How Exercise Triggers Acid Reflux & What To Do About It

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Some people who have acid reflux tend to notice the worsening of their symptoms when they do physical activities. Can exercise trigger acid reflux, and if it does, what can you do? 

Find the answers to those pressing questions in the sections below.

How Exercise Triggers Acid Reflux

Exercise can trigger acid reflux if the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) muscle is weak. It can also be triggered by certain foods such as spicy and acidic ones. Studies have confirmed that strenuous physical activities can stir up acid in the stomach, which causes it to spill into the esophagus. The symptoms of acid reflux can increase along with the intensity of exercise. 

What To Do When Exercise Triggers Your Acid Reflux

Exercise is important to live a healthy life, and because of that, you can’t swear off exercise forever. Here are some tips to help you prevent exercise triggering your acid reflux: 

  • Change your diet – How is your diet? If you eat certain foods before your workout, then the chances of acid reflux are high. You should also look into the types of food that you consume. Carbonated and acidic foods can trigger an attack.
  • Soothe your stomach – Before your workout, eating something that can soothe the stomach is a great choice. You can experiment with different foods such as banana or whole grains. 
  • Eat two to three hours before exercise – it’s not advisable to eat a full meal before exercising. If you have to, make sure to do it two to three hours prior. Doing so will give your stomach time to digest and empty itself.
  • Try baking soda for acid reflux – Baking soda is a natural remedy that can help with acid reflux. Dissolve baking soda in water and drink it. It can neutralize and wash away stomach acids. However, before you try this natural remedy, it’s best to consult with your doctor first because baking soda can add more salt to your diet. 

Another thing you should keep in mind when it comes to exercise and acid reflux is that certain exercises can trigger it. These are some of the exercises that can lead to an attack: 

  • Sprinting
  • Running
  • Gymnastics
  • Cycling
  • Weightlifting 

As you can see, these are high-impact exercises. You might want to consider low-impact exercises to get your body moving, such as walking, yoga, swimming, and stationary biking. 

Keep in mind that not everyone experiences worsening acid reflux with high-impact workouts. However, it’s practical to try low-impact exercises first to gauge how you feel. If you don’t get acid reflux, move slowly towards higher-impact workouts. On the other hand, if you do experience symptoms, then it’s probably best to stick to lighter routines. 

Weight and Acid Reflux

Physicians’ common advice for people who suffer from acid reflux is to lose weight. Ironically, however, exercise is one of the most natural and healthiest ways to lose weight.

If you’re doing low-impact workouts, don’t worry—it can still lead to weight loss as long as you keep a consistent workout routine and follow a healthy diet. 


Indeed, some exercises can trigger acid reflux, but you don’t have to skip your workouts. You can still try low-impact exercises and follow some of the tips above to lower the chances.

If you want to learn more about acid reflux and how you can treat or prevent it in other ways, visit Heartburn No More website today.

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