Skip to Content

Why Do Margaritas Give Me Heartburn? (Uh-Oh)

Margarita is a tasty alcoholic cocktail made with tequila, orange liquor, and lime juices.

It’s a very popular choice at parties and other festive occasions, and it is very easy to prepare.

But, if you’ve ever had one too many, you might have experienced some unpleasant symptoms the next day or even right after, including heartburn.

So, why exactly do margaritas cause heartburn?

Why do Margaritas cause heartburn?

Margaritas are an alcoholic drink that’s very acidic. Because of that, it’s very likely to cause heartburn, especially in people particularly sensitive to acidic drinks.

Margaritas cause heartburn because of their alcohol content, sugar content, and acidic ingredients, so drinking too many margaritas can be a very bad idea for people struggling with acid reflux or GERD.

Are margaritas acidic?

The pH level of tequila, which margaritas are based on, is around 3.2. Lime juice and orange liquor are also rather acidic, which makes margaritas an acid-forming drink.

What’s more, while tequila is low in calories and contains no sugar, the same can’t be said for lime juice and orange liquor.

These two are high in sugar, which forces your stomach to produce more gastric acid and causes heartburn and other symptoms.

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.

How do margaritas cause heartburn?

All types of alcohol relax the muscles leading to the stomach. Because of that, drinking margaritas can lead to more severe acid reflux and GERD symptoms, especially in those sensitive to acidic foods and drinks.

If you’re not susceptible to acid reflux, drinking too much of any alcohol, including tequila, can lead to heartburn the next day.

As a result, it’s a good idea not to overindulge in this drink.

Secondly, margaritas are high in calories and sugar. High-calorie drinks and foods tend to stay in your stomach longer, forcing an overproduction of gastric acid, which can then rise up your esophagus.

This can worsen your acid reflux and GERD, especially if you suffer from it in the first place.

Even if you don’t, though, you may experience heartburn after drinking too many margaritas.

Margarita contains lime juice, which is generally alkaline-forming.

But, along with the sugar in orange liquor, it may irritate your esophagus and upper digestive tract, leading to heartburn and other acid reflux and GERD symptoms.

Some people also add a salt rim around the glass, and sodium is known to increase blood pressure.

Margarita in a glass
Margarita in a glass

While you’re unlikely to consume a lot of salt from a single margarita, it’s important to keep that in mind if you’re going to drink more.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when you’re drinking, you tend to consume less nutritious and healthy foods.

These are usually loaded with fat and carbs, which are two macronutrients that are harder for your stomach to digest.

Because of that, your stomach produces more acid, which leads to heartburn.

While this might be hard to avoid, the best way is not to overindulge in alcohol as it can have negative effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

Are margaritas good for you?

Almost all of the health benefits of margaritas come from tequila or lime juice.

Tequila is one of the alcohol types that have fewer adverse side effects. It contains no carbohydrates, and a single shot contains less than 100 calories.

Because of that, having tequila-based drinks might be better for your health than other, more caloric types of alcohol.

Tequila is made from agave, a plant that has many health benefits. As a result, many people believe that tequila contains the same nutrients and benefits.

Unfortunately, that isn’t true since agave-derived products are stripped of the essential nutrients in the plant.

Because of that, if you’re looking to consume tequila for its benefits from agave, it’s best to choose agave extracts.

In addition, research shows that moderate drinking might help dilute your blood, thus preventing high blood pressure, stroke, and even heart failure.

This benefit has only been proven when you’re not overconsuming alcohol.

This is important as drinking too much can lead to alcoholism, nutrient deficiency, liver failure, and other serious health conditions.

What’s more, margaritas contain a decent dose of lime juice.

Just one ounce of fresh lime juice contains 14% of your daily recommended need for vitamin C, which is an impressive amount.

This micronutrient is essential for boosting your immune system, keeping your skin healthy, and helping in wound healing.

Because of that, while it’s still an alcoholic drink, it’s worth keeping this benefit in mind.

Some studies also show that silver tequila is better for you than gold tequila.

Mexican Gold Tequila
Mexican Gold Tequila

This is because silver tequila doesn’t contain congeners, a compound that has been linked to more severe and long-lasting hangovers.

It’s also a good idea to choose pure tequila as it doesn’t contain impurities and additives that often make you feel nauseous and sick after drinking.

These additives can also add calories and carbs, so that’s another good reason to choose pure tequila.

Can you make margaritas easier for your stomach?

Margarita ingredients
Margarita ingredients

Margaritas on their own aren’t particularly healthy. They do contain some lime juice, which is rich in vitamin C, but aside from that, there aren’t too many health benefits to drinking margaritas.

Consuming too much alcohol is also bad for your health, so it’s important to drink margaritas in moderation.

If you’re looking for ways to make your margaritas healthier, there are some things you can do.

For example, you can cut some calories and sugar by replacing orange liquor with club soda.

Club soda is also less acidic than orange liquor, which can help you avoid severe heartburn.

Tropical blended fruit margaritas
Tropical blended fruit margaritas

Some people also prefer to add lemonade instead, which is another way you can decrease how many calories you’re taking in from this drink.

Margaritas are a very popular drink, but they can be rather acid-forming for people with especially sensitive stomachs.

Because of that, it’s important to consume this and other alcoholic drinks in moderation to stay healthy and avoid issues such as heartburn.

With all of that, it’s important to still enjoy your life, though, so an occasional drink won’t negatively impact your health.

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.