Why Does Coffee Cause Acid Reflux
Coffee tends to be one of the more surprising triggers of reflux for people. However, its actually a pretty common one, as theres two main factors to why coffee causes reflux: the high caffeine volume and the beans natural acidity. Sometimes both of these factors cause your reflux. Sometimes its only one or the other. To figure out which kind of coffee and how much you body can handle, youll have to do some experimenting.
The first thing youll want to do is to lower your daily coffee intake. This may mean just one cup in the morning. If its just the caffeine bothering you, switching to decaf may do the trick! Sometimes it can even be how you brew your coffee! For example, some coffee beans have higher acidity levels than others so you may want to switch brands. Learning what triggers you acid reflux can take some time, but getting chronic heartburn under control is always worth it.
For some, however, their reflux is too severely affected by coffee drinking, and no amount of switching to decaf or finding less acidic beans seem to work. These folks usually find its best to give up the drink altogether. Of course, we know that this is easier said than done, so weve compiled a list of tips to help you quit.
Coffee Replacement To Consider
If you want a kick in the morning, black tea is a better choice than coffee for refluxers, just remember to have a cup or two, not more.
Any kind of black tea is a better choice than coffee, but my patients have really enjoyed lapsang souchong, which is a mouthful to say, but it smells smokey and tastes sweet, and you can finally buy it online!
How Coffee Is Giving You Heartburn
Heartburn can be an incredibly uncomfortable feeling mostly experienced as a sharp, burning sensation in the mid-chest area. Along with that sensation is an acid liquid that makes its way up from the stomach through the esophagus into the back of the throat. Not exactly pleasant, no.
For most people that experience heartburn, it isnt something that only occurs after drinking coffee. It can also occur after eating spicy foods, citrus, onions, fatty foods, peppermint, chocolate, or alcohol.
The reason why coffee might be giving you heartburn is a topic that many have written about, and there are some very different opinions out there as to the reasons and how to stop it.
Coffee is naturally acidic, which could cause its unpleasant feeling in the stomach since the stomach has a natural acidic level. Other sources say that caffeine is a common cause of heartburn and that there are, in fact, several components in coffee that can cause heartburn. Switching to decaf is an option, and drinking a cold brew because it contains lower acidic levels.
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Bonus Trick: Alkaline Water
My final recommendation is using alkaline water to make your coffee. If you didnt know, there is a scale for measuring acidity and alkalinity called pH. The higher the pH number, the more alkaline it is and the lower the number, the more acidic it is.
If you make your coffee with a more alkaline water, it will mean it is less acidic and therefore slightly less likely to cause you acid reflux. An alkaline water would be anything over a pH of 7, though ideally you would want one that is over a pH of 8. Best of luck out there with acid reflux. I know it sucks.I also know its going to be okay.
Does Coffee Have Acid
Yes, coffee is naturally acidic.
To be more precise, the organic acids contained in coffee beans are the key to everything.
In fact, this organic acid is responsible for the typical taste of this beverage, kind of tangy, a bit sour feeling, thats so appreciated by coffee lovers.
These acids, coupled with caffeine, contribute to the addiction thats typical of avid consumers.
The presence of natural acids, however, is also a good thing.
In fact, they also contain some powerful antioxidants that have a very beneficial effect on health.
This is important because coffee must not be seen as a risk factor only, but rather as a natural product with many features to better investigate and understand.
Moreover, not all types of coffee have the same features, meaning that in some cases coffee for heartburn can be totally fine.
The acidic content of coffee, however, is not enough.
We have to deepen more about some additional aspects that make coffee able to trigger heartburn.
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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
When To See A General Surgeon
Because GERD and acid reflux are not usually serious conditions, it is possible to manage it on your own. However, if these conditions do not improve, they can lead to esophagus cancer.
