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Have you ever wondered whether drinking green tea could help to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux? Many people suffer from this painful condition, so you aren’t alone if you’re seeking a cure.
Green tea generally isn’t great for acid reflux, although it isn’t the worst choice out there. It contains some caffeine, and caffeine is a common heartburn trigger. Green tea usually has quite a neutral pH value, but it still isn’t a great choice if you’ve got acid reflux.
In this article, we’re going to look at why green tea isn’t such a good idea for acid reflux, what causes acid reflux, and what you could drink instead.
Is Green Tea Good For Acid Reflux?
Green tea isn’t an ideal drink if you’re suffering from acid reflux. Many people opt for it because it’s known to be healthy, and perhaps because it has an earthy flavor that seems like it should combat acidity well. However, it isn’t a good choice. Like other kinds of tea, green tea contains several things that could cause or exacerbate heartburn, including:
Although the pH value of green tea is fairly neutral, all three of these things can trigger heartburn. This is because all of them are known to relax the muscles at the lower end of your esophagus, and these muscles are what help to prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus and into your chest.
These links have not been absolutely proven, but it’s believed all three of these things could trigger heartburn because of the effect they have on the esophageal muscles. You should therefore try to avoid green tea if you’re already suffering from acid reflux, as it could make things worse.
Furthermore, green tea contains tannins, and there is evidence that tannins encourage your stomach to secrete more acid. If you increase the level of acid in your stomach, you’ll increase the likelihood of this rising through the esophagus and causing pain in your chest and upper digestive system.
Are Any Teas Good For Acid Reflux?
Although green tea may not be an ideal choice, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo every kind of tea. Some teas are thought to help with this condition, although you’ll want to test them with care, because different people sometimes respond in different ways. What triggers acid reflux (gerd) for one individual may not trigger it for somebody else.
A lot of people find that ginger tea helps to calm acid reflux, and it can reduce digestive swelling, get rid of bloating, and ease nausea. It is an anti-inflammatory tea and should help you to feel better if you’re suffering from digestive discomfort.
Alternatively, consider chamomile tea, which is known for its soothing properties. It’s a fairly neutral tea, and it’s thought to reduce your risk of ulcers and help you to relax, which may reduce acid reflux. If that doesn’t appeal, consider licorice tea, which may be able to increase the mucus in your stomach, protecting it from acid.
Some people also make tea using slippery elm, which comes from the bark of the slippery elm tree. This is an ancient technique that protects your stomach and your intestines, and can make the whole digestive process more comfortable.
Do You Need To Avoid Green Tea?
If you are suffering from acid reflux, you may want to avoid green tea, and indeed all beverages that contain caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. Although the effects are still being studied and there’s some debate about whether they cause acid reflux or not, there’s credible evidence they may contribute or aggravate it.
You should therefore be cautious, especially if you’re already feeling unwell or suffering from heartburn. Avoid anything that could worsen the symptoms, and choose beverages that are more likely to be soothing and relaxing.
However, if you really want to drink tea, green tea is preferable to black tea, because it contains a lot less caffeine and it’s also less acidic. This is because it has undergone less processing, and it is the oxidization process that causes acidity in black tea.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does green tea make acid reflux worse?
A: In some cases, drinking green tea could make reflux worse, yes. If you’re going to drink green tea, make sure you’re keeping the quantities low and making your tea weak to minimize the risk of upsetting your digestive system. You should also make sure you aren’t drinking green tea on an empty stomach, as this could make the reflux worse too.
Q: What else causes acid reflux?
A: Unfortunately, a lot of things can cause acid reflux, and it differs between individuals. A few common triggers include things like spicy foods, citrus fruits, garlic, tomatoes, alcohol, fatty dairy, fried foods, and sodas. Avoiding these things, especially in the evenings, may help to reduce your risk of acid reflux.
Q: Which tea is the best for treating acid reflux?
A: If you’re already suffering from acid reflux, you may want to try either ginger or chamomile tea, as these are likely to be the most soothing, and they do not contain caffeine or any other problematic substances. Even if they don’t cure the acid reflux, they should not make it worse.
Q: What other beverages help with acid reflux?
A: Some people find that drinking plant-based milks (e.g. soya, oat, almond) and certain vegetable juices help to reduce acid reflux. Avoid citrus fruit juices, which are highly acidic and could exacerbate your symptoms, and avoid sugary or carbonated drinks like soda.
Green tea is not generally considered good for acid reflux, and if you suffer from this condition you should avoid drinking green tea late at night or on an empty stomach. Instead, choose a tea that will reduce inflammation, such as ginger or chamomile tea, especially when you’re having a flare-up.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.