How This Helps

A significant proportion of the population is affected by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The common symptoms of GERD, which can be seen, are heartburn and acid reflux. Many people suffer from heartburn, which is a common problem caused by acid reflux. Heartburn refers to a burning sensation in the chest area behind the sternum bone. The leading cause of this condition is the backflow of stomach acid up into the esophagus. The underlying reason for this condition is many, but common reasons include; excessive acid production in the stomach and improper functioning of the gastroesophageal sphincter muscle. The gastroesophageal sphincter muscle is a valve that prevents the backflow of stomach acid up into the esophagus. But due to some medical conditions when it fails to prevent the backflow of stomach acid up into the esophagus, it results in the condition known as heartburn or acid reflux. 

See: Ayurveda for GERD

Can some drinks help acid reflux?

GERD symptoms can be enhanced or reduced based on what we eat or drink. Acidic foods and drinks should be eliminated from the diet as they enhance the symptoms of GERD, which are heartburn and acid reflux. Researchers suggest the use of functional foods and beverages to be included in the diet to prevent heartburn and acid reflux. Functional foods and beverages are those sources of food that are included in the diet, which help in treating the symptoms of numerous diseases. According to several studies, there are many drinks for heartburn and acid reflux that can soothe the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. Studies suggest that consumption of these beverages in the night help in the prevention of heartburn in the morning. Many people complain that they feel discomfort due to heartburn early in the morning. As a result, these beverages help people to treat the symptoms of heartburn, which are seen early in the morning. [1,2]

See: Is green tea good for you

What to drink for heartburn and acid reflux

Best drinks for heartburn and acid reflux

Research studies confirm drinks or beverages which are acidic should generally be avoided in case of a heartburn or acid reflux. Acidic beverages increase the acidity of the stomach and also boost the production of more acid in the stomach. As a result, acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn are enhanced because of increased acid in the stomach. Include drinks or beverages in the diet that can neutralize the acid already present in the stomach and do not further aggravate the acid production in the stomach.

There are several suggestions on what to drink for heartburn relief and acid reflux. Research suggests that the following are some of the drinks and beverages for heartburn & acid reflux:

1. Herbal tea

Herbal teas improve digestion, as well as help treat many stomach problems such as bloating, gas, etc. Caffeine-rich teas should be avoided as they might trigger acid reflux. Licorice, lavender, ginger, and chamomile herbal teas can assist in soothing the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. 

2. Low-fat milk or Plant-based milk

For some people, it is difficult to digest cow's milk as it contains higher fat levels and also is not suitable for lactose-intolerant people. Low-fat milk or plant-based milk products like soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc. are advised for individuals suffering from heartburn and acid reflux. These milk products are alkaline, which helps neutralize stomach acid, thereby reducing the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. 

3. Yogurt

It is advised for individuals to consume plain yogurt, which contains the least acidic content. Yogurt contains a wide variety of probiotics, which helps improve digestion, thereby helping control heartburn and acid reflux.

4. Fruit juices

Fruit juices are a great alternative to help treat symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux as well as improve digestion. But there are particular fruit drinks which are acidic and should be avoided like citrus drinks, tomato juice, etc. Following are some fruit juices which are not much acidic and can help soothe symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux:

⮚ Carrot juice

⮚ Aloe vera juice

⮚ Watermelon juice

5. Water

It is one of the best drinks to help prevent heartburn and acid reflux. The neutral ph of water helps dilute the acidity of the stomach. Adequate consumption of water is advised for treating heartburn and acid reflux.

6. Coconut water

Coconut water is alkaline and contains many nutrients that are helpful in heartburn relief and also improve the digestion. Coconut water helps balance the ph of the body, which is vital for controlling acid reflux and is also a good source of electrolytes for the body. [3,4,5,6]

7. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar works for the identical reason lemon juice does -- the vinegar increases stomach acid. You may mix approximately two teaspoons to a glass of water and add some honey to make the mix taste better.

See: Buttermilk for acid reflux

8. Buttermilk

Regular whole milk may also help soothe heartburn, but you might need to wait for some time to feel relief. On the other hand, cultured buttermilk is a fast-acting alternative to calm acid reflux. Generally speaking, fermented milk products are excellent dietary additions for heartburn sufferers.

9. Peppermint

If the flavor of apple cider vinegar or baking soda makes those remedies seem unappealing, try peppermint instead. Peppermint is a component in many antacids, and you can find the very same effects without taking the OTC pills.  You can try drinking peppermint tea, or mixing a few drops of peppermint oil to water.

10. Apples, bananas, and grapes

These fruits can offer natural heartburn relief. Even a single apple piece was known to give quick relief for some people.

