What Juice Is Good for Acid Reflux?
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Heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux are common in adults all around the world. Rumored treatment options are plentiful, especially regarding foods and drinks that might be beneficial. However, it helps to know what you are dealing with before exploring possible treatment options.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GER) occurs when stomach acid rises into the esophagus, causing irritation and burning sensations. The esophagus is separated from the stomach by a muscular valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES doesn’t close properly, stomach acid will rise, causing heartburn and uncomfortable symptoms.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
GER may happen for several reasons. Overweight or pregnant individuals may experience extra pressure on their stomachs, pushing acid into the esophagus. Smoking and excessive alcohol intake can cause the LES to relax while increasing stomach acid, contributing to reflux symptoms.
Certain foods can also trigger acid reflux, including:
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Fried foods
What Should I Drink for Acid Reflux?
Knowing what to drink for GER at night or whenever the symptoms occur will take some trial and error. While there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence about beneficial drinks, there are few scientific studies that confirm the claims. Exercise caution in trying at-home remedies.
A few drinks that many have found to be helpful include:
- Herbal teas: Noncaffeinated teas can provide several health benefits. Ginger can reduce inflammation, while licorice can increase the mucus coating of the esophageal lining to bring relief.
- Certain types of milk: The best milk for acid reflux is low-fat or plant-based. High-fat milk can induce more symptoms while milk with a lower fat content can decrease burning sensations.
- Fruit and vegetable juices: Various drinks, such as carrot and apple juice, are good for GER. Low-acidity fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of heartburn occurring.
- Smoothies: Liquid foods can ease the symptoms of acid reflux because they are easier for the stomach to digest. Be sure to use low-acidity fruits such as pears or watermelon.
- Water: Drinking water between meals can help the digestive system perform better, leading to decreased acid GER. Alkaline waters such as coconut water can potentially reduce heartburn by promoting the pH balance in the body.
What Drinks Should You Avoid with Acid Reflux?
While no one drink will cure GER symptoms, several beverages will aggravate heartburn in most people. To avoid or reduce symptoms, try not to drink:
- Alcohol: Drinking alcohol relaxes the LES and increases stomach acid, leading to many uncomfortable symptoms.
- Citrus and acidic juices: Orange and tomato juices can aggravate heartburn. Drinks with high citric acid like Gatorade are also bad for acid GER.
- Mint: While several tea options can be beneficial, be sure to stay away from minty ones. Peppermint tea will relax the LES, letting stomach acid rise.
- Caffeine and carbonated drinks: Coffee and other caffeinated beverages can trigger acid reflux. Carbonation can also make heartburn worse.
- Chocolate: Both cocoa and caffeine lead to increased acid reflux symptoms.
Other Treatments for Heartburn
Drinks may or may not work to calm your GER symptoms, but there are other methods you can try to help find relief.
Several over-the-counter medicines can ease symptoms:
Adjusting your daily habits can help reduce your acid reflux symptoms. Since certain foods and eating habits often cause heartburn, see if there are any changes you could make, such as avoiding trigger foods or eating smaller portions.
Other adjustments you could make include:
- Elevating your upper body while sleeping
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Wearing loose clothing
- Quitting smoking
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Most cases of acid reflux can be cared for at home with the help of various remedies, lifestyle changes or medication. If you experience prolonged symptoms without relief from any at-home treatments, be sure to speak with your doctor.