Heartburn during & after Exercise: Here’s What You Should Do

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Have you ever felt that burning sensation under your chest that slowly creeps to your throat after or during your workout? Before you drop the weights on your foot, don’t panic. This is actually a typical case of exercise-related heartburn, which is a common occurrence for some, especially if you’re doing an intense workout. But why does this happen? 

Exercise can cause intra-abdominal pressure more than usual, which leads to reflux and acid-reflux symptoms during or after running, lifting weights, or other forms of intense training. What happens here is that during exercise, the activities you do can cause the lower esophageal sphincter, which is found at the end of the esophagus, to relax. When it’s relaxed, it becomes vulnerable to stomach acid to flow in reverse, which then causes heartburn. 

Indeed, this can happen to anyone, but obese or overweight people tend to be more susceptible to it. If you’re experiencing heartburn during or after exercise, you need to re-evaluate your lifestyle. With that, making changes to your diet and the timing of your workouts will also help you find some relief. 

Be Mindful Of What You Eat Before Your Workout

Tomato-based dishes, spicy foods, snacks, or foods high in fat and carbonated beverages can easily trigger acid reflux. For one, spicy foods contain capsaicin that can delay gastric emptying, which can also increase pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter. 

Additionally, fatty and fried foods usually sit in the stomach longer. This increases abdominal pressure, so stomach acid can leak into the esophagus. 

Don’t Exercise Right Away After Meals

Another way to prevent heartburn during exercise is to not eat for at least three hours before your training. Even if you like eating small snacks, it’s crucial to give your body some time to digest it before your exercise. On the other hand, if you really can’t perform well in the gym or outdoors without eating, you can eat foods that are easily digested, such as bananas, oatmeal, or crackers. It’s also vital to drink plenty of water before and during a workout!

Lower Down The Intensity Of Your Workout

You will feel more intra-abdominal pressure when you do an intense session. Because of this, you might want to consider lowering the intensity. Lower-impact exercises are less likely to cause heartburn. However, keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to skip intense sessions, but you need more rest in between instead. 

Check With Your Doctor If You Have GERD Or Hernia

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a more chronic case of heartburn, which is experienced at least twice a week. Remember that GERD is a more serious condition. If you experience regular heartburn during workouts and after, you may need to consult with your doctor immediately to identify the root cause of your symptoms. 

Know that your regular heartburns may also be caused by a hernia, which is caused by fatty tissue or an organ that breaks through a weak spot in the abdominal muscles.


If you suspect that there’s something more serious behind your heartburn, it’s best you seek professional help. Moreover, you can use these tips we’ve shared above if you experience occasional heartburn, especially if you do intense workouts. 

Do you need more resources about acid reflux? Here at Reflux Away, we have a wide selection of topics that can help you fight against heartburns and whatnot. We have answers to questions like “Can probiotics help with heartburn?” and many more!

If you’re looking to treat your heartburn, visit the Heartburn No More website today to see how we can help.