Is drinking coffee something that triggers acid reflux? Is it true or is this coffee acid reflux a myth?
The answer to the question still remains relatively unknown. In the world of the internet, there are thousands of articles on “OH NO… you can’t have this or that or the other”. The simple truth is that whether or not you can have that cup of coffee, caffeinated or de-caffeinated varies person to person.
I believe that coffee and other foods get a crummy reputation because most of the medical industry doesn’t know how to holistically treat acid reflux. All sorts of diet cutbacks are recommended and it’s a lot like trying to shoot a basket in the dark.
When I was dealing with Acid Reflux there were many foods and drinks that I simply would not go near for no specific reason other than “they” told me not to. (who is “they”… right?).
I just heard that coffee and tea were high in acidity and the general opinion at the time was that
- Coffee caused heartburn and acid reflux
- Decaffeinated Coffee caused acid reflux flares
- Tea would cause acid reflux issues
- Decaffeinated Tea would cause acid reflux problems
and so on…
…but that really wasn’t the case as I found out. In fact, it wasn’t until I learned how to cure my acid reflux problems naturally that I found out a bit more about the real culprit behind this myth.
It’s called a Unquie Acid Reflux Trigger
Just like there is no single cure for heartburn, acid reflux and GERD, there’s also no single trigger that everyone experiences in the exact same way. Probably some common cases exist where there are things you really shouldn’t be eating or drinking if you have been diagnosed with acid reflux or GERD. I think that’s definitely true.
This could mean that because you *think* it’s the coffee causing heartburn it might be the sweetener, maybe the milk, possibly the sugar. It might not be the coffee or tea that causes you the issues.
Can coffee cause indigestion? Sure it can. Can coffee give you heartburn or cause an acid reflux flare up? Absolutely. So can my mother-in-law’s green bean casserole.
Will it for you? I have no idea.
Unless you know for a fact that drinking coffee or tea, decaf or regular, is a trigger for GERD symptoms or even simple indigestion, there’s no reason NOT to drink it.
An example from my history from many years battling with acid reflux and GERD. I love very spicy foods, all of them. If it’s spicy I simply love it and will do whatever it takes to have my forehead break out in a full sweat.
I gave up spicy food for many years and it pained me greatly until I read an article online…
Its premise was that the stress of eating a certain food might actually be MORE damaging than eating the food.
The headline made great sense to me. And so I ran a little experiment on my own acid reflux situation.
I wasn’t taking any over the counter drugs or doctor prescribed medicines for GERD. Just me, armed to the teeth with a big bottle of antacids and a 6 pack of Pepto.
Here’s what I did, I took 8 foods, two each day one in the morning and one later in the afternoon, and I sat down at the table and ate one of them for 4 days. Each day I found those foods that triggered my acid reflux and those that didn’t.
I found that I could eat spicy food just fine! I also found out that meat tenderizer on a steak was an instant case of acid reflux for me.
I drank coffee and tea with absolutely no issues! I then discovered that tomato juice and V8 were a no go.
A cocktail of vodka was perfectly fine. Even the smallest amounts of chocolate and other sweets were not.
So let’s recap for a moment on this Coffee Acid Reflux Myth –
- Can coffee cause indigestion? I am sure it can and probably does for quite a few people.
- Is it possible for coffee to give you heartburn and trigger acid reflux symptoms? Sure it can.
- What about decaf… can decaf coffee cause acid reflux? To my knowledge, there’s less acidity (usually) in decaffeinated coffee but is that reduction enough to stop the Unique trigger for you?
- Can decaf coffee cause heartburn even if I don’t have acid reflux? Probably so in some people.
- How about decaf tea and acid reflux? Could be…
The question you need to ask is *Will* it Cause heartburn, acid reflux, etc” in YOU?
It’s an amazingly important question in my opinion. Also, just because you get heartburn from something doesn’t necessarily mean that you have GERD or acid reflux. It might mean that your biology and stomach environment just react poorly to it.
I know it sounds crazy to sit at the table with a cup of coffee or tea and drink it and wait like you are on death row for the burning to start. My bet though is that you will find out 100% if you have a unique trigger related to your acid reflux and tea, coffee, or whatever.
I believe that you should test the common foods that are around you to determine if you have a trigger for those foods. Make a list of the ones that are ok and those that aren’t.
Some questions I was asked at the time of my acid reflux disease about coffee (which weren’t really answered until much much later when the Internet became what it is today)
I don’t know if back then they had any of these options and if they did I certainly didn’t know about them. Because I no longer deal with any kind of acid reflux any testing has been merely for taste. I am not a coffee connoisseur but I enjoy a good cup a couple of times a week.
You will need to try them and see if there’s a unique trigger that occurs in your body.
Q: Do they make an acid free instant coffee?
A: Actually, at the time of this writing, they do make an acid-neutralized coffee. It’s by a company called Kava and you can get it on Amazon.com. Now, I have never been a fan of instant coffee but I tried this stuff and it was actually pretty tasty.
Q: What about an acid free decaf coffee?
Yep, and I know lots of people who buy it. It’s from a company called Tyler’s Acid Free Coffee. And surprise surprise… you can even buy it on Amazon.com.
Q: Are there any acid free coffee brands?
As far as I know, there’s only Tyler’s Acid Free Coffee. I am sure that there are others but it’s the only brand that I have purchased.
I have also heard good things about the brand PureRoast from a chef friend as a reduced acid coffee. The company says that they have 70% less acid than other coffee brands. It seems pretty popular on Amazon.com …your mileage might vary.
The Coffee Acid Reflux Myth Conclusion
Look, I am not a doctor and if your doctor says NO coffee or tea… then no coffee or tea I suppose. Then again, if you absolutely LOVE coffee then you might just take a morning and see if you have a trigger response from caffeine acid reflux. I listened to doctors for years and only through self-management was I able to initially have some kind of joy from my diet. Just take small steps, one at a time, until you can list what triggers you have or those you suspect.
As a food industry person, I believe eating is such an important aspect of daily life. Knowing what you can and can’t eat regarding GERD or even indigestion will help you be the master/mistress of your own ship.
I wrote a review about how to gain acid reflux freedom holistically and forever ==> you can click here to learn more.
Also, I have a post, a rather opinionated review if you will, concerning over the counter acid reflux remedies and heartburn cures. ==> You can find the article here.
Lastly, if you know of any other excellent acid free coffees or teas please comment below so I can add them!!!
Thanks for reading