Having A Bad Day From Heartburn? What To Drink For Heartburn Relief?
Heartburn can affect anyone at any time, and its symptoms can make you quite uncomfortable. These easy homemade drinks can make you feel great again!
When a table full of mouth-watering delicacies is present before you, it is only human to cave in. And if you are a foodie, you wouldn’t want to miss the chance to taste a single dish. In the process, it is normal to overeat, the repercussions of which one may face later in the form of heartburn.
Contrary to the name, heartburn is not in fact related to the heart. It has earned the moniker because the condition has symptoms similar to that of a heart attack. In reality, heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a digestive system-related condition, which you can easily recover from using homemade drinks. So, what to drink for heartburn relief? We will tell you!
Understanding Heartburn & What To Drink For Heartburn Relief?
Heartburn is a common condition, experienced by people on several occasions due to different reasons. It is rarely a matter of concern and something you can easily find relief from by using some homemade drinks. Let’s learn what to drink for heartburn relief and what else there is to this condition.
Only in rare cases, frequent episodes of heartburn can be diagnosed as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)(1) by doctors. In such cases, it can be an indication of an underlying health condition and if not treated on time, can have some serious implications on your health.
To take the right step at the right time, it is important to know what heartburn feels like. Although you might have experienced it at some point in your lifetime, it is easy to get it confused with other conditions.
Typically, heartburn is a burning sensation that erupts in your chest. When the stomach pushes the acidic fluid back into the esophagus, you may experience a bitter taste in your mouth and throat. It may feel worse when you are lying down or sleeping. Trust us, some drinks can cool down your stomach. Before we learn what to drink for heartburn relief, let’s learn what symptoms can signal that you are experiencing acid reflux?
Symptoms Of Heartburn
The symptoms of heartburn can vary from person to person. For some, it can be mild, while others may experience extreme discomfort. The most common symptoms of the condition are bitterness and a burning sensation in the throat and mouth. Other common ones include:
- Pain or burning sensation behind the breastbone
- Difficulty in swallowing food
- Intense pain when lying down or bending over
- Coughing or hoarseness
Now what are the factors that cause heartburn? This will give us an idea as to what to drink for heartburn relief.
What Causes Heartburn?
Heartburn occurs when the stomach fluid flows back into the esophagus (the pipe that carries food from the mouth to the stomach). Being acidic in nature, the stomach fluid causes irritation in the esophagus, leading to heartburn.
It can also happen if your lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly or when its muscles have become weak. Generally, when the food enters the stomach through the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter, which is a juncture that connects the two, closes. In cases of an ill-functioning lower esophageal sphincter, this does not happen and the fluid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Alkaline drinks can help neutralize this acid. What triggers heartburn and what to drink for heartburn relief?
What Triggers Heartburn?
Heartburn is often triggered by having a spicy or acidic meal. Carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peppermint, fried foods, fatty foods, spicy foods, and alcohol, are all common culprits. But sometimes it can also be triggered by additional pressure on the stomach like when wearing tight jeans or trousers, eating a large meal, or lying down immediately after eating.
For some people, heartburn is triggered immediately after eating and lasts only a few minutes, while for others it can be a constant bother for several hours. The latter is common when it is triggered by underlying health conditions. Acidity caused by foods and indigestion can be relieved by certain homemade drinks that will neutralize the acid, ease digestion and make you feel great again. If you’re asking yourself what to drink for heartburn relief, let’s first learn why it is important to take this seriously and look for solutions.
Why Is It Essential To Treat Heartburn?
Though heartburn can be experienced by people of all age groups on several occasions, it is necessary to take the right measures to ensure overall gut health. Frequent heartburn can damage the esophagus and can put you at risk of conditions such as esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, aspiration pneumonia, and Barrett’s esophagus.
In the worst case, people with frequent episodes of acid reflux may also develop esophageal cancer. We will tell you what to drink for heartburn relief. And these are hundred percent natural and devoid of side effects.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Heartburn?
Irrespective of your age and sex, heartburn can hit you at any time of the day. So, it is best to know the risk factors of this condition. Some of the common ones include:
- Hiatal hernia(2): It is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity which separates your abdomen and chest. It can cause the leaking of stomach fluid.
- Pregnancy: During the third trimester, pregnant women may experience heartburn due to increased pressure on the abdomen.
- Smoking: Frequent smoking weakens the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter, putting the person at risk of frequent heartburn. Smokers are also at risk of developing GERD.
- Body weight: Being overweight (obesity) is the leading cause of GERD. People with unmanaged body weight often experience heartburn due to high pressure on the abdomen.
- Certain medications: Taking some specific medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and sedatives can also cause heartburn.
All of the above can put you at risk of heartburn and related conditions. It is essential to take care of your general health. Heartburn can be an unpleasant experience that will need immediate attention. If you don’t prefer taking antacids or medicines, some easily available homemade drinks can offer great relief. So, what to drink for heartburn relief?
What To Drink For Heartburn Relief?
In the initial stage, recurring episodes of heartburn can be controlled using homemade drinks and over-the-counter medication. You do not need to pop pills or rush to the doctor unless you frequently experience heartburn. You can get relief from it, just by drinking some readily available beverages and foods. However, if the condition does not subside, one may need to undergo surgery.
Foods: Spicy and fatty foods are the most common culprits of heartburn. So, to minimize their impact, include high-fiber, alkaline, and water-rich foods in your diet. Some examples of these foods are:
High-fiber foods: Oatmeal, rice, carrot, potatoes, beetroots, broccoli, green beans
Alkaline foods: Banana, cauliflower, nuts, fennel seeds
Watery foods: Watermelon, cucumber, celery, lettuce
Drinks: The stomach fluid is acidic, so to balance the increased amount of acid in the stomach, have neutral and soothing drinks. Water is the first thing most people reach out for when they experience a burning sensation in the throat, but never have water with lime juice as it can worsen the pain. Lime juice is acidic and will only add to your misery. Plain water, skimmed milk, carrot, aloe, or cucumber juice, and herbal teas are some of the best drinks for respite from the symptoms of heartburn.
