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Why Does Water Give Me Heartburn? (Uh-Oh)

Water is the most important thing all of us should consume. In fact, many of us don’t drink enough water in the day and age of sweetened and carbonated drinks, such as sodas.

Water not only helps us stay hydrated, but it can also prevent specific issues like heartburn. But, for some people, drinking water actually makes acid reflux symptoms worse.

How does that happen? Why does water give me heartburn?

Why Does Water Give Me Heartburn?

Water usually causes heartburn when consumed in large quantities at once. Water is an essential liquid we all have to drink, but for some of us, drinking water can cause acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.

While water on its own isn’t acidic or acid-forming, consuming it in large quantities or right before bed can lead to heartburn.

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 regular water acidic?

Water has a pH level ranging between 6.5-7.4. Spring and mineral water have the highest pH level, while flavored and carbonated versions are much lower on the pH scale. This makes water relatively neutral when it comes to acidity and alkalinity.

As a result, water doesn’t lead to heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms in most people, but some people might have other underlying conditions that might make water a trigger drink.

Doctors also recommend drinking some water when you start experiencing acid reflux symptoms in most cases. This is because water can help push the acid back to your stomach, preventing heartburn.

For most people, that’s the effect water has, so doctors often recommend switching to plain water from carbonated and sweetened beverages.

How does water cause heartburn?

A Cup Of Water
A Cup Of Water

The most common reason why water gives you heartburn is that people drink it immediately after lying down.

Drinking large amounts of water, especially right before bed, adds more fluids to your stomach content. This can be a problem since even if you don’t have too much gastric acid in your stomach, the water can lead to bloating.

If you lie down, the stomach contents are very likely to rise up your esophagus, causing heartburn. Nighttime heartburn is much worse, so make sure to avoid drinking large amounts of liquids and eating right before bed, and this includes water.

Some people also suffer from refractory acid reflux, which is an acid reflux type that doesn’t improve despite treatment and dietary changes.

When that happens, any food or drink that makes your stomach start working, and that includes water, can lead to acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn.

If you suffer from this type of acid reflux, finding medicine and ways to alleviate your symptoms might be challenging.

So, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor, as an expert might be able to recommend you some strategies that result in fewer and less frequent symptoms.

In addition, drinking too much water can disrupt the mineral balance in your body, which increases the risk of acid reflux and GERD symptoms.

This happens when water flushes out too many minerals out of your body, especially those that contribute to a proper electrolyte balance.

Some essential minerals also help keep your digestive system healthy, so flushing them out with too much water may lead to acid reflux. That’s why it’s essential to drink enough water but spread it throughout the day instead of chugging several glasses of water at once.

>Measuring pH levels isn’t only for science and academic purposes. These days, many people buy pH meters to test the acidity of the foods they consume and the liquids they drinks. In addition, it is often done to ensure that you’re consuming a primarily alkaline diet filled with low-acid foods. Here are the best pH meters on the market.

What’s more, most people tend to buy and drink flavored bottled water. This type of water is more acidic than plain water, which means it can worsen your acid reflux symptoms by increasing stomach acid production.

As a result, people struggling with heartburn should avoid flavored as well as carbonated water and stick with plain mineral water instead.

This can help decrease the frequency and severity of your acid reflux symptoms. 

Infused Water with Fruits
Infused Water with Fruits

What types of water don’t worsen your acid reflux?

In most cases, drinking water shouldn’t worsen your acid reflux. But if your stomach is especially sensitive, make sure to avoid carbonated and sparkling water.

This is because carbonated beverages cause gastric distention, which means that you’re more prone to bloating and excess stomach acid production.

This can increase your risk of heartburn and other issues. So, even though studies don’t show a concrete link between carbonated drinks and heartburn, it might be more beneficial to switch to plain water.

A number of studies also show that some people might find relief by drinking alkaline water instead of tap water.

This type of water has a higher pH level, usually over 8.5, which helps dilute your gastric acid, lowering the risk of it refluxing up your esophagus.

This also reduces heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms. Alkaline water is easily found in stores, so it might be worth trying out if tap or bottled water tends to give you heartburn.

Some people find that drinking water with some fresh lemon juice helps them prevent heartburn. This is because lemon is alkaline-forming, so if you consume it in small quantities, it might help prevent acid reflux symptoms on a day-to-day basis.

Alkaline Water with Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon and Mint
Alkaline Water with Cucumber, Ginger, Lemon, and Mint

Lemon water is often considered homemade alkaline water, making it a much healthier and more affordable alternative to traditional store-bought alkaline water.

Certain studies also show that drinking highly mineralized water (the types with added minerals and vitamins) can help prevent and treat the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.

This might be because the presence of essential minerals helps fulfill your daily need for these micronutrients and also contribute to a healthy digestive system.

What’s more, a lot of people these days following a Western diet don’t take in enough minerals and vitamins, which can contribute to more severe heartburn.

So, drinking highly mineralized water can help improve your health and prevent heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.

Water is a crucial part of everyone’s diet. That’s why it’s impossible to remove it from your diet, even if it causes you acid reflux symptoms.

Luckily, there are some ways you can address issues like heartburn caused by water without completely changing your diet.

This is great news for everyone, as staying hydrated is incredibly important, no matter what dietary plan you follow.

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.