If you notice that your symptoms keep getting worse, then it is time to see a doctor. Other warning signs for severe GERD and acid reflux include chest pain, jaw pain, or arm pain. Also, if you experience shortness of breath, you should visit with a doctor or surgeon as soon as possible. Additionally, if your symptoms do not improve after taking medication for two weeks, you may need surgical treatment.
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Does Coffee Cause Heartburn
We all love that first sip. Whether youre rolling out of bed or getting pumped up to tackle another task, coffee is instrumental to the productivity of millions of people who cant imagine a morning without their caffeine. But for some, there is often an unfortunate drawback. The enjoyment of their favorite morning beverage can end abruptly when they realize they are suffering the discomfort of heartburn.
Coffee And Caffeinated Beverages
Some people may experience heartburn when drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
This is because caffeine has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn (
Even though coffee may cause heartburn in some people, not all studies have observed a link between coffee and acid reflux symptoms.
One study that included 1,837 people, 25% of whom had GERD, did not find a significant link between coffee consumption and GERD symptoms .
Though the research remains inconclusive, if you tolerate coffee, theres no need to avoid it. On the other hand, if coffee gives you reflux and heartburn, its best to avoid it or limit your intake.
Some people may experience heartburn when drinking coffee, though the link between coffee intake and heartburn is not very clear. If coffee gives you heartburn, its best to avoid it or reduce your intake.
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Sparkling Water Is Definitely Refreshing But Its Also An Acid
I go through my SodaStream cylinders far too often, but a chilled glass of sparkling water is one of my favorite treats bubbly, refreshing, and delicious, not to mention a supereasy way for me to drink more water. I know I need to limit how much seltzer, club soda, and sparkling water I drink, for the sake of my teeth, but what I didnât realize was that my habit has the potential to trigger acid-reflux symptoms, like heartburn, too.
According to Dr. Michael Santoro, MD, a gastroenterologist with Mission Hospital in Southern California, thatâs because things like sparkling water and club soda are filled with CO2 bubbles, which decrease the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, or the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus where it meets the stomach, causing some reflux.
If youâre like me, you might have wondered what exactly acid reflux means within the body luckily, Dr. Santoro broke it down.
âA circular band of muscle around the bottom of your esophagus, called a sphincter, relaxes every time you have a sip of water or eat a piece of food this allows food and liquid to easily flow in your stomach. Once you finish eating or drinking, the sphincter closes. But if this muscle is weak or abnormally weakens, acid from your stomach can flow back up into the esophagus. And this consistent backwash of acid irritates the lining of your throat,â Dr. Santoro explained.
Can Coffee Cause Acid Reflux
Theres no doubt that people who suffer from acid reflux regularly go through somewhat of a waking nightmare. Acid reflux is highly uncomfortable, it is painful, and it can last for hours, sometimes even days.
For those who enjoy drinking a hot cup of coffee in the morning to kick-start your day, this may be an issue. Indeed, coffee may very well cause acid reflux to occur or worsen symptoms for people who regularly suffer from it. Lets take a closer look at this issue of coffee and acid reflux.
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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.
Can Coffee Cause Heartburn Here Is The Quick Answer
Coffee some just cant live without it, but some avid coffee drinkers also experience heartburn. Coffee has many positive side effects that help coffee drinkers make it throughout the day. It provides the stamina that many of us need. But there are also some downfalls of drinking coffee, especially too much is heartburn one of these?
Caffeine, the major component of many varieties of coffee and tea, is a possible trigger for heartburn. Caffeine can cause GERD symptoms because it relaxes your LES.
Its hard to pinpoint whether or not your coffee is causing heartburn or if its something else- maybe the bagel you ate along with your coffee? Or maybe its a lingering effect from last nights lasagna? But if your instincts are telling you that its the coffee, youre probably right. Read on for everything you need to know about how coffee causes heartburn and how to avoid it.
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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.
For those with a sensitive stomach, there may be a few ways to avoid the discomfort caused by drinking coffee:
Why Try Something Different?
