Does Coffee Give You Heartburn?

A morning cup of coffee is the best way to start your day. It is a favorite drink for many people because its caffeine content helps them stay active all day. 

Average coffee lovers drink at least three cups of coffee daily, and many may experience heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms. A cup of Joe seems harmless, but it may cause these symptoms. The rest of this article explains how coffee consumption affects acid reflux sufferers. 

Is Coffee Good For Acid Reflux?

two take-away coffee mugs

Coffee has an average pH level of around 4.85 to 5.10 and is considered acidic. This high acidity in coffee is due to the caffeine in coffee beans, and it is a wrong choice for people suffering from acid reflux symptoms.

Caffeine intake leads to increased production of stomach acid that weakens the lower esophageal sphincter. This high-pressure zone is located at the bottom of the esophagus and is a barrier to prevent the backward flow of stomach contents, thereby preventing symptoms of acid reflux. 

The fact that coffee is not a good choice for acid reflux patients may be bad news, but the good news is that it is not as acidic as many foods we consume. Since the acidity level of coffee is closer to neutral than many acidic drinks, it can be drunk in moderate amounts without experiencing adverse effects.

However, the effects vary among people, and many may suffer the discomfort of heartburn despite drinking coffee in moderation. You can drink small amounts of coffee and notice its effects on your body. Do not hesitate to seek medical advice if you experience frequent heartburn resulting from coffee consumption. 

Read also: Does Decaf Coffee Cause Heartburn?

How To Avoid Heartburn From Coffee

brunette woman drinking coffee

Coffee drinkers may find it hard to quit drinking the beverage despite experiencing heartburn symptoms. Regular coffee consumption may not be a good idea while combating acid reflux symptoms, but there are ways to enjoy coffee while avoiding heartburn symptoms. 

Drink Coffee With Low Acidity

The acidity of coffee triggers acid reflux symptoms and causes discomfort for people with sensitive stomachs. Coffee is naturally acidic, but certain low-acid coffee brands are a good choice for people who suffer from occasional heartburn. 

Low-acid coffee digests easier because they contain fewer compounds that cause acid production in the stomach. It also has a smooth, less bitter taste while retaining the caffeine qualities of any other type of coffee. 

Avoid Inflammatories

Your coffee may not be complete without sugar, cream, and other additives, but they may cause acid reflux symptoms. 

High-fat milk is a known acid reflux trigger, while sugar and other additives could lead to inflammation. The digestive system finds these additives hard to process, and you can isolate them from your coffee to know if they are the main culprits. You can also use plant-based milk instead or drink black coffee. 

Read also: Best Wine For Acid Reflux – Ultimate Guide For 2023

Drink Quality Coffee

Since many coffee lovers are experts at identifying quality, you may need to step up your game to avoid heartburn symptoms. You should be able to read the labels of coffee brands and choose trusted ones if you want to try out new products. Coffee made with quality arabica beans is some of the best you can find. 

Try Another Brewing Method

You can experiment with another brewing method if drinking coffee leads to heartburn. Cold brew coffee is one you should try because it has less acid content than hot coffee. Also, use quality paper filters because they prevent acid reflux by removing most of the cafestol. This compound increases cholesterol levels in coffee, and high cholesterol levels could lead to acid reflux symptoms. 

What To Do If You Experience Heartburn Symptoms Due To Coffee Consumption

a guy lying on a sofa having heartburn

Acid reflux -also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)- is a medical condition that occurs when the esophagus is irritated by stomach acids. Its symptoms include nausea, chest pain, a bitter taste in the mouth, and a burning sensation in the chest.

Some lifestyle changes should are required to avoid these GERD symptoms. One of these changes is taking acidic foods like tomato sauce and other spicy foods off your diet. You should also replace fatty foods with healthy fats. 

Indigestion also causes heartburn, as the stomach produces more stomach acids if foods take longer to digest. You can avoid acid reflux symptoms due to indigestion by eating high-fiber foods like whole grains and beans that help the digestive tract. You should also ensure you chew your food well and eat at least three hours before sleeping.

Excess fat in the body can slow the rate of digestion, and you should consider weight loss if you are overweight or obese. You should also maintain the correct sitting and standing posture when performing daily activities. 

Read also: Is Ginger Ale Good For Acid Reflux?

Does Coffee Give You Heartburn Summary

Coffee has many health benefits, and morning coffee is a go-to beverage for Kickstarting a busy day. However, it could trigger symptoms of GERD in many people due to its acidity. Quitting coffee may not be necessary if you suffer from acid reflux symptoms, as you only need to avoid drinking too much coffee. You should notice how coffee affects your acid reflux symptoms and contact your healthcare provider for medications if the symptoms persist.