in acid reflux symptoms with an increase in alcohol consumption. To be safe, bring a pitcher of “mocktails” or a thermos of warm pear or apple cider to sip.
3. Know When To Quit
Tailgating events can start hours before the game begins. The spread of food can dwarf a Thanksgiving feast with participants wanting to showcase their favorite dishes. Both of these together can be a recipe for disaster if you have acid reflux disease. Overeating is a sure way to increase your reflux symptoms. At the tailgate, use a small plate and just choose what you would eat at home for a small meal, then stop eating.
4. Remember the Reason for the Gathering
Schools and communities rely on pre and post game tailgating events to build community and support for their programs. Underfunded sports teams also count on tailgate parties to feed coaches and players after the game. Remember that you can fully participate and support the purpose of the party while still taking care of your own unique health needs.
Possible Acid Reflux-Friendly Recipes to Bring:
Reflux Friendly Cooking: Creamy Avacado Dressing (for the veggie tray!)
Reflux Friendly Cooking: Cheesy Chicken and Bacon Sandwiches (can make ahead!)
Reflux Friendly Cooking: Pumpkin Muffins (acid reflux or not - no one will be able to turn these down!)
See More Helpful Articles on Acid Reflux:
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D., is a freelance health writer and the C.E.O. of Tracy’s Smoothie Place. She serves as the expert on a weekly radio show about health and wellness and is the author of Making Life Better for a Baby with Acid Reflux and multiple articles about the cost of caregiving. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram @drinksmoothies.