Gastrointestinal reflux, or simply acid reflux, is easy to identify, even if you aren’t a doctor. If you’ve ever felt a burn in your chest or a sour and unpleasant taste in your mouth, you’ve experienced acid reflux symptoms.
What happens during gastrointestinal reflux?
Stomach contents, including food and acid, should stay in the stomach and not regurgitate. But when regurgitation does happen, it can cause discomfort. When acid reflux occurs repeatedly, it is known as GERD or gastrointestinal reflux disease. It is caused by the weakening or untimely relaxation of the sphincter in the lower esophagus, causing stomach acid and other contents to flow up the esophagus and even reach the mouth, causing the characteristic bitter taste. Untreated GERD can ultimately damage the esophagus.
Does alcohol cause acid reflux?
Drinking alcohol if you suffer from GERD, might not be a good idea since it could potentially lead to a person feeling more of its symptoms and suffering from esophageal mucosal damage. It is, therefore, best to either avoid alcohol or to drink in moderation. However, more studies need to be conducted to shed thorough light on the relationship between GERD and alcohol consumption.
Moderate drinking habits
If you like alcohol but suffer from the uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux, you should limit your alcohol consumption to a maximum of one serving per day. In addition, you will be pleased to know that there are certain alcoholic drinks, like distilled spirits, that are great choices if you want to keep your acid reflux under control.
The best alcoholic drinks for acid reflux
Distilled spirits like whiskey and vodka are great, not only because they are low in carbs and calories but also because they don’t have any sugar. If you want to keep your stomach acidity low and still enjoy an alcoholic beverage every now and then, you can choose from these options:
With no added sugars, gin is flavorful due to juniper berries or other botanical ingredients that are added to it. It is a clear liquid with an ABV of 40% or more.
2. Non-grain vodkas
If opting for a vodka, make sure that you pick one made out of grapes or vegetables and avoid the one made from grain. In addition, non-grain vodkas will also be gluten-free, a perfect choice for those who have gluten sensitivity or suffer from celiac disease.
Tequila is also flavorful with no added sugar, just like gin. It is made from the blue agave plant, with certain parts of Mexico having exclusive rights to its production. Tequila has an ABV of 38% to 50% and has an earthy taste as a standard, with slight variations depending on where the agave plant is grown and what style of tequila is produced.
Also made from the agave plant, the prime difference between Mezcal and Tequila is that Mezcal can be made from any agave plant, but Tequila can only be made from Blue Weber Agave. So we can think of Tequila as Mezcal. Mezcal has a smoky taste because it’s made from roasted agave, and it generally has an ABV of 40% to 50%.
Aged in wooden barrels, mainly white oak, whiskey is a distilled liquor made with cereal grains. It normally has an ABV of 40% to 50% and a rich and robust flavor with notes of vanilla, spice, and oak. Scotch whisky typically has a smoky taste and flavor, whereas Irish whiskey is mellow and smooth.
Cognac is a brandy, and its production is strictly limited to certain areas in France. It most likely originated in the 17th century and was made using grapes and distilled twice before being left in barrels to age. Having an ABV of around 40%, its taste can be sweet, bitter, dry, fruity, or spicy, depending on the cognac you drink.
Worst alcoholic drinks if you suffer from acid reflux
Drinks with a lower ethanol content are strong triggers of gastrin and gastric acid release in the stomach. While increased acidity does not in itself cause acid reflux, it can definitely make symptoms worse. Here are three alcoholic beverages that can contribute to increased acidity in the stomach:
Beer is not only acidic, but it is also carbonated. These two combinations can aggravate acid reflux, and it will leave you feeling terrible during a fun night out with your friends.
Containing a lot of yeast and sugar, wine has the potential to increase stomach acidity, which can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
Liqueurs also contain a lot of sugar and are acidic. They are more often mixed in cocktails, so if you want to have some fun without any adverse reactions, you should either opt for another alcoholic drink or have a cocktail without liqueur.
Great non-alcoholic drinks to ease your acid reflux symptoms
Since alcohol is linked to acid reflux, it is best to avoid it to keep consumption to a minimum. Instead, while out socializing, you can opt for other drinks that are non-acidic. You can try any of these:
1. Plant-based milk
These include a whole range of options made from nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. Since they are non-dairy, they give an added advantage to people who are lactose intolerant.
Water is perhaps the best drink for hydration, and it has no negative side effects. While not an ideal drink to socialize over, it nonetheless offers great health benefits and keeps you feeling your top self all throughout the evening.
You can make smoothies with many ingredients, but perhaps the best choice is yogurt or a fruit juice-based smoothie. You can then add non-dairy milk, fruits, vegetables, and supplements to it, depending on your preferences. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try vegan yogurt. Smoothies are delicious and healthy, making them a perfect substitute for drinks that increase the chances of acid reflux.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.