Chen Ben Asher – Functional Nutrition – Silicon Valley – Can Exercising Worsen Heartburn?

Researchers and other specialists keep discovering different links that trigger heartburn and makes it more severe. Exercising is one of them that has gained more evidence. That does not refer to the appropriate exercising that can also lower the risk of this problem.

Exercising is not easy and doesn’t always mean that it will be done correctly as long as there will be some activity. A person should avoid food and avoid high-carbohydrate sports drinks at least two hours before doing any sports activity.

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Type of exercises

Scientists have found proof that “aerobic exercises with the highest “agitation of the body,” like vigorous running, consistently induced acid reflux, even in people who did not have chronic heartburn.”[1] The less agitating exercise, the more positive effect it will bring. One of those that might be suitable for different age groups is pedaling on a stationary bike.

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Body position

The worst position for doing any exercises is in a position when you lay flat: bench presses, leg curls, etc. Scientists have also found that surfers have much higher risk to develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) than other athletes. They found out that “position on hard surfboard surfaces leads to increased intra-abdominal pressure and GERD.”[2] In the research, there were evaluated 185 surfers and 178 people who do some other sports activities. The main measure point was a prevalence of reflux symptoms at least two times a week. The main finding was that GERD prevalence “was significantly higher in short-board surfers than in nonsurfers with an odds ratio of 4.6 (28% versus 7%).2 GERD prevalence also increased in frequency and duration with those with longer surfing experience. So there is no doubt that surfing has a strong impact to GERD.

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The bottom line is that everyone should exercise smartly. Right precautions can reduce reflux and further problems. Board certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher also notes the importance of eating habits that goes together with different sports activities. It is not possible to stay healthy, fit and avoid GERD if one does not regulate eating time and food consumption. There are numerous things to take into account to exercise in the way that doesn’t do any harm to the body and health in general.



[1] The Claim: Exercise Can Worsen Chronic Heartburn. Accessed from: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/health/27real.html?_r=1&ref=healthrel=”nofollow”

[2] Surfing as a risk factor for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Accessed from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19741311rel=”nofollow”

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