Aging And Neurodegenerative Diseases
Human cell studies also show that decaf coffee may protect neurons in the brain. This could help prevent the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons (
Many studies show that people who drink regular coffee have a lower risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons, but more studies are needed on decaf specifically.
Keep Caffeine In Check
Coffee has a pH of 5 on a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most basic, indicating that it is acidic. It is, however, not as sour as many other beverages you may consume during the day. Because most fruit juices and sodas are substantially more acidic than coffee, why does a glass of apple juice not necessitate a sleeve of antacids?
Its not the acid in your morning coffee thats causing your esophagus to catch fire its the caffeine. Numerous studies have shown that coffee raises the natural acid levels in your stomach, causing heartburn.
While most people can tolerate a moderate amount of caffeine, caffeine consumption is a matter of personal sensitivity. So if youre experiencing side effects from your morning mug, it might be time to switch to a less-caffeinated blend.
Can Sugar Trigger Acid Reflux
Some of the trigger foods and drinks that contain sugar are:
- 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.
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Best Drinks For Acid Reflux
While alternative coffee choices may work, its also best to implement changes in other beverages you consume throughout the day. Here are a few drinks that have shown to reduce and improve symptoms of acid reflux.
- Herbal Tea. This beverage contains no caffeine and is easy to digest. There are many types of herbal teas to try to find one you like. Try and substitute one cup of coffee a few times a week with herbal tea to try and curb your acid reflux symptoms.
- Maca Root Powder. Looking for a boost without the caffeine? Maca is a Peruvian plant that has become very popular. You can buy it in powder form and it has a similar buzz to caffeine, without the actual heartburn-inducing ingredient.
- Juice. Fresh squeezed juices are excellent drinks for acid reflux. Try to make sure you use less acidic foods such as carrots, beets and spinach. Avoid citrus fruits like oranges as this can actually worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Why Does Coffee Upset My Stomach
Caffeine and coffee acids are the main culprits for why coffee might be upsetting your stomach. How?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant but it also increases contractions in your digestive tract as well as the production of stomach acid, says Dunn.
Depending on the type of coffee youre drinking, it may also contain a high amount of acids, which can speed up food digestion and have you running to the bathroom more urgently.
Coffees that are high in acid include:
- Coffee made from Arabica beans.
- Light-roast coffees.
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Tried Decaf Coffee To Help With The Heartburn That Didnt Work
I quickly discovered the lower esophageal sphincter muscle located just above the stomach thats designed to keep acids in your stomach. The problem with caffeine is that it causes this muscle to relax and stay a little bit open.This is what causes acid reflux in some coffee lovers.The solution seemed simple: drink decaf coffee. So I brewed up a cup, enjoyed it, and waited.And then it happened.Decaf wouldnt cut it. There had to be some other cause for the acid reflux other than caffeine. I had to keep looking.I tried different kinds of beans, various milks and creamers I even experimented with different kinds of water! And eventually, I found the trick that resolved all the upset stomach and reflux issues for me. Actually, there were three.
Which One Is Worth Drinking
While coffee may give you your morning pick me up, caffeine can actually irritate your acid reflux and make GERD worse. While the science is sketchy and theres little concrete evidence linking GERD and caffeine consumption, there does seem to be a trend in GERD being aggravated by drinking coffee. Along with spicy food, alcohol intake, and stress, eliminating these potential triggers could help you get to the root cause.
Drinking herbal tea is a much safer option as many of these teas have soothing properties to help heal the stomach rather than irritate it. Cut down heartburn and coat your stomach in soothing goodness by skipping the coffee and turning to certain kinds of herbal tea.
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Is Decaf Coffee Better For Acid Reflux
QUESTION: I have acid reflux, but I dont want to give up coffee. What if I switched to decaf? Is decaf coffee better for acid reflux than caffeinated coffee? Robert W.
ANSWER: Your question isnt one that has a cut-and-dried answer, unfortunately. Science is still working through the question of whether decaffeinated coffee is better for acid reflux than caffeinated coffee. It comes down to whether your acid reflux is aggravated by the caffeine in your coffee or the acidity.
Acids And Your Stomach
Many coffee drinkers find themselves suffering from issues with their stomachs. This is not unusual and has been one of the main reasons coffee drinkers have reluctantly given up their favorite drinks over the years.
The main acid-causing issue with your stomach is quinic. When present at modest levels, this acid provides a smooth finish to coffee and a nice flavor. When found in excess, this acid is known to cause acid reflux and upset stomach. Dark roast coffees or those that have been left sitting in the pot are often the biggest culprits of high levels of quinic acid.
