why does coffee cause heartburn

why does coffee cause heartburn

Why Does Coffee Cause Heartburn?

Coffee is an important part of many mornings, but it can be accompanied by some not-so-desirable side effects. One of these is frequent heartburn. In fact, up to 25% of people who drink coffee experience heartburn after drinking it. But why does coffee cause heartburn in some people?

Acidity in Coffee

One of the main reasons that coffee causes heartburn is due to its acidity. Coffee is highly acidic and has a pH level of around 5, which is relatively low compared to other beverages. This acidity is enough to irritate the lining of the stomach, making it much more prone to heartburn.

Caffeine’s Effects on the Body

Caffeine, which is naturally found in coffee, can also be a contributing factor to heartburn. Caffeine is a stimulant that is known to increase the production of stomach acid. This can cause acid to be pushed back up the esophagus, causing heartburn.

How You Take Your Coffee

How you take your coffee can also influence how much heartburn you experience. If you take your coffee with cream and sugar, you increase the amount of fat and calories that can contribute to heartburn. In addition, adding too much milk or cream can cause your coffee to be too acidic, making heartburn more likely.

What to Do About Coffee-induced Heartburn

If you’re experiencing frequent heartburn, but you still can’t go without your cup of joe, there are a few things you can do.

  • Drink it Black: This might seem like a tall order, but as mentioned before, adding milk and sucar to your coffee will increase your chances of experiencing heartburn. If you can stomach it, try drinking your coffee black and see how that goes.
  • Opt for Decaf: Caffeine is known to irritate the digestive system and increase the production of stomach acid. You can also try switching to decaf, as this will likely lower your chances of getting heartburn.
  • Drink Slower: Drinking your coffee quickly can also contribute to heartburn. Taking your time and sipping slowly will have the double effect of letting you enjoy the flavor of your coffee while also helping to prevent heartburn.


Coffee is a popular beverage, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Coffee can be a culprit of frequent heartburn in some people. Understanding why coffee causes heartburn, as well as how you can take it to decrease your chances of experiencing it, can help you enjoy your coffee without the unwanted heartburn.





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