5 Easy Ways To Prevent Heartburn from Coffee


Sometimes it can be good to feel the burn. You want a burn when you’re working out, for example. But most burns aren’t great: sunburn, getting burned by a friend, burning your dinner in the oven, or heartburn from coffee.

Heartburn is another type of burn we all hope to avoid. For many coffee lovers, our favorite beverage can also cause dreaded, uncomfortable heartburn. It hurts so good!

Typically, people who experience heartburn will either suffer through or say goodbye to their beloved coffee altogether.

This all or nothing approach leaves people with two choices: jeopardize their health or sacrifice the enjoyable coffee sipping experience.

Never fear, you may not have to ditch your beloved hot java just yet!

We’ve packed this article with tips to help you enjoy your coffee without the nasty heartburn. Read on to learn all about the five ways you can prevent heartburn when drinking coffee.

What is Heartburn From Coffee

Heartburn is a burning pain in the chest area. The Mayo Clinic shares that it usually forms just behind the breast bone.

stop heartburn from coffee

People often experience heartburn after activities such as drinking, eating, or certain movements. Bending over or lying down is also known to result in heartburn due to gravity. 

Not everyone gets heartburn, and some people are more prone to it than others.

Certain foods and beverages impact heartburn more than others. Heartburn can be a sign of acid reflux, so it is important to share your symptoms with your doctor.

Be sure to pair any coffee drinking tips with medical guidance. You may benefit from heartburn prevention medication as well. There are several over the counter options that can help relieve heartburn.

But, finding ways to avoid developing heartburn altogether is the ideal solution!

What Causes Heartburn

Stomach acid moving up your esophagus from the stomach is the cause of most heartburn. The muscles of the esophagus will normally relax to allow food or drink into the stomach. They will then tighten up right away to prevent movement in the opposite direction, protecting your esophagus.

getting heartburn from coffee
A Lot of Things Can Cause Heartburn, but Coffee Doesn’t Have To Be One of Them.

When we experience heartburn, the muscle doesn’t contract the way it is meant to, which can cause problems.

Also, high acidic foods can irritate the esophagus and cause a heartburn sensation. Coffee can aggravate both of these issues.

What Causes Heartburn From Coffee

A lot of people associate heartburn with fatty or unhealthy foods. While this can be true, people often overlook that drinks can have a large impact on heartburn. Coffee is one of those beverages that can cause heartburn.

Drinks like coffee can have a relaxing effect on a specific muscle in the esophagus.

According to this article by NPR, this muscle is the sphincter muscle. The sphincter muscle relaxes as a result of drinking coffee. This allows stomach acid to travel up into your esophagus. Also, some coffee beans have high levels of acidity, which irritates the esophagus.

The simplest explanation is that coffee causes heartburn due to two main factors. These two factors are acidity and caffeine levels.

While your stomach can handle acid, your esophagus is more sensitive to it. Caffeine impacts your muscles and makes it easier for stomach acid to travel up the esophagus.

Does Decaf Coffee Cause Heartburn

Decaf Coffee Helps Prevent Heartburn
Decaf Coffee Helps Prevent Heartburn

While decaf can cause heartburn in some cases, it is much less likely.

This is because acidity is closely connected to heartburn symptoms. Decaf coffee has a much lower acidity level than fully caffeinated coffee due to the caffeine removal process.

While it is a much smaller amount of acid, there are still trace amounts of acidity in decaf coffee. So, if you are very sensitive, it could cause mild heartburn symptoms.

Interesting Fact: Low acidity may be better for those suffering from heartburn. But it may be surprising to learn that acids in coffee are actually linked to many health benefits. The acids in coffee beans are linked to higher antioxidant amounts, according to LiveStrong

Overall, if heartburn is a concern for you, decaf coffee may be a good low acid and low caffeine solution. It may allow you to prevent future heartburn symptoms.

How Do I Stop Coffee Heartburn

Stopping heartburn discomfort doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking coffee altogether!

To find what works best for your body, preferences, and symptoms, you will just need some creative thinking and a little bit of experimentation.

Here are the five best ways to prevent heartburn from coffee. After reading, we hope you will be able to identify some helpful ways to enjoy your favorite hot beverage AND feel good!

#1 Consume Safe Caffeine Levels

We know that caffeine is what relaxes the muscles and allows stomach acid into the esophagus. As a result, we need to pay attention to how much caffeine we consume! This may be per cup or per day.

Most drip coffee has between 80 to 100 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces cup.

Instant coffee has less, at about 62 mg per cup. Decaf coffee, while “decaffeinated,” still has trace amounts of about 2-5 mg of caffeine per serving.

high caffeine can cause heart burn

Play around with drinking coffee with different levels of caffeine and see if you can notice any differences. You may also track your daily caffeine consumption overall to see if reducing your intake throughout the day influences your heartburn symptoms. 

Most coffee experts and health officials agree that drinking about 400 mg of caffeine each day is safe for the average person. Start to track how much you are consuming daily so that you can make the appropriate adjustments. 

#2 Drink “Stomach-Friendly” Coffee

Some coffee can contain stomach irritants. These irritants are more likely to cause stomach discomfort and pain.

Eat Cultured recommends choosing beans treated with steam before roasting. This gets rid of most of the beans’ wax layer, which can cause upset stomachs and heartburn.

Even companies like Folgers notice that their consumers have cut back on coffee consumption. They realize this is due to heartburn and stomach issues.

Folgers responded by creating a new line of coffee. They call it “Simply Smooth” with the intention of “reducing irritants.” In response to client feedback, many other coffee companies have hopped on board with similar products.

#3 Choose 100% Arabica Coffee

If you want to reduce heartburn without sacrificing rich taste, you may consider drinking 100% Arabica coffee.

The type of coffee beans you drink matters when it comes to heartburn.

Robusta coffee is commonly used in coffee shops. This is due to its cheaper cost and higher amount of caffeine. Robusta coffee has twice the caffeine of Arabica. Many people experience heartburn when they drink Robusta coffee, without realizing this is the reason. 

Arabica beans have a more reasonable amount of caffeine. Plus, they have a delicious, rich flavor. You may pay a little bit more for these beans, but it is a win-win in taste and health benefits.

# 4 Try Low-acid Coffee Beans

Decaf coffee is a practical solution to reduce heartburn, but many coffee lovers dislike the taste and disregard it as a real solution. Low-acid coffee beans are worth a try instead.

Low-acid beans have caffeine, but the lower acidity levels may be what your body needs to keep you comfortable and pain-free.

Plus, low-acid coffee can also help to reduce the amount of stomach acid produced by your own body!

#5 Switch to Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee is better for sensitive stomachs
Cold Brew Coffee Could Be Your Solution to Heartburn

The cold-brew coffee method cuts the acidity of the coffee by 67%! Cold-brew does contain more caffeine per serving (around 200 mg), yet the lack of acidity may work better for your body!

Cold-brew uses cold water instead of hot water, which results in a different reaction with the beans.

Using this method allows you to use your preferred coffee with less acidity! You can even find pre-bottled cold brew coffee at many grocery stores. This is a simple grab-and-go option!

Wrapping Up

These coffee tips and tricks are a great way to ensure you can still enjoy your favorite cup of Joe without sacrificing your health and comfort! Be sure to experiment with these options to find the right fit for your needs and your palate.

Try applying these tips to your own life. You may decide to reduce your caffeine intake, try stomach-friendly coffee options, choose 100% Arabica beans or brew cold brew coffee.

Finding the right option will allow you to enjoy coffee heartburn-free!

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