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Can Drinking Coffee Cause Acid Reflux?

by
author image Janelle Commins
Janelle Commins started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the "UCLA Total Wellness" magazine on nutrition and fitness topics that are of interest to young adults. Her work has also appeared in various online publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition science from University of California, Davis, and a Master of Science in public health from University of California, Los Angeles.
Can Drinking Coffee Cause Acid Reflux?
Cup of hot coffee and coffe beans Photo Credit marco palazzi/iStock/Getty Images

You should avoid coffee if you experience symptoms of acid reflux. Acid reflux is also known as heartburn, a condition in which foods and stomach acid leak upward from the stomach into your esophagus, causing irritation to the soft lining of the esophagus. Other beverages that may irritate this condition include beer, wine and liquor.

Coffee as Irritant

Coffee is one beverage to avoid if you are experiencing inflammation. Coffee can irritate acid reflux by stimulating excessive gastric acid secretion. Your stomach normally secretes acid, which is used to break down foods prior to absorption in the small intestine. Consuming a lot of coffee means it is more likely this fluid will mix with gastric acid and back up into your esophagus.

Acid Reflux Mechanism

Acid reflux can be chronic or short-term. Ingestion of a corrosive agent, viral inflammation or intubation can cause this condition. Risk of reflux is increased after gastric bypass surgery, tobacco use, recurrent vomiting and increased abdominal pressure such as during pregnancy.

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Beverages to Avoid

Alcohol and other caffeine-containing beverages such as tea and cola are common triggers of acid reflux. Some people find that consuming only small amounts of water with their meals can help control symptoms, rather than consuming water by the glass several times throughout a meal. People respond differently to different foods; it is important learn what foods trigger your symptoms.

Best Practices to Manage Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux, you should avoid large, high-fat meals, especially 3 to 4 hours before sleeping. You should also stop smoking and avoid chocolate. Peppermint and spearmint oils, such as those used in candies and chewing gum, can also trigger acid reflux. You should also stay upright and avoid vigorous activity soon after eating. Additionally, avoid tight-fitting clothing, especially after a meal. Acidic and highly spiced foods can also trigger symptoms.

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