What To Drink For Heartburn Relief: Easily Available Homemade Drinks
When you’re experiencing heartburn, you’re looking for something within your hand’s reach and there are many things you can try depending on what you have readily available at home. What are these options? What to drink for heartburn relief?
- Water: Water is neutral and is the best drink to have when dealing with heartburn. It helps to break down food in the stomach and also neutralizes the excess acid present in the stomach. While you are experiencing heartburn, drinking lukewarm water is more effective than cold water as it aids better in digestion and soothes the stomach. The combination of honey and warm water can also be good for diluting stomach acid. Honey has antioxidant properties and can help protect the stomach cells from damage from stomach acid.
- Herbal tea: A hot cup of herbal tea is not only good for managing the symptoms of heartburn but also improves digestion. The best part is that there are a variety of herbal drinks to choose from like chamomile, ginger, licorice, and marshmallow root that offer relief from symptoms of acidity. These are great alternatives for regular coffee and tea.
- Skimmed milk: Full-fat cow milk can be hard to digest for people dealing with heartburn as it contains a high amount of fat. But skimmed or low-fat milk can help to soothe the stomach lining and provide respite from the symptoms of heartburn.
- Almond milk: For both vegans and lactose intolerant people, almond milk is a great alternative to skimmed cow milk. It soothes the lining of the stomach and also helps reduce acidity levels.
- Green juice: A glass of green juice made with high-fiber green vegetables like spinach, kale, celery, and cucumber is one of the best drinks to control acid reflux. It helps soothe the burning sensation in the esophagus caused by acidic fluid.
- Coconut water: Refreshing coconut water can also help to soothe your stomach when suffering from heartburn. Loaded with electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and manganese, coconut water can help to balance pH levels and rehydrate you.
What Not To Drink When You Are Experiencing Heartburn?
Now that you know what to drink for heartburn relief, you may also want to know what not to drink when you have heartburn. While some beverages provide relief from heartburn, there are others that can trigger the condition. Those who are prone to heartburn are recommended to avoid these drinks to manage the condition and get some relief:
- Alcohol: Alcohol is acidic in nature and its intake in excess may trigger the condition or may worsen it if you are already experiencing it. When it comes to managing heartburn, moderation is the key. Besides, excess alcohol consumption may also increase the risk of esophageal cancer. To stay healthy, women limit alcohol intake to one drink per day and men to two.
- Coffee: Coffee contains caffeine, which is known to trigger acidity and also leads to dehydration. Excess caffeine consumption is not recommended for those dealing with GERD. 2 cups (one cup=250ml) of coffee, is recommended for everyone.
- Carbonated drinks: The carbonation in soft drinks or beer causes an increase in the amount of acid in the stomach, making you feel uncomfortable. When suffering from heartburn it is best to avoid carbonated drinks.
- Citrus juices: Juices are good for your health, but when you are already suffering from heartburn, avoid citric fruit juices. Orange, lemon, or juice of any citric juice can increase the level of acid in the stomach.
- Energy drinks: Just like coffee, energy drinks also contain caffeine. When you gulp down an entire bottle of energy drink, the level of acid in the stomach increases, putting you at risk of heartburn. It is best to take a nap or a walk for a while to re-energize yourself, then to have a bottle of energy drink.
Heartburn And Pregnancy
- Experiencing heartburn during pregnancy is quite common and almost all pregnant women have to deal with it, particularly during the third trimester. It is caused due to two particular reasons: The growth of the baby and hormonal changes.
- Growth of the baby: As the baby grows inside the womb, it puts additional pressure on the mother’s stomach leading to heartburn.
- Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes several hormonal changes that lead to several side effects over the period of nine months. Heartburn is just one of them.
The condition does not have any serious repercussions and goes away with the delivery of the baby. But to manage it during the course, it is recommended that pregnant women have smaller meals, avoid lying down after eating and stay away from fatty and spicy foods. As for home remedies, you already know what to drink for heartburn relief!
Tips And Tricks To Avoid Acid Reflux
What to do to avoid heartburn is a question you need to ask before you ask what to drink for heartburn relief, because as cliche as it sounds – prevention is better than cure. If you are one of those few people who experience heartburn regularly, making some dietary changes can help you manage the condition. Some common steps you can take are:
- Managing your bodyweight
- Avoiding foods or drinks that trigger your symptoms
- Wearing loose and comfortable clothes
- Avoiding lying down or doing heavy work immediately after eating
- Drinking 2-3 liters of water daily
- Including high-fiber foods in your diet
Heartburn is an unpleasant condition that may affect your mood as well as your productivity. It is not a cause for concern unless you deal with it on a regular basis. If you handle the situation correctly and take appropriate steps at the right time, you can get relief from it within a couple of minutes and carry on with your work.
If you experience discomfort due to heartburn after eating anything spicy or acidic, drink plenty of water or skimmed cow’s milk for instant relief. What to drink for heartburn relief? There are so many easily available homemade drinks. However, if the condition occurs too often and affects your daily life, consult your doctor for advice. They may prescribe you medication and may recommend dietary changes after diagnosis, depending on the cause of the heartburn in your case. Do not delay as untreated heartburn can severely affect your health.
Nicholas J. Shaheen, M.D., M.P.H., University of North Carolina School of Medicine (2018). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseaseshttps://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults
Ryan E. Smith; Rai Dilawar Shahjehan (2022). StatPearls Publishing LLChttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK562200/
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