Is Gatorade Good For Acid Reflux? Uncovering The Answer

Gatorade has a refreshing fruity flavor that everyone loves, and one bottle can help cool the temperature on a hot day. Sports drinks like Gatorade have also maintained their reputation as necessary beverages for athletes and runners. All these advantages sound tempting, don’t they? But the question is whether drinking this indispensable beverage triggers your acid reflux.

Keep reading this article to learn if Gatorade is good for acid reflux.

Is Gatorade Good For Acid Reflux?

woman drinking from water bottle

In the United States, Gatorade is one of the best-selling energizing drinks, especially among runners and athletes who use it to rehydrate and energize themselves. 

When you develop acid reflux/ gastroesophageal reflux disease, your lower esophageal sphincter disrupts and allows stomach acids to leak into your food pipe, which further becomes the root of other acid reflux symptoms as well. Athletes, the target consumers of Gatorade, are more likely to develop this digestive problem. They can be severely affected by this, which is why adopting a gerd-friendly diet is extremely important.

To answer your question as simply as possible, NO. There is no doubt that Gatorade is not suitable for acid reflux because it contains a few ingredients that are considered the primary triggers for Gerd. Some studies have even shown that people who use this drink instead of mineral water to rehydrate themselves are at a higher risk of developing GERD.

Why Is Gatorade Not Good For Acid Reflux?

Three bottles in ice

Below are listed reasons why Gatorade is bad for your acid reflux. Take a close look to understand the sensitivity of this situation.

Gatorade Contains Citric Acid

citric acid

You must have noticed that most of the Gatorade flavors are named after citrus fruits, such as cool blue, strawberry lemonade, lemon-lime, etc., and if you look at the ingredients list behind, you will see that “citric acid” is present in almost all sports drinks. It is primarily added to stabilize and preserve the drink. Even though it brings along a uniquely delicious sour taste, there are many potential adverse effects that companies fail to mention.

Regarding GERD, citric acid and citrus fruits are considered huge triggers because citrus juices (mainly lemon juice and orange juice) add to your stomach acids when your stomach acids are in large quantities and the likeliness of GERD and GERD symptoms increases.

Furthermore, citric acids can also hurt the lining of your esophagus and cause chronic cough, sore throat, tooth decay, burning sensation, etc.

If you are an athlete, these seemingly mild symptoms can turn into long-term illnesses and even affect your career by causing dreadful consequences and health issues.

Rich In Carbohydrates

three bottles in different colors

There is a high concentration of carbohydrates in most sporting, and acidic drinks, which the companies claim makes the drinks better at rehydrating the body. Carbohydrates work well with electrolytes and provide significant energy that water doesn’t. This drink’s refueling feature is one factor that makes Gatorade popular amongst athletes. But have you ever stopped and wondered about its side effects?

Carbohydrates are considered bad for acid reflux because they are often regarded as indigestible. Instead of being processed by your digestive system, they remain in your body and add to stomach contents. Carbs are also at risk of catching bacteria and worsening the toxicity of stomach acids.

The lack of space in your stomach that is now occupied by unprocessed carbs forces the acids to spill into your lower esophagus instead. It is likely to cause uncomfortable symptoms such as chest pain, the pain of heartburn, and other gastrointestinal symptoms as well.

High Amounts of Sugar

sugar bites and normal sugar

As discussed above, carbohydrates can be bad for acid reflux. Since sugar is a carbohydrate, the likelihood of acid reflux after drinking a bottle of Gatorade is further increased.

Sugar is an effective fuel and a great energy source that can sustain long exercises and workouts. A single Gatorade serving contains about 36 grams of sugar, and even though Gatorade’s sugar content is lower than a regular soda, it doesn’t make it any less unhealthy.

Sugar alone is not considered a primary risk factor for GERD, but when paired with other Gatorade ingredients such as caffeine, citric acid, and carbohydrates. It also becomes a GERD trigger and sometimes the main reason for heartburn symptoms.

Reasons Why Gatorade Might Be Good For Acid Reflux

guy in white smiling with a sport drink in his hand

If Gatorade is this harmful, why is it so popular amongst people? Just like every other substance, Gatorade has its advantages and health benefits.

It is not up for debate that Gatorade is bad for acid reflux, but if you have heard someone claiming it is safe, it might be because of the following information listed below.

Electrolytes Promote Neutral ph Balance

In case you don’t know, Electrolytes are minerals that are essential for your body to function correctly. They regulate the pH balance and chemical reactions in your body, and their lack in your system can cause muscle twitching, stiffness, and irritability.

Recent studies have shown that a pH balance below 4.0 also increases the likelihood of developing acid reflux. Considering that electrolyte solve that very problem, you can avoid symptoms of acid reflux by ensuring a healthy intake of electrolytes regularly.

Companies add high amounts of electrolytes to sports drinks to compensate for the energy lost during exercise. Gatorade is no exception, which might be why you or others may have assumed it to be good for acid reflux.

Remember that there are other safe options to ensure electrolyte consumption as well. Just because Gatorade is rich in this mineral doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t trigger acid reflux. 

Gatorade Alternatives To Drink With Acid Reflux

Below are listed some good alternatives that are nearly as effective as Gatorade, and on the bright side, they will perform many of the same functions without any severe side effects.

To replenish electrolytesCoconut water
For nutrients and hydrationBroth
To maintain Ph balance Alkaline water
Rehydration after exercise16-24 ounces of mineral water or herbal tea
Gerd-friendly energizing drinksPlant-based milk

Is Gatorade Good For Acid Reflux summary

It is important to remember that Gatorade is bad for acid reflux and can undoubtedly cause health complications. Risking your health for a temporary energy boost isn’t worth it. Other electrolyte sources can be taken because this one advantage doesn’t make up for all the drawbacks.

Consult your healthcare provider and seek proper medical attention if you require further guidance. Remember that cutting Gatorade out of your diet will save you from several medical problems, such as severe GERD.

We hope this article helps you. Suppose you have any further queries feel free to contact us. Please share this with your Gatorade lover friends and notify them about these underestimated adverse effects.