See: Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux

Drinks which should be avoided for heartburn and acid reflux

As per scientific studies, it is evident that acidic drinks should be avoided in the diet as they enhance the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. It is found from these studies that the following drinks should be strictly avoided to prevent heartburn and acid reflux:

1. Citrus juices

The highly acidic nature of citrus juices aggravates the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. They naturally contain citric acid, which increases the acidity of the stomach. Tomato juice should also be avoided due to its high acidic content. Examples of citrus juices are as follows:

⮚ Orange juice

⮚ Lemon juice

⮚ Grapefruit juice

⮚ Tangerine juice

2. Coffee

Coffee is highly acidic and stimulates excess acid production in the stomach. Hence consumption of coffee should be avoided to prevent symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol negatively affects heartburn and acid reflux as it stimulates the stomach to produce more acid and aggravate the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. [7,8] Alcohol makes your esophagus more sensitive to stomach acid. It relaxes the LES, allowing the stomach contents to reflux back into the esophagus. Alcohol intake is also tied to making less healthy food choices that can further activate your heartburn. You just do not want alcohol when suffering from heartburn.

 

See: Mustard for heartburn & acid reflux relief

Does drinking water help acid reflux?

Can drinking a lot of water cause or help acid reflux?

Heartburn is because of the flow of the acidity in the stomach back into the esophagus. Drinking water can offer relief. It may raise the pH level of the stomach. It may dilute the acid and possibly clear out the esophagus. Water's pH level is neutral, which may increase the pH level of acidic food.

Recently, there's a buzz about drinking alkaline water and its promise to help alleviate heartburn and acid reflux. Alkaline water has lower acidity and higher pH level. According to some, it may neutralize the acid and alleviate the symptoms.

Drinking alkaline water will neutralize the liquid for a couple of minutes only. However, it won't solve the primary reason why there's the acidity in the stomach, to begin with. Additionally, drinking a lot of water can dilute the remainder of the minerals within the body. Therefore, it can most likely increase the odds of experiencing acid reflux.

If you would like to think about alkaline water to treat heartburn, speak with your physician first. Be certain to partner it with different remedies to fix the signs and symptoms straight away.

Drinking water can help with the immediate relief of these signs. But this may not be a great remedy to fix the matter in the long term.

One 2012 study done in a laboratory found that water with a pH of 8.8 did appear to inactivate pepsin, an enzyme associated with the production of uric acid (the kind found on your stomach). The water had a buffering effect against uric acid. "These in vitro data indicate that alkaline water might be a useful, risk-free adjunctive treatment for celiac disease," the study authors wrote, even though they also said that more study was needed, such as studies in people.[8]

If you're having heartburn two or more times per week, it's best to seek expert help immediately. It could signal a bigger health issue. Proceed to a physician so the problem can be solved straight away.

See: Acid reflux in the morning remedies

Drinking habits for GERD and acid reflux

Modifying your lifestyle habits for GERD and acid reflux

It's important to know what to drink that can help soothe heartburn. But it is equally important to know when and how you drink beverages that may make a difference in GERD symptoms. These tips can help soother your symptoms :

- Do not eat for at least three hours before bedtime.

- Eat while maintaining an upright position, and maintain the vertical posture during and after eating and drinking. 

- Moderate your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol may lead to reflux symptoms in certain people.

- Reduce or remove hot foods and fried foods.

- Avoid skipping breakfast or lunch, which may result in overeating -- and overdrinking -- late in the day.

- Give up late-night snacks, such as drinks that can cause heartburn. This includes carbonated and carbonated drinks.

- Elevate the head of your mattress, so gravity can help keep acid from slipping into your esophagus.

By practicing healthy drinking habits and taking note of how your symptoms respond to certain foods and beverages, you can lower your reflux symptoms and improve your wellbeing.

 

See: GERD Cough Natural Treatment

Summary

Heartburn and acid reflux are chronic conditions, and it is essential to include functional foods and beverages in the diet to help treat such conditions naturally. With proper care, individuals can identify the drinks which are good for them during heartburn or acid reflux and which drinks should be avoided. Breakfast and lunch should not be skipped as they promote symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux as well as a result in overeating during the night. Avoiding late-night snacks and carbonated beverages can help to minimize heartburn or acid reflux.

See: Ginger for acid reflux relief

References

1. Vakil N, Van Zanten SV, Dent J, Jones R, Kahrilas P, Bianchi LK, et al. The Montreal definition & classification of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a global evidence-based consensus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2006; 101:1900–20.

2. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20361959

3. The best & worst foods for acid reflux. (2014). uhhospitals.org/myuhcare/health-and-wellness/better-living-health-articles/2014/april/best-and-worst-foods-for-acid-reflux

4. Chen S-h, et al. (2010). Is alcohol consumption associated with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)? DOI:10.1631/jzus. B1000013

5. GERD diet. (n.d.) http://www.atlanticcoastgastro.com/gerd-diet.html

6. Pirtle, K. (2010). Acid reflux: A red flag. westonaprice.org/health-topics/modern-diseases/acid-reflux-a-red-flag

7. Zeratsky, K. (2018). Is alkaline water better for you than plain water? mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/alkaline-water/faq-20058029

8. Jamie A. Koufman, MD; Nikki Johnston, Ph.D., Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 121(7):431-434., Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease

See: Baking soda for heartburn & acid reflux

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