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Can Caffeine Cause Acid Reflux

Are Caffeine Pills Worse For You Than Coffee

Is Green Tea Good for Acid Reflux? or Bad for Acid Reflux?

It is clear that neither is entirely better than the other, since they both offer benefits to the individual. The downside is that caffeine pills can become addictive, since they are twice as strong as regular coffee and require less effort to consume. If you take too many caffeine pills, you may become addicted.

Low Acid Coffee: Marketing Tactic Or The Real Deal

But what about when it comes to low acid coffee? Is it worth a try? Not really, said Penaranda.

Low acid coffees and cold brew coffees touted for having a higher PH levels are not actually that much different than your standard coffee brews, Penaranda said. Theres only a slight difference, with black coffee around 5.2, low acid coffee around 5.7 and cold brew around 5.1.

While we definitely cant tell you what coffee to drink, just remember everything in moderation. High consumption of coffee, soft drinks, sports drinks and caffeinated drinks can have an acidic reaction on your teethnot to mention other effects on your health, Penaranda cautioned. Make sure you drink in moderation, and if you can, rinse out your mouth with water after you consume them.

Tips For Quitting Coffee

If you’ve asked yourself, how do I stop coffee heartburn, then you’re in the right section. These tips should help you wean off the coffee so that you can go about your without suffering from highly distracting caffeine withdrawals.

  • Reduce your intake by one cup per day for a month.

  • Slowly replace your caffeinated cup of coffee with decaf.

  • Get more sleep, so your body uses its stored energy, so you won’t have to rely on outside stimuli.

  • Look at why you’re using coffee and see if there’re any underlying issues.

  • Switch to tea or matcha green tea. It’s lower in caffeine but helps reduce stress and balance your sugar levels. Plus, it helps boost your mood and energy throughout the day.

  • Find a new beverage. This can be a coffee alternative like chicory, roasted cocoa beans, a morning smoothie, or herbal coffees.

  • Reduce your overall intake of caffeine.

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    The Science Of Coffee Heartburn

    Do you love coffee, the heartburn you get afterwards not so much?

    Heartburn is the most frequently reported gastrointestinal symptom after drinking coffee. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux, GERD or acid reflux, coffee triggers discomfort for about 68% of daily heartburn sufferers.

    A significant amount of research has been conducted on the topic but there’s still considerable confusion about how to prevent coffee related heartburn. Based on recent research, here’s our take on why coffee causes discomfort for some people and what can be done about it.

    Acid: The Wrong Enemy

    Many consumers think coffee’s acidity, which hovers around pH5, is to blame. However, studies have shown that’s not correct. In one experiment, researchers neutralized coffee’s acidity and found that those prone to heartburn still experienced symptoms. The conclusion something in the coffee was causing the stomach to increase acid production.

    Complex Beans

    Coffee beans contain many complex molecules. Most famous for caffeine, other important molecules include chlorogenic acid, pyrogallol, N-alkanoyl-hydroxytrptamides and catechol.

    Preventing Heartburn

    For those with a sensitive stomach, there may be a few ways to avoid the discomfort caused by drinking coffee:

  • Avoid brewing methods like espresso or french press that don’t use cellulose filters. Cellulose filters seem to catch oil droplets in the coffee that contain stomach irritants.
  • Why Try Something Different?

    How Much Caffeine Is In Decaf Coffee

    What Foods Cause Acid Reflux?

    Even decaffeinated coffee does contain some caffeine. For some decaf coffee, the coffee beans go through a process called the Swiss Water extraction method. Other decaf coffees use organic chemical solvents to remove the majority of the caffeine. The best coffee for low acidity is decaffeinated coffee that has been through a mountain water process. Decaf beans that have been through a mountain water process have the caffeine removed completely, with no side effects or chemicals.

    The Food and Drug Administration has specified that decaffeinated coffee on store shelves must have had at least 97 percent of its caffeine removed. That means compared to an eight-ounce cup of caffeinated black coffee at 95 to 165 mg of caffeine, a cup of decaf coffee only contains 3 to 12 mg of caffeine.

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    The 2 Types Of Sensitivities To Coffee

    For most people, a cup of coffee or two in the morning does not cause reflux.

  • For some people, any amount of coffee is a reflux trigger food . Ive seen this in about 15% of refluxers, and its a sensitivity to something in the coffee bean itself.
  • For anyone, if you drink a pot of coffee before noon, youre going to have reflux. Caffeine makes the lower esophageal sphincter, the valve between the esophagus and stomach, relax / go loose. Because of this, too much caffeine will usually cause reflux.
  • Most people have a cup or two of coffee, usually in the morning. If thats you, switch to decaf. If youre still having a reflux response, then you know its not the caffeine, and youre likely in that 15% thats sensitive to the coffee bean itself.

    The Effects Of Caffeine On Gerd

    Caffeine a major component of many varieties of both coffee and tea has been identified as a possible trigger for heartburn in some people. Caffeine may trigger GERD symptoms because it can relax the LES.

