Tailgating is a favorite pastime among sports aficionados. Stadium parking lots and back yards everywhere become populated by fans getting together to enjoy the game, celebrate and have a feast from the back of a truck. As great as this may sound, tailgating often brings with it terrible bouts of acid reflux. It’s a volatile recipe: Greasy food, snacks, drinks both cold and hard and plenty of them. Afterward, great numbers of partygoers go home and make a mad dash for the nearest antacid. Luckily, this fate isn’t written in stone. Here are some ways you can make sure that you enjoy yourself while avoiding its nasty side effects.
1. Ditch the alcohol. It irritates the stomach, relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and halts digestion so food and acid just sit there. If you really want to drink alcohol, choose beer or wine. Their lower alcohol content are easier on the stomach and won’t cause the LES to relax as much. Drink slowly to allow time to process the liquid and to prevent overfilling of your stomach.
2. Don’t combine cold with grease. Brats, pizza and cold things easily take the prize for the worst food combination ever for acid reflux. Leave the ice cream and soda at home, and drink your beer room temperature like they do in Europe. Fats tend to become solid when they get cold, and are therefore harder to digest. Cold temperatures also make the stomach tense, which slows down digestion and may push its contents up into the esophagus.
3. Make it spicy. Many common spices like ginger, cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon stimulate your digestive system to help food get through quickly and efficiently. Consuming these spices also aids your stomach acid in breaking down fats.
3. Go easy on the sweets. Sugar stimulates acid production, but doesn’t have any fiber or protein to act as a buffer. Soon after eating it, all that’s left is excess acid and an irritated stomach. Any sugary foods should only be eaten after some form of protein or fiber to reduce the chances of acid reflux, as well as lessening sugar’s negative impact on insulin levels.
4. Know when to quit. Overindulging is one of the biggest causes of acid reflux and a tailgating party provides a convenient opportunity to do so. It might be tempting to eat as much as you’re humanly capable of during celebrations where you’re surrounded by delicious food, especially when everyone else is doing it. After a while though, you won’t be having such a great time anymore. Do the smart thing and step away from that third burger!
5. Choose tortilla chips over potato ones. They’re far less greasy and contain a lot of fiber. Simple, whole grain snacks are helpful at discouraging acid reflux.
6. Go chocolate free. Chocolate relaxes the LES and is loaded with sugar. It also contains small amounts of caffeine, which is known to cause acid reflux in some people.
By following even a few of these simple suggestions, you can enjoy the day free of acid reflux. For more information, visit Reflux Remedy today.