This is where decaf coffee comes into play. While you wont be ridding yourself of all acid levels, decaf coffee is known to reduce acid reflux for coffee drinkers. Keep in mind, this doesnt mean you wont experience an upset stomach or other issues acidic coffee causes. It simply means decaf coffee may help you avoid heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux while you enjoy your morning joe.
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Don’t Worry Too Much About Acidity
Coffee contains several types of acids, but there isn’t much research to suggest that those acids are what’s causing your stomach upset.
To understand how the acids in coffee affect your body, it’s helpful to know how acid is measured. In scientific terms, acids are measured on the pH scale. The lower the pH, the more acidic a drink is. Cranberry juice, for example, has a pH of around 2.5.
Different kinds of coffee have different levels of acidity. Researchers have pegged the acidity of coffee somewhere between 4.85 and 5.13. According to some studies, hot-brewed coffee has higher amounts of acid than cold-brewed coffee.
Certain varieties of coffee are also naturally less acidic. The difference could be because they were grown at a lower elevation or were dried differently.
Here’s the key: It isn’t the acid in the coffee that’s the culprit. It’s the acid in your stomach.
Drinking coffee can increase stomach acid. But that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have indigestion. A 2016 study found that while drinking coffee did increase stomach acid, it didn’t cause intestinal problems for the people in the study.
Some people might enjoy the taste of coffee with a lower acid content. Low-acid coffee tends to be smoother and milder than coffee with a higher acid level. However, others could miss what they describe as the brightness of a brew with its natural acidity intact.
Golden Ratio Low Acid Coffee
Golden Ratio Coffee
Low acidity, no coffee breath, easy preparation , and the same great caffeine make gold coffee a great choice for your afternoon boost, or in the morning when youre in a rush or just looking for a change.
The next low acid recommendation on our list comes from Golden Ratio and trust us, this type of coffee is among the gold standard of low acidity coffees.
While most coffee beans are roasted past the first crack, Golden Ratios beans are roasted at a temperature so low they never even reach the first crack. This results in a bean thats super light and easy on the acid.
Despite being roasted at a lighter temperature, these sustainably grown beans manage to have a strong flavor profile, even if its different than the typical coffee taste you already know and love. The unique flavor notes of the golden roasted beans produce a drink that tastes more like a nutty tea than a cup of coffee. But dont worry we think youll still love it!
Try it in three flavors: Original, Spiced Chai, or Vanilla Coconut.
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Can You Drink Coffee If You Have Acid Reflux
If you regularly experience acid reflux, coffee may aggravate your acid reflux symptoms. If your doctor has put you on a low acid diet due to gastroesophageal reflux disease or other digestive disorders, you may still be able to enjoy coffee by switching to a less acidic coffee. Please consult with your doctor before switching to low acid coffee as an alternative to standard coffee.
Does Decaf Coffee Cause Acid Reflux
When a person experiences the discomfort of acid reflux, a few other components come into play. While decaf coffee can provide its small share of the blame related to acid reflux, its not the main culprit.
Some studies point out that other smaller components within coffee cause acid reflux, and caffeine is not the leading cause.
After conducting a study on several patients who suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease , researchers saw that decaffeinated coffee reduced the impact of discomfort or acidity within patients compared to when they consumed regular coffee.
Even though caffeine content may vary by roast type, you should also consider overall caffeine consumption. For example, many coffee drinkers drink several cups per day. If you find that caffeine aggravates your symptoms, you might want to opt for a darker roast.
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Acid Reflux Sufferers: Don’t Give Up Coffee
After you or a loved one learn that you have acid reflux, GERD or interstitial cystitis, there is no need to give up coffee. We just have to choose our coffee more wisely.
Try to look for low-acid, dark-roasted coffee from low-acid producing countries. If you look for these things, you will still be able to have you morning cup of Joe!
What Is The Deal With Decaf Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee is the same as ordinary coffee, but it lacks the bulk of caffeine. still include a minimal amount of caffeine since caffeine can never be totally eliminated. A standard cup of coffee, for example, has around 95 milligrams of caffeine. Still, a cup of decaf coffee contains only 2 milligrams of caffeine.
- Sensitivity to caffeine. By drinking decaf coffee, you eliminate the adverse side effects of caffeine found in regular coffee. Caffeine is both a diuretic stimulant and an acidic chemical. Many people experience sleepiness, restlessness, heart palpitations, elevated blood pressure, and anxiety due to caffeine. Suppose you have heartburn, digestive difficulties, or trouble sleeping. In that case, decaf coffee can help reduce the effects of caffeine while still allowing you to drink coffee.