    Still, the problem isnt so clear-cut because of conflicting evidence and significant differences within both types of beverages. In fact, according to Gastroenterology and Hepatology , there are no large, well-designed studies that show that the elimination of coffee or caffeine consistently improves GERD symptoms or outcomes.

    In fact, the current guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology no longer recommend routine dietary changes for the treatment of reflux and GERD.

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    The Most Popular Foods To Harm And Help Your Acid Reflux

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    Acid reflux occurs when the acid in your stomach flows up into the esophagus due to the esophageal sphincter being damaged or weakened. For those diagnosed with acid reflux, managing your diet is a good way to relieve symptoms. This includes monitoring the number of acidic foods you consume. Nutrition and stomach problems go hand in hand, and there are foods that everyone should know to add or omit from their diet to help control acid reflux.

    Caffeine Can Decrease The Pressure Of The Les Or The Lower Esophageal Sphincter

    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

    The lower esophageal sphincter or the LES is a tight ring of muscle that is usually close in order to prevent the contents of the stomach from going back to the esophagus. Coffee can have a relaxing effect to the LES, thereby causing small amounts of stomach acids and small amounts of food to go back to the esophagus. When acid reflux occurs occasionally, it causes no problems. However, when frequent episodes occur, GERD develops and the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged which may cause many complications later on.

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    Treatment Of Acid Reflux

    If you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, or pain in your jaw or arm, you should get immediate medical care. You could be having a heart attack. Suppose you have frequent symptoms of GERD or have to take over-the-counter heartburn medicine multiple times a week. In that case, you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider.

    Can You Stomach The Acid Why Yes

    When companies tout lower acid coffees, they are referencing pH levelsthe lower the number the more acidic and the higher the number the more alkaline or basic it is.

    Most parts of our body are neutral , while our stomach, specifically the gastric acid in our stomachs is between 1 and 3. Hot brewed coffee ranges around a 5 pH value, and many soft drinks and orange juice are closer to 2 or 3.

    Really, the acidity of food and drink arent an issue, because much of what we ingest goes through our stomachs and is broken down with gastric acids, said Cindy Penaranda, a registered dietitian at Banner Health in Arizona. There really is no good evidence that acidity is the problem people have with coffee.

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    Is It Ok To Have Caffeine When You Have Gerd

    As weve discussed before, GERD an acronym for gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic form of heartburn that, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems.

    This condition can be aggravated by what you eat and drink. Some triggers include:

    • Alcohol
    • Peppermint or spearmint
    • Caffeinated beverages

    Keep in mind that not every food affects everyone the same way. If youre asking yourself Is It Ok to Have Caffeine When You Have GERD? wed suggest limiting your coffee and tea consumption to see if your symptoms get better.

    Red Bull Energy Drink

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    Taurine, B vitamins Yes

    In general, Red Bull has a pretty moderate amount of caffeine that most likely wont give you any side effects or trigger your acid reflux. But Red Bull does contain quite a lot of sugar and calories, which might lead to sugar crashes and other health risks.

    If you find that this amount of caffeine doesnt set off any symptoms, Id recommend Red Bull to get your energy boost. Though as always, keep your consumption moderate.

    If you want to learn more about Red Bull, you can check out this other article Ive written that covers all you need to know about the worlds most famous energy drink.

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    Caffeine And Acid Reflux

    There are certain foods and substances which can weaken the LES , which is supposed to be the barrier between your stomach and the esophagus. A weakened LES is often what causes acid reflux, as it does not properly stay closed, thus leading to the upward flow of stomach acid and other stomach contents into the esophagus.

    The reason this is important to note in relation to acid reflux is because the caffeine in coffee may cause the LES to relax and become looser, thus easily allowing the stomach contents to flow upwards. Now, what needs to be said is that there is no solid proof that coffee does in fact worsen or cause acid reflux, but there is a strong indication.

    If you fear that coffee is causing acid reflux, try totally eliminating it from your diet for a week to see if the situation improves. However, as research shows, in some people, coffee does not necessarily act as a trigger or cause acid reflux. Remember, everybody is different, and in some people, caffeine may cause or worsen these symptoms, and in others it may not.

    Seeing as caffeine may be a cause, one option you have is to switch to a type of coffee with a lower caffeine content. You may still need a bit of a kick-start in the morning, so you can try switching to coffee with less caffeine, not no caffeine. However, if this still does not work, you may want to try switching to decaf. No, decaf wont give you that energy, but it might also prevent acid reflux from occurring,

    Causes Of Acid Reflux

    At the base of your esophagus, theres a band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter that relaxes as you swallow. This is what allows food and liquid to travel to your stomach. Then, it tightens to close the opening and prevent stomach acid from reaching your esophagus. Suppose this muscle weakens or begins to relax abnormally. In that case, stomach acid will be able to flow into your esophagus, irritating its lining and resulting in inflammation.

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    Effect Of Caffeine On Les Pressure

    Studies that measure the LES pressure after drinking coffee or some other form of caffeine intake, usually find that coffee relaxes the LES:

    This study indicated that caffeine 3.5 mg/kg affected esophageal function, resulting in a decrease in basal LES pressure and distal esophageal contraction, which is known to promote the reflux of gastric contents up into the esophagus.

