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Why Does White Wine Give Me Heartburn? (Intriguing)

Dealing with heartburn can be difficult, especially when you’re just starting to adjust your diet. 

Many foods these days are acidic and can lead to heartburn, which makes it hard to know what you can and cannot eat.

For example, if you enjoy having some white wine from time to time, you’ve definitely noticed that you might get an unpleasant burning sensation afterward. 

Why is that, though? Why does white wine lead to heartburn?

Why does white wine cause heartburn?

White wine, just like all other alcoholic beverages, is acidic. It also has a very low pH level and acid-forming properties, so you’re very likely to experience heartburn after drinking it.

White wine causes heartburn in various ways, and acidity is only one of them. But if your digestive tract tolerates some wine every once in a while, you can actually get some good health benefits from an occasional glass.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Is white wine acidic?

Wine has a pH level ranging between 2.70-4.00, with white wines leaning towards the lower end of the scale. Due to the acidity of white wine, you can feel the tartness and bitterness of the wine as you drink it.

Pouring White Wine
Why Does White Wine Give Me Heartburn?

What’s more, dry white wines are much more acidic. So, try avoiding kinds like Pinot Grigio, Pinot noir, or Riesling. These are very acidic and can worsen your heartburn, even after a single glass.

Instead, try choosing wines like Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, as these are not as acidic and may be easier for your stomach to digest without irritating your digestive system.

How does white wine cause heartburn?

White wine is one of the most acidic alcoholic beverages. Consuming acidic beverages triggers your stomach to produce even more gastric acid. 

Then, this acid and stomach contents are more likely to reflux up your esophagus and cause heartburn.

Because of that, limiting your consumption of acidic beverages, including wine, might be your only option to prevent acid-induced heartburn.

What’s more, white wine contains some compounds that might relax some people’s lower esophageal sphincter muscles. 

Studies aren’t sure why that happens, but it affects people who suffer from acid reflux and GERD, but not healthy individuals.

To avoid this issue, try limiting your consumption of white wine or, when you do drink it, stick to small portion sizes and drink slowly.

Is white wine good for you?

The majority of calories in white wine come from alcohol. A single glass of white wine provides you with around 120 calories, but this number can be higher if you’re drinking sweet wine.

Because of that, drinking too much wine might cause weight gain, especially if you drink it a lot and in large amounts. 

Best wine for heartburn?
Best wine for heartburn?

To avoid that, carefully measure your servings and try not to overdo it.

White wine is slightly lower in several vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants than red wine. But it still does contain some. These plant compounds, derived from grapes, help flush out free radicals from your body.

This reduces your risk of various chronic conditions, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

But remember that if you drink too much wine, you get the opposite effect, increasing your risk of these and more health problems.

Moreover, drinking wine may slow down age-related mental decline in older adults. Studies show that moderate intake of wine raises the levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in your body.

One of these compounds, called resveratrol, plays a key role in preventing Alzheimer’s disease and helps improve your memory and cognitive health instead. 

As with every benefit of alcohol, this only applies if you’re a moderate drinker.

If you enjoy drinking wine, choosing white wine is a better idea if wine triggers your headaches. Studies show that choosing white wines instead of red wines can lower post-drinking headaches and improve your overall wellbeing after drinking.

Is white wine good for you?
Is white wine good for you?

As you can see, alcohol can have some health benefits as long as you consume it in moderation. 

This is because excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages is linked with several severe health conditions, including mental decline, liver disease, and even heart failure.

So, make sure to stick to the recommended limit and serving size to avoid these issues. 

Should you drink white wine on acid reflux?

White wine is acidic, but so is every other kind of alcohol. Because of that, drinking it might lead to severe heartburn, especially if you’re prone to acid reflux and GERD symptoms. 

So, it might be best to avoid white wine altogether in these cases.

If you do enjoy an occasional glass of wine, you might be better off choosing red wine instead. It’s slightly less acidic and provides you with more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than white wine.

Another good choice might be champagne, which is also lower in acid and easier for your stomach to digest. 

What’s more, if you enjoy strong liquor, you can try whiskey or rum, as these have a much higher pH level and are the least acidic.

Is white wine less acidic than red wine?

Is white wine less acidic than red wine?
Is white wine less acidic than red wine?

Red wine tends to be less acidic than white wine. The more acidic the wine is, the crispier it is, so that’s why white wines tend to be more acidic than red ones. 

Because of that, you might be better off drinking red wine if you suffer from acid reflux. 

What’s more, a good number of white wines are dry. For a wine to be dry, it needs a certain level of acidity to maintain its properties and flavor over time. 

So, avoid dry wines if you suffer from heartburn after drinking alcohol.

Conclusion

Just like most other types of alcohol, white wine is very likely to give you heartburn for various reasons. 

It’s not only acidic, but it also relaxes the muscles found between your esophagus and stomach, causing heartburn.

However, there are some benefits to having an occasional glass of white wine. So, if you can tolerate some white wine from time to time, it might be beneficial to include it in your diet, as long as it’s in moderation.

Don’t know what to drink? We made a list of more than 20 most and least acidic juices and 20+ alcoholic drinks ranked by acidity levels.

Sources: Nutrients Review, Nutrition Data, PMC, and National Library of Medicine