Activewear Dos and Don’ts for Heartburn Sufferers

If recent fashion trends have taught us one thing, it’s that yoga pants are no longer just for the yoga studio. Activewear, also affectionately known as “athleisure,” soared in popularity in 2015 with a 16 percent increase in sales. Activewear has an estimated market size of $44 billion in the United States alone, and these numbers are expected to reach $83 billion by the year 2020 (Source: Forbes).

Heartburn sufferers often find that their symptoms are triggered or worsened by tight clothing. Elastic waistbands, snug-fitting tops and restrictive shapewear can place unnecessary pressure on the midsection and encourage stomach acid to escape through the lower esophageal sphincter. Once this stomach acid reaches the esophagus, it can aggravate the delicate esophageal tissues and cause that burning sensation known as heartburn.

Not all activewear is off limits for heartburn sufferers, but there are certain clothing items you’ll want to avoid. Here are some of the worst offenders and some fashionable heartburn-friendly alternatives:

  • Active Bottoms with Snug Waistbands or Control Tops- Instead, opt for a slouchy pair of jogger pants with an adjustable drawstring.
  • Lycra or Spandex Shaping Tops- Open-back tanks or flowy tunics are an excellent alternative with plenty of breathing room.
  • Waist Trainers- These restrictive garments compress the internal organs and contribute to heartburn. It’s better to achieve that hourglass shape with exercises that target the abs and obliques.
  • Tight-Fitting Sports Bras- Try going up a size if your sports bra fits too snugly around the ribcage. You can also opt for active tops with built-in support.

There are plenty of activewear options that will fit your personal style without aggravating heartburn. Keep these dos and don’ts in mind the next time you’re shopping for activewear, and enjoy the comfort without the risk of reflux!