Acid reflux goes by a few names, including heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux. Whatever you call it, the process is extremely unpleasant. While some foods and drinks will increase your risk of acid reflux, there are also many drinks for acid reflux that can decrease the symptoms or prevent acid reflux from occurring at all.
But first, what is acid reflux?
The problem is linked to a weak valve between the esophagus and the stomach. This allows some stomach acid to enter the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
What you choose to eat can strongly influence your acid reflux symptoms. For example, alcohol tends to relax the valve in question, increasing the chance of acid reflux. The bubbles from soda create pressure and can increase reflux too, while caffeine can also aggravate your system.
The best approach is to focus on mild drinks that are still and caffeine free, like the ones on this list. Some may even calm acid reflux down if you’re experiencing it.
Drinks for Acid Reflux
- Ginger Tea
- Almond Milk
- Soy Milk
- Other Plant Based Milks
- Licorice Root Tea
- Chamomile Tea
- Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Carrot Juice
- Aloe Vera Juice
- Lemon Water
- Coconut Water
- Golden Milk
Ginger is well-known as a way to settle your stomach. But, don’t turn to ginger ale or ginger beer, as are both likely to make your symptoms worse.
Ginger tea is a safer bet, as you’re getting the beneficial compounds from ginger, without anything that could trigger acid reflux. Ginger tea tends to be naturally soothing anyway, which is a bonus.
There are many different ginger teas out there, although you will need to shop carefully. Make sure that you end up with something that is caffeine free. While ginger doesn’t contain caffeine, some brands of ginger tea may use black tea leaves as well, which do have some caffeine in them.
You can also make your own ginger tea by relying on ginger root. This allows you to control the amount of ginger in your final drink. Honey acts as a perfect sweetener for ginger tea and is often thought to be healthier than plain sugar.
Kefir is a fermented drink that is a little bit like a slightly fizzy drinkable yogurt. It often has a slight tanginess, which can be stronger if the drink hasn’t been sweetened first.
The probiotics in kefir are an important reason for choosing this drink. Probiotics are a way to improve the bacteria in your gut, creating a better balance of healthy microbes. This can be critical for anyone whose gut bacteria is compromised in some way, such as if you have been taking antibiotics for an infection.
Because acid reflux is linked to your gut, taking probiotics regularly could help to decrease acid reflux symptoms.
While any source of probiotics should be helpful for reflux, kefir stands out because it is a dairy product. Plain dairy products are sometimes recommended to decrease acid reflux, as they can help to soothe the stomach. Kefir is a way to get dairy and probiotics at the same time.
Kefir does have a slight fizziness, which would normally be a bad thing for acid reflux. However, the fizziness is much less than you find with soda, so kefir shouldn’t aggravate acid reflux symptoms.
Speaking of dairy, milk can also help to improve acid reflux. Milk isn’t a probiotic, so it doesn’t have all the benefits that kefir offers. Still, milk tends to be cheaper than kefir and easier to find.
This is one time where it’s important to choose low fat milk, as fatty foods and drinks are more likely to cause acid reflux than low fat versions.
You’ll also need to be a little careful with kefir and milk. Despite the benefits of dairy, many people can’t digest dairy products well. If you’re even slightly sensitive to dairy or to lactose, you may get more negative effects from milk and kefir than positive ones.
If you’re sensitive to dairy, then plant-based milk may be a better choice for acid reflux. While any type of plant-based milk could do the trick, almond milk is the most recommended choice.
Almond milk is notable because it is alkaline. This may help to neutralize your acid reflux and calm symptoms down faster.
While almond milk is made from almonds, it isn’t a rich source of nutrients like almonds themselves are. In fact, commercial almond milk tends to be mostly water. This isn’t a bad thing for acid reflux, although you can get a better nutrient balance if you make almond milk at home yourself.
Soy milk stands out for two reasons. First, it is one of the most common plant-based milks, so there are many products and styles to choose from. You can often find fortified versions of the milk, such as ones that have extra protein added or nutrients like calcium.
The second advantage is that soy milk tends to be low in fat, lower than other types of plant-based milk. This can be important for some people, as high fat foods and drinks may trigger acid reflux.
Other Plant Based Milks
Almond milk and soy milk are good go-to choices for plant based milk. Still, they’re far from your only choices. There are many other options to choose from, including cashew milk, rice milk, oat milk, and coconut milk. You may need to experiment to find one that you like that works well with your reflux symptoms.
Coconut milk is one to be aware of. It does tend to be soothing and alkaline, but coconut milk is often high in fat. This could be a problem for acid reflux symptoms.
You’ll also need to pay attention to the products that you choose. Some plant-based milks use additives, like carrageenan that some people are sensitive to.
