Stanford University

Acid Reflux – What to Drink for It

Some people think ahead, and plan a drink with meals that will help avoid acid reflux. Others Wait, and look for a drink that will relieve acid reflux. Whichever your style, here are a few tips on what to drink for acid reflux.

Acid Reflux – What Not to Drink

There are four beverages you may want to avoid if you have trouble with acid reflux: alcohol, coffee, peppermint tea, and milk.

1. Alcohol: There is some debate about whether or not alcohol causes acid reflux. Some warn against all alcohol, while others caution only against a very dry white wine, which tends to have high acidity. If you have acid reflux on a frequent basis, you may want to experiment as to whether it is worse or better after drinking alcohol.

2. Coffee: There is an ongoing debate as to whether coffee is to blame for acid reflux. People have thought so for many years. In fact, people believed this so strongly that coffee companies finally decided there was a market for a “smoother” coffee that did not cause acid reflux. A relatively recent study by Stanford University researchers, however, found no scientific evidence to support the notion that eliminating coffee gives relief from acid reflux. The study, which appeared in the May 2006 issue of “The Archives of Internal Medicine,” evaluated published medical reports from 1975 to 2004 on heartburn.

3. Peppermint: Many people suggest avoiding products containing peppermint. Peppermint tea, which sounds so soothing, can increase acid reflux. Peppermint appears to permit the passage of acid from stomach to esophagus.

4. Milk: Many doctors agree that drinking milk with meals may cause acid reflux in adults. Non-professionals believe milk neutralizes stomach acid, making it difficult to digest food. The result can be acid reflux.

Acid Reflux – What to Drink

There are a number of drinks you may want to try for acid reflux. Most fall under the category of folk remedy, but many people get relief with them. This information is for educational purposes only, of course. Please seek advice from your physician before drinking any of these.

1. Slippery Elm Bark Tea: Health food stores usually have slippery elm bark tea. Drink the bark tea with your meal to avoid acid reflux. Bark tea coats the esophagus lining, reducing its sensitivity to acid. If you want to make the tea at home, try to purchase the shredded bark. Use the inner part of the bark, and steep it in hot water for your acid reflux tea. This makes a thick beverage, with a consistency similar to runny gelatin. If it is too thick for you, simply add more hot water.

2. Ginger Tea: Ginger tea also is available in health food stores, and is helpful for acid reflux when used either with the meal or immediately following the meal. It is easily made at home. Use 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root, or 1,000 mg of ginger powder. If neither is available, use ground ginger from the spice rack. Steep the ginger in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes, and then sip. Ginger is helpful for indigestion and acid reflux, especially if caused by spicy foods.

3. Licorice Tea: Licorice tea is also effective in the battle against acid reflux. Purchase your tea, or make it by placing 1 teaspoon of licorice root in 1 1/4 cups of boiling water. Turn the heat low, and simmer the tea for 10 to 15 minutes in a covered pan. Remove from heat, and stir in 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile. Cover and allow your acid reflux tea to steep for 10 minutes. Strain it before drinking.

CAUTION: NEVER use licorice tea for acid reflux if you have high blood pressure (hypertension).

4. Clove-Ade: If you prefer a cold drink rather than tea, you may get relief from acid reflux by drinking a glass of clove-ade. Simply add a few drops of clove oil to a glass of cold water. Stir, and sip the clove-ade slowly to offset acid reflux.

5. Banana Milk-less Smoothies: Bananas seem to be very effective as an acid reflux fighter. Bananas become a natural antacid in the body. Banana milk-less smoothies are a cool way to use the banana’s ability to fight acid reflux. Start smoothies the night before by placing 1 banana, peeled and cut in pieces, into a freezer container. The next day, put the frozen banana chunks in a blender with 3 cups of soy milk, 1 cup of frozen strawberries, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add sugar or other sweetener to taste, and blend until smooth. Sip slowly to relieve acid reflux.

Heartburn, acid reflux, GERD, or indigestion: people have found relief for all of them by abstaining from drinking certain beverages, making a point of drinking other beverages.

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