Exercise Induced Acid Reflux
Why are we bringing this health topic to your attention today?
There are 3 main reasons, firstly many runners experience exercise induced acid reflux, which is not a pleasant experience and can be disruptive to enjoying your run and also to performance. The second reason is that commonly people believe if they take steps to reduce stomach acid with medication that will solve the reflux problem, however they don’t take into account, that having sub optimal stomach acid levels may lead to nutritional deficiencies and in the long-term to other health conditions. Finally, as we age our stomach acid levels naturally decline, so it’s important that we take steps to optimise our digestive health to minimise issues around absorption of nutrients.
Today we’ll cover:
1. Why is Acid Reflux a problem for runners?
2. What is the cause of acid reflux?
3. What can runners do if exercise induce acid reflux is a problem for them.
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Why is acid reflux a problem for runners?
Which groups of people prone to experiencing acid reflux?
What are the typical medical approaches to managing acid reflux?
What are the underlying reasons for acid reflux developing?
Describing the typical symptoms of acid reflux and what causes the burning sensation in the oesophagus.
Why do we need stomach or gastric acid?
Ageing is regularly associated with decreased gastric acid production or is it?
Supplementation and natural foods to help promote gastric acid production.
Suggestions to help runners manage the symptoms of exercised induced acid reflux – we discuss:
· Identify your food triggers
· Design a personalised pre run meal plan and during run fuelling plan
· Consult with a chiropractic kinesiologist
· Sleep on your left side
· Wear looser running clothes to reduce pressure on your diaphragm
1. It’s estimated that up to 10% of runners experience exercise induced acid reflux.
2. Dietary triggers for acid reflux include eating large meals, caffeine, spicy acidic and fatty foods.
3. Be aware that medications such as Proton Pump Inhibitors suppress stomach acid which may lead to development of other health conditions such as loss of bone mineral density leading to Osteoporosis.
4. If gastric acid levels are sub-optimal it may affect protein digestion and the reduction in absorption of key micronutrients such as calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 which for a runner are important for muscle building, energy production and recovery.
5. If you suffer for exercise induce acid reflux you may wish to design a pre run and during run food plan personalised to you to minimise the triggers we have mentioned.
6. Seek professional advice from your medical practitioner or nutritionist if symptoms persist or worsen.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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Aileen and Karen