- Caffeine-related anxiety. Anxiety is a typical coffee adverse effect. Caffeine can cause agitation, anxiousness, and what scientists call jitters. However, it is crucial to emphasize that coffee does not cause anxiety, although it might increase symptoms in those already anxious. If you suffer from anxiety and consume regular coffee, consider switching to decaf coffee.
- Digestive/dehydration issues. Coffee generates a gastrocolic reaction in some people after drinking it. That indicates some laxative effects, but this is still being researched today. Finally, everyones body is unique, and you are the most incredible judge of your own.
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Milder On Your Stomach
No one likes an upset stomach, and less acidic coffee is milder on your stomach and less likely to aggravate an issue like acid reflux. Our stomach contains hydrochloric acid and pepsin for digestive purposes and to kill potentially harmful bacteria.
Some foods can cause the body to create more acid in the stomach, and a surplus of acid can result in acid reflux, a condition where acid rises into the esophagus and throat. For those prone to acid reflux, coffee that is less acidic is a must.
Lifeboost Low Acid Coffee
Our top pick for low acid coffee is Lifeboost Coffee.
The secret behind this low acid bean is that nothing is added and nothing is taken away. Its purely due to its location and the way it is grown.
These Nicaraguan beans are non GMO, fair trade, specialty bean, USDA certified organic, certified Kosher, single-origin , and shade-grown at an elevation above 5700 ft, which is ironic since most low acid coffee is grown at lower elevations.
Shade grown coffee acquires complex, desirable flavors as the coffee cherry has time to properly mature. The fruits natural sugars burst through and add a rich flavor to the final product. Less than 2% of the worlds coffee is shade grown and Lifeboost is at the top of that 2%.
Farmers handpick only the best beans and each bean is not allowed to be picked until it is completely mature. Lifeboost coffee beans are then sun dried to the perfect humidity of 11.5% to ensure there is no mold. Finally the coffee is slow roasted giving you a smooth, chocolatey caramel flavor that is ultra low acid with no bitter aftertaste.
We tested a cup with pH testing strips and it comes out as a pH of 6.
The downside? They are a bit pricey. But, high quality often comes with a price.
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First See If You Likely Have Reflux
The Koufman Reflux Symptom Index is a proven tool to determine if you likely have acid reflux. Note that heartburn / indigestion is just one symptom in the index .
If you have an RSI score of 15 or greater, you have a 90% chance of having reflux, even if you have never had heartburn or indigestion. This is called silent reflux, and it’s very common.
Please understand that its important to take steps if you have reflux to manage it through lifestyle changes . If you let reflux run rampant, youre setting yourself up for sleep apnea, COPD, chronic respiratory conditions, and a far higher risk of esophageal cancer.
Understanding Why Coffee Can Cause Heartburn
A long-time patient of mine, someone Ive seen on and off for three years, never got her reflux completely under control. However, one day she came in with a confession: I think Ive known all along that coffee was a trigger food for me, but I just didnt want to give it up. Now that I have, my reflux is gone. Sure enough, when I examined her, she looked terrific.
If you have any of the symptoms of reflux, you should try to identify if you have trigger foods. Its important to note that reflux isnt just heartburn or indigestion, but breathing issues, postnasal drip, sinus issues, too much mucus, coughing, chronic throat clearing, morning hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, etc.
The hardest part of treating reflux is that everyone is different, and trigger foods vary wildly. However, the most common trigger foods are chocolate, alcohol, onions, fried foods, and soft drinks. Coffee actually is not a problem for most people when consumed in moderation. But if youre getting a sour taste in your mouth after drinking coffee or a sour feeling in your stomach, especially if youre following all the basic lifestyle steps, then its time to figure out what kind of reaction youre having to your coffee.
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Is Decaf Coffee Any Better
We know that decaf can be healthier. After all, coffee contains caffeine, and we know that too much of that can be bad for you. But what about the acid content?
Unfortunately, it really isnt easy to answer that question.
Coffee can cause large amounts of gastric acid to be secreted in your stomach, irritating the lining. A 1975 study found that decaffeinated coffee actually had a bigger effect on this than regular coffee.
However, when it comes to acid reflux, decaffeinated coffee is a better option. A 1994 study on 16 healthy volunteers compared levels of acid reflux after they had drunk tea, coffee, and water. There were higher levels of reflux amongst the coffee drinkers.
But when the regular coffee was replaced with decaf, reflux levels were much lower. So the answer is that its the caffeine thats causing acid reflux right?
Wrong. Because the researchers also reduced the caffeine levels of the tea and added caffeine to water. In both cases, there was no difference to the earlier results.
So clearly something else is going on. Theres some other difference between the regular and decaf coffee thats responsible for decaf causing less acid reflux.