    This suggests, that coffee might trigger acid reflux and therefore cause heartburn.

    Coffee And Acid Reflux Myth

    Is it safe to drink coffee daily on empty stomach? – Ms. Sushma Jaiswal

    In addition to indigestion, you may also experience heartburn, or acid reflux. This occurs when the contents of your stomach come up into the esophagus. If the acid reflux is chronic, this is a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, notes the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

    Some people believe that coffee causes acid reflux or GERD. While coffee and caffeine may trigger symptoms, researchers have not conclusively shown a link between coffee and GERD, advises Columbia University. GERD is caused by the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter due to factors such as:

    • Smoking
    • Abdominal pressure caused by obesity or pregnancy
    • Certain medications including asthma medicine, antihistamines and sedatives

    In addition, coffee has not been linked to the development of ulcers or reflux esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus, notes a study in the June 2013 publication of PLOS One.


    If you experience symptoms of GERD, be sure to contact your doctor to establish a treatment plan. Complications of GERD can be serious and may include lung conditions such as asthma and pneumonia, laryngitis, Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.

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    Can Sugar Trigger Acid Reflux

    Some of the trigger foods and drinks that contain sugar are:

    • Chocolate
    • Citrus foods
    • Caffeinated beverages like coffee

    You should either cut back on or avoid these food and drinks if you find that they trigger acid reflux.

    High intake of processed sugars and carbohydrates can cause inflammation and indigestion in your digestive tract, increasing its acidity which would eventually lead to symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.

    But natural sugars, like the ones you find in vegetables and fruits, wont affect your acid reflux at all.

    Sometimes, your acid reflux is caused bylow levels of acid in your stomach instead of the other way around. A diet rich in processed sugars can cause a decrease in stomach acid.

    When your stomach acids are inadequate, your digestive tract is unable to kill harmful bacteria in foods and break them down into important nutrients. This can lead to gas and bloating, which might trigger symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn.

    If you want to know how much sugar you should consume, the American Heart Association has guidelines on the maximum daily sugar intake for adults:


    In my opinion, itll be better if you limit your consumption of sugar in your daily life. While sugar can provide you with energy for a while, too much sugar can lead to sugar crashes, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic.

    Prevent Coffee Heartburn By Only Drinking 100% Arabica Coffee

    In addition to drinking shade-grown coffee, you should also consider only drinking 100% Arabica beans. So whats the difference between Arabica and regular coffee? Well, there are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Robusta beans are cheaper because they grow at lower altitudes, and theyre more hardy making them resilient to pests. But, the tradeoff is Robusta beans are more bitter and contain twice the caffeine content of Arabica beans.

    What does this have to do with preventing coffee heartburn? The extra caffeine in Robusta beans makes you more susceptible to acid reflux and heartburn.

    So whats the solution? Drink 100% Arabica coffee youll taste and feel the difference, and wont ever want to go back to Robusta beans.

    Many people give up coffee because of acid reflux and heartburn. But you dont have to! Just remember to avoid hyper-caffenation by only drinking 100% Arabica, Shade-Grown coffee.

    And if you dont believe me, check out these testimonials from our customers here. Theyve discovered that Shade-Grown and Arabica beans are the solution to prevent coffee heartburn. Try our 100% Arabica and Shade Grown coffee and see if it works for you. Youll be glad you did!

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    Acidic Drinks Or Foods

    Acidic foods and drinks can worsen your GERD symptoms or contribute to an acid reflux episode. In addition to some foods discussed above, like coffee, this includes foods such as:

    • Citrus fruit, such as oranges and grapefruit
    • Citrus juice, such as orange juice and lemon or lime juice
    • Garlic, onions, and other alliums
    • Mint and mint-flavored foods and drinks
    • Tomatoes and tomato products, such as tomato sauce or ketchup
    • Processed foods.

    Even foods that are traditionally considered healthy, such as pineapple, can aggravate acid reflux events because of their acidity. Foods that are naturally high in acid can affect the overall acidity of your stomach and heighten your GERD symptoms. Eat acidic foods only in moderation, if at all, and pay careful attention to how you feel after doing so.

    Why Does A Reflux Diagnosis Take So Long

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    Part of this issue is due to medical specialization.

    The trend towards medical specialization has intensified over the last 50 years while simultaneously disenfranchising primary care physicians . Each specialist including lung doctors, ENT doctors and GI specialists just takes care of one part of the body. This has led to specialists who are unable to diagnose / treat reflux because they dont understand how the respiratory and digestive tracts are connected. They are directly connected at the upper esophageal valve, which is supposed to protect against reflux in the throat. There is also a direct connection between the throat and the lungs at the level of the vocal cords.

    I have taken care of thousands of patients with reflux over the course of my career, and almost all have seen multiple specialists including PCPs, allergists, otolaryngologists, pulmonologists, and gastroenterologists.

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