Are you wondering if high intensity interval training can bring on acid reflux?

“Yes. High intensity training can trigger acid reflux for some people, depending on what type of exercise the person is doing and how that person is wired,” explains Dr. Jeffrey Fine, MD, the chief of gastroenterology at the Medical Surgical Clinic of Irving.

“High intensity training can trigger acid reflux for some, depending on what type of exercise the person is doing and how that person refluxes,” says Dr. Fine.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux Brought on by High Intensity Interval Training

You may get a dull aching or burning in your upper abdomen.

If the acid reflux makes it higher up into your throat and mouth, you may start getting an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

This taste won’t be strong or sharp, but rather bland and dull. It may taste the way you’d imagine cardboard might taste. It may have a bitter quality to it.

It can come on within five minutes of your cardio exercise.

Dr. Fine explains, “Everyone is wired differently, neurologically speaking. Some people experience reflux only when lying down; others when sitting or standing up, and some experience it in either position.”

Can acid reflux be prevented during intense cardio training?

If you’ve been experiencing reflux symptoms as a result of HIIT, see what happens if you eat a small amount of food prior to the exercise, since an empty stomach can make you more likely to develop symptoms.

Many people perform HIIT on an empty stomach, namely to maximize the fat-burning effect.

But a small item of healthful food won’t disrupt this process.

Choose a something like a small peach, apple, banana, grapes or a little yogurt.

Another approach is to more gradually ramp your work intervals, to give your stomach a change to acclimate to the uptick in physical activity. This may result in less acid reflux.

Dr. Fine has been in practice for over 30 years and specializes in digestive health, integrative medicine and food sensitivities.
Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 


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