Licorice Root Tea
Most herbal teas are helpful for acid reflux. Licorice root is one of the best, as it helps to increase the mucus coating in your esophagus, which helps to protect your stomach lining and tone down the effects of stomach acid.
Just be aware that licorice root is a mild laxative. This could be a slight problem if you plan to drink the tea late at night or if you’re sensitive to laxative effects.
It’s also important to be a little careful about how often you drink the tea. Some reports suggest that too much licorice root may have negative health effects. For that matter, it’s generally best to rely on a variety of herbal teas, rather than drinking a single type.
Chamomile tea is another herbal tea option. The tea is most well-known for its calming effects, which is why many people drink it as a sleep aid. The calming nature of chamomile could be highly relevant for acid reflux, as there is a link between acid reflux and stress.
There isn’t much evidence that chamomile tea will decrease acid reflux, but that scarcely matters. The tea isn’t likely to make your symptoms any worse. It also happens to be delicious and perfect at the end of the day.
Caffeine-Free Herbal Tea
The herbal teas that we’ve mentioned so far have the most potential for decreasing acid reflux, but they’re far from the only options. Almost any caffeine-free herbal tea should be a safe bet for acid reflux sufferers. Some of these teas will help to calm your symptoms, while others are simply relaxing drinks.
You don’t need to stick to teas made from a single plant or flower either. There are many interesting blends out there that use multiple ingredients. These are often delicious and take advantage of the best parts of each ingredient.
The main exception is any tea that contains mint, as this will cause acid reflux for many people. Even if you experience no problems with peppermint or spearmint teas, you’re not likely to get the same calming effects as with other choices.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is sometimes recommended as a treatment for acid reflux too. However, this is an approach to try with caution, as some people find that their acid reflux symptoms get worse instead.
The idea is that apple cider vinegar can help to balance the pH in your stomach and reduce symptoms. Apple cider vinegar is fermented too, which could help with the balance of bacteria in your gut.
Trying apple cider vinegar for yourself isn’t too risky. Many people drink the vinegar daily to try and improve their health anyway. Even if the vinegar aggravates your acid reflux symptoms, the symptoms should calm down again before too long.
Just be sure to drink apple cider vinegar in water (preferably warm water), rather than having it straight. There’s no advantage to drinking apple cider straight anyway and doing so risks damage to your teeth or esophagus.
Fruit juice tends to be acidic and can easily trigger acid reflux. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid juice entirely. You just need to choose the choice that you drink carefully. Carrot juice is one example, as this isn’t acidic.
Carrot juice is also useful as it is high in beta-carotene and may help to promote your eye health.
Aloe Vera Juice
The hype around aloe vera gets a little insane at times, as the plant isn’t nearly as amazing as many people like to imagine. Still, aloe vera juice does have some advantages, including the potential to help reduce acid reflux.
One reason is that the juice tends to be alkaline. It is also mild, which is helpful for acid reflux symptoms. There are even some suggestions that aloe vera can help to soothe the esophagus and reduce the risk of long-term complications from acid reflux.
Why not try something simple? Water has a neutral pH, so it’s not going to aggravate acid reflux. It can also help to dilute your stomach acid and keep your esophagus clear. Both of those features can be very helpful.
Plus, dehydration can be a trigger for acid reflux. Some people who experience acid reflux regularly may be dehydrated. Drinking more water throughout the day is an easy way to resolve the problem.
Alkaline water may be even better than regular water for heartburn, simply because of the difference in pH. Just bear in mind that many of the claims surrounding alkaline water may not be true. If you’re going to try it for yourself, do a little background digging first.
While lemon water is often touted as an incredibly healthy drink, it’s an odd addition to this list – as lemons are highly acidic. Despite this, lemon water may help to reduce acid reflux symptoms.
The effect is partly because you’re not drinking much lemon juice at a time, perhaps just a tablespoon of juice in a full glass of water. This low dose even means that lemon water tends to have an alkalizing effect, rather than an acidic one.
Coconut water gives you the benefits of regular water and a little bit more. For one thing, you get the flavor of coconut, which makes this a more enjoyable drink than plain water.
Coconut water also contains more than water nutrients. There are key electrolytes present that may improve hydration. You can think of coconut water like a healthy and natural sports drink.
This beautifully colored hot drink is generally made using plant-based milk, turmeric, and perhaps other spices. It mostly acts as a way to increase your turmeric intake, as turmeric has been linked to an array of health benefits. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric may be especially relevant for reducing acid reflux symptoms.
Plus, golden milk doesn’t contain any compounds that are likely to aggravate acid reflux. This makes it a safe drink to enjoy at any time of the day or night.