why does coffee give you heartburn

why does coffee give you heartburn

Why Does Coffee Give You Heartburn?

Coffee is a widely popular beverage enjoyed by millions worldwide. It’s a great way to jumpstart your day and can even provide benefits for your health in moderation. However, for many who suffer from acid reflux, coffee can be an unwelcome and uncomfortable trigger of heartburn.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER), is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest or throat that results from digestive acid flowing up from the stomach into the esophagus. This can lead to pain and severe discomfort that can range from mild to severe.

Coffee and Heartburn

There are a variety of factors that make coffee more likely to cause heartburn. Here are a few:

  • Acidity: Coffee, especially espresso and other dark roasts, can have higher levels of acidic compounds. These compounds can irritate the stomach or esophagus and lead to heartburn.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine is known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular valve that normally keeps stomach acid in the stomach and out of the esophagus. When the LES relaxes, stomach acid is more likely to enter the esophagus and cause heartburn.
  • Carbonation: Carbonated drinks can increase stomach acid production and irritate the digestive tract. If you’re prone to heartburn, it’s best to avoid coffee that is carbonated.

Coping with Heartburn

If you suffer from acid reflux, there are some methods you can take to help prevent heartburn from drinking coffee.

  • Drink Moderately: Drink smaller amounts of coffee more frequently rather than large quantities at once. This can help limit the amount of acid and caffeine entering the stomach.
  • Choose Low Acid Coffees: Some coffee varieties are naturally lower in acid than others. Look for brands labeled as “low acid” that contain fewer acidic compounds.
  • Try Decaffeinated: By eliminating caffeine, your risk of heartburn may be reduced. Decaffeinated coffees may still contain trace levels of caffeine, but generally not enough to trigger symptoms.


Coffee can be a trigger for heartburn, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give it up entirely. By using these simple strategies, you can enjoy coffee without risking an uncomfortable bout of heartburn.





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