Preventing Acid Reflux

Anyone who’s ever experienced acid reflux knows how much trouble it can cause in workouts and races, let alone day-to-day activities.

So how do you go about preventing it and then keeping it gone? Coach Hayley shares in today’s daily podcast!

Audio Transcript

Coach Hayley: Hey Runners Connect fans. I am your community manager. Welcome to Runners Connect Run to the Top Extra Kick Podcast.

I am here to answer your running and training questions so that you can train smarter, stay healthy, and achieve your goals. I hope you are having a great day and thank you so much for tuning in.

Today we have a great question from Brenda.

Brenda: No matter whether I run in the morning or afternoon, I always wind up with Acid Reflux.

It seems I should completely skip breakfast to avoid it from happening and that doesn’t always work. I usually end up going hungry on my run. Any advice for getting rid of mid run acid reflux? Thank you.

Hayley: Hey Brenda. Sorry to hear that you’ve been struggling with acid reflux. That’s no fun. I’ve had it before, mostly when I’ve eaten too close to run and it makes things uncomfortable.

I’ll quickly cover why exercise can trigger acid reflux. Basically, the muscle [Inaudible 0:01:55:3] between the stomach and esophagus relaxes or opens at the wrong time.

The stomach contents flow back into the throat and the acid irritates sensitive tissues and linings.

It sounds painful, does it? In terms of prevention, there’s a few things you can do. You mentioned that you should skip breakfast to prevent it.

I assume you’ve tried a lot of different breakfast options but I’ll cover that quickly.

For harder workouts and quality long runs, it’s important to get something in you beforehand to help you maintain blood sugar and the quality of your workout.

If you can find some options for breakfast that can sit well with you, that will really help your running performance.

In fact, some people find having a little something in the stomach, can help the acid reflux situation.

It’s worth keeping a diary of what you eat and whether you have the acid reflux after. It sounds like you get it after everything.

Try few things that you haven’t tried before.

Try a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast which sits well with some people although they’re conventional options assuming you’ve tried some.

Having coffee with your meal or breakfast can worsen the situation. If you do, it might be worth trying to find something else to get your caffeine [Inaudible 0:03:14:3].

How and when you eat is also important. Eating too quickly can trigger acid reflux. Make sure you’re sitting down to eat a light breakfast and chewing slowly.

In terms of timing, leaving two to three hours before working out can help. However, I know that can be impractical when you’re running in the morning.

Experiment with leaving slightly longer before eating and exercising. I understand that this might be difficult, but getting up slightly earlier could be a game changer.

Its fine if you wake up, have a slice of toast, and go back to bed for two hours. I used to do that when I had to run my long runs in the morning before work.

In terms of breakfast options, make sure you’re avoiding high protein or high fat foods as they take long to digest and worsen the problem.

If you’re using sports drinks and gels, they can be acidic especially the citrus varieties. If it’s not a long run or a hard workout, stick with plain water.

The four Cs are known to trigger acid reflux. These are coffee, citrus, chocolate, or carbonated drinks.

They are probably not the things you’re having breakfast anyway but make sure you are avoiding them pre- run.

Avoid fried and high fat foods as your breakfast option and avoid them before a run.

Consider avoiding wearing any clothes that have tight waistbands as they can increase the pressure on the stomach.

If you’ve tried all those options and you still feel like it’s an issue and can’t get any relief from waiting longer after your breakfast and avoiding coffee, it might be worth to try an over the counter antacid.

Antacids with calcium help to neutralize stomach acid and can prevent acid reflux. They’re safe and are worth a try.

Leave them for before your important runs when you need to have something to eat. Although acid reflux is a problem outside of running, it might be worth visiting your doctor to see if there’s anything they could do to help.

That was a great question Brenda. I have helped you and anyone else who suffers from this problem.

If you are listening in and want to have your questions answered by one of the Runners Connect coaches, head over to and click the record button to send your question over.

I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, consider heading over to iTunes or your favorite Podcast directory, subscribe or leave a review. It helps in reaching more runners like you.

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Have a great day and be sure to tune in next time.

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