If you're plagued with heartburn, you may notice that drinking orange or grapefruit juice makes it worse. That's because the acidity in the juice may irritate the soft tissue that lines your esophagus. Drinking nonacidic juices may help ease your discomfort while satisfying your need for a sweetened beverage.
Acidity of food is measured in pH. A pH of 7 or less is considered acidic, which means all juice is acidic, but some is better-tolerated than others. For reference, citrus fruits such as lemon juice has a pH of 2.0 to 2.6, grapefruit a pH of 3 to 3.8 and orange juice a pH of 3.3 to 4.2, while apple juice has a pH of 3.4 to 4 and milk a pH of 6.3 to 6.6. Acidity in juice creates a sour taste, though the sourness is often offset by the natural sugar in juice.
Although apple juice has a low pH, it is considered a less-acidic juice and tends to be better-tolerated by those with digestive issues such as reflux disease, according to Jackson-Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. One cup of unsweetened apple juice has 114 calories and 28 grams of carbohydrates and is protein- and fat-free. The juice is not a significant source of any vitamins or minerals, but it can help you meet your daily vitamin C, potassium and manganese needs.
When it comes to acidity, pear juice may be your best bet as the least acidic. A pear has a pH of 3.5 to 4.6. One cup of pear juice has 150 calories, 38 grams of carbs and 0 grams of protein or fat. It's also a good source of potassium, meeting 11 percent of the daily value. But like apple juice, pear juice is not a significant source of any other vitamin or mineral, meeting 4 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and calcium.
Peaches have about the same pH level as apples, ranging from 3.3 to 4, but are also considered less acidic and better tolerated. Peach juice is higher in calories and carbs than apple juice, with 160 calories and 38 grams of carbs per cup, and is also protein- and fat-free. Some brands may be fortified with vitamin C, helping you meet 100 percent of the daily value per serving.
- Jackson-Seigelbaum Gastroenterology: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
- European Food Information Council: Acidity Regulators -- The Mult-Task Players
- The University of Wisconsin-Madison: pH Values of Common Foods and Ingredients
- HealthAliciousNess.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool: Apple Juice
- Walmart: Welch's Bottled Peach Juice
- R W Knudsen: Organic Pear Juice