Is Decaf Coffee Better Than Regular Caffeinated Brews On An Acid Reflux Diet
One study showed that people with GERD, the chronic form of acid reflux, suffer fewer episodes of heartburn, and less severe episodes of heartburn, if they choose to drink decaffeinated coffee or tea instead of regular coffee or tea . Another study indicated that decaf coffee still leads to acid production, potentially triggering heartburn, however .
Low acid brands of coffee that could be compatible with an acid reflux diet and hep you get rid of heartburn include Puroast Coffee, Don Pablo Cafe, Volcanica Coffee, and Java Planet.
If you’d like to try low acid coffee for yourself, we’d suggest you keep a simple food journal to note what you eat and drink and when you get heartburn. After a while, you will figure out whether or not a certain coffee causes episodes of acid reflux. If it doesn’t, you can keep it. While you go through this “experiment”, it’s best to not change anything else about your diet if you want to test whether your new coffee is helping in a semi-scientific way.
Meanwhile, also keep in mind that coffee, decaf or not, is less likely to give you heartburn if you consume it with a meal than if you drink it on its own and on an empty stomach . Chewing gum after you’re finished with your meal or drink has likewise been shown to be one of the most effective natural heartburn remedies, so we’d encourage you to try this out as well .
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Reflux Disease Questionnaire And Endoscopic Findings
In our study, a face-to-face interview was performed during the health checkup, and the questionnaire was completed at the same interview. The RDQ was designed to assess the symptoms of heartburn, acid regurgitation, and dyspepsia. It includes 12 questions on the frequency and severity of burning and pain behind the breastbone, an acid taste in the mouth, movement of materials upward from stomach, and burning and pain in the upper stomach . Responses range from 0 to 5 points. After excluding the dyspepsia scale, scores for the RDQ range from 0 to 40. Symptomatic GERD is defined as mild reflux symptoms at least two times/week or moderate reflux symptoms at least once per week. An esophagogastroduodenoscopy was performed on each participant under sedation. Experienced endoscopists were performed all procedures and were blinded to the results of the questionnaire. Erosive esophagitis on endoscopy was graded from A to D according to the Los Angeles classification . Another experienced endoscopist reviewed the endoscopic imaging to confirm a diagnosis of EE. If there was disagreement on the diagnosis, the final diagnosis was made by consensus of three experienced endoscopists.
Do I Really Have To Give Up Caffeine To Find Heartburn Relief
If you are looking into the link between heartburn and caffeine and trying to figure out whether coffee, tea, and chocolate are banned on an acid reflux diet, your heartburn is probably impacting your quality of life quite a bit. Your willingness to take proactive steps to change your diet and lifestyle to be free from heartburn will certainly increase your chances of success.
One study found, for instance, that being overweight or obese and smoking were the two factors most strongly linked to the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease , the chronic form of acid reflux .
You would also do well to minimize your alcohol consumption or stop drinking altogether, as there is a proven link between heartburn and alcohol. Citrus fruits trigger heartburn as well. An acid reflux diet isn’t just about avoiding certain foods, either consuming smaller meals more often, and not eating in the hours before you go to bed, also reduces your episodes of heartburn.
Finally, making natural heartburn remedies like chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal, using baking soda to treat heartburn, and sleeping on your left side with an elevated head part of your life will help you kiss your heartburn goodbye as well.
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Grind The Coffee Beans For Cold Brewing
Most cold brew coffee recipes Ive found stress the use of coarsely ground beans. I, however, prefer finely ground coffee beans. The finer grind will extract more flavor. The only reason I can find for the coarser grounds is to prevent the coffee from becoming cloudy. I prefer taste over the coffees looks and have not found my coffee to be cloudy.
Grind enough coffee to combine water to coffee grounds at a 3:1 ratio. The amount needed will depend on the size of the container you choose for brewing your coffee. You might start with a 4 cup batch made up of 3 cups water and 1 cup coffee.