Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux – Does it Work?

apple cider vinegar for acid reflux

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) can be used to relieve acid reflux symptoms, though there is no certainty that it will work. This home remedy is meant to help digestion by increasing the acidity of your stomach. The higher acidity should make digestion easier and more effective.

Now let me delve deeper into this and the logic and reasoning behind how it can help.

Let me start off by saying that apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be immediately taken if you are having acid reflux symptoms.

It’s best to first consider what are your symptoms and how they came about before taking it for relief. For example, let’s say you have eaten a lot of fatty foods or perhaps even drank a lot of acidic alcohol like beer or wine and soon after you start experiencing the acid reflux symptoms.

In that case the most likely reason for your symptoms is the higher level of acidity from what you just ate or drank. Therefore, taking apple cider vinegar to give you relief would produce the opposite effect of what you want. Your stomach and digestive system are more than likely too acidic. As such, adding the ACV to the mix, could in fact only make things worse.

Apple cider vinegar really is most useful for people who may have a lower stomach acidity or as it’s medically known as hypochlorhydria. So, when someone takes ACV this will increase the acidity of their stomach and then improve digestion.

Keep in mind the stomach is meant to be highly acidic. If it wasn’t acidic enough breaking down your food becomes more difficult which in turn can lead to the digestion problems and acid reflux symptoms.

The thing that’s important to mention regarding that is most people’s stomachs tend to be too acidic, not not acidic enough. Therefore, this means taking the ACV for them will have no positive effect on stopping their acid reflux symptoms.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux – Should I Take it?

When someone wants to take apple cider vinegar they really must consider when they are getting symptoms and why.

If you are experiencing heartburn and have recently a common acid reflux trigger like fatty food, spicy food, alcohol, citrus fruits etc. then you really need to stop eating these trigger foods. Stopping them will most likely eliminate your symptoms instead of rushing to take apple cider vinegar as a home remedy.

If you know your mistake and simply want relief from too much acid, you would be much better using a home remedy like baking soda mixed with water. Mixing baking soda with water makes an alkaline solution that is great for calming the stomach and digestive tract that will reduce your acidity and give you relief. For more on that check out my article – baking soda for heartburn.

The time when apple cider vinegar is most likely to be helpful is for someone who has a lower stomach acidity. Really this is more likely for people as they get older (40+ years old). The reason it’s more likely for older people is because as you age your stomach produces less and less acid which can lead to the low stomach acid problem. In that case apple cider vinegar is more likely to help you and, in this case, I would recommend trying apple cider vinegar.

If you do opt to take it the typical dosage is anywhere from 1 (5ml) teaspoon to 1 (15ml) tablespoon diluted in 1 (250ml) cup of water. I recommend this brand.

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Acid Reflux / GERD / LPR

So, is apple cider vinegar good for GERD or other similar things like LPR? When we talk about apple cider vinegar for acid reflux, we generally are talking about helping the more common signs of acid reflux like heartburn and indigestion.

If you didn’t know GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This is basically more chronic symptoms of things like heartburn and indigestion.

For someone with GERD the same really applies as I explained before, before taking the ACV you must consider the reasons behind your symptoms just like how I explained before.

There is another form of acid reflux called LPR which stands for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (silent reflux). This kind of acid reflux has different symptoms based around throat problems and issues like throat burning, chronic cough and sinus issues. You can read more about it here in my complete LPR guide.

If you have LPR symptoms it’s highly recommended that you avoid apple cider vinegar, this is because it will irritate the throat and the digestive tract which will more than likely cause worsened symptoms. This is mainly due to a thing called pepsin which is the main cause for people with LPR (you can read more here).

Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn

As I mentioned earlier in the article, in some cases apple cider vinegar can be helpful for stopping acid reflux and heartburn for certain people. Though generally speaking it’s not a reliable option to get quick relief from heartburn. Something that is much more likely to give quick relief is to lower the acidity.

A home remedy like mixing baking soda with water to make an alkaline solution is a great way to lower the acidity and give quick relief.

How to Stop Acid Reflux Without the Need for Apple Cider Vinegar

The thing you really need to be asking yourself is how to I stop or at least help and prevent my acid reflux from happening.

Whether you have more severe acid reflux such as GERD or LPR or just a minor heartburn flare up its worth thinking about stopping it from happening period.

The first and most important piece of advice I can give and recommend to you is to avoid the obvious trigger foods. Simply by avoiding these trigger foods can stop and prevent acid reflux from happening in a lot of people. And while it may not be the cure for everyone it is likely to at least help.

I think that’s worth considering before trying ailments to stop acid reflux instead. If you didn’t know here are a few of the common big acid reflux trigger foods/drinks –

  • Spicy food
  • Fatty food
  • Processed food
  • Citrus fruits
  • Peppers, onions, and tomatoes
  • Alcohol, soft drinks, fruit juice

Avoiding the trigger foods will likely be enough for lots of people to get complete relief, while for others they may need to be a little stricter and really choose the optimal foods and drink for acid reflux. That’s why I created my own diet plan to help people with acid reflux, you can read more about it here – Wipeout Diet Plan (tailored for people with acid reflux). Also for more complete support and treatment consider a Private Acid Reflux Consultation Here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I drink apple cider vinegar if I have acid reflux?

Yes, you can drink apple cider vinegar if you have acid reflux though it is not guaranteed to help. It is primarily useful for people with low stomach acid which isn’t the most common cause of acid reflux. This means for certain people it can be helpful though for people with high stomach acid, it will likely not be helpful.

Why does apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux?

Apple cider vinegar can help certain people with acid reflux. The people it can help are people who have too low of a stomach acid. When someone with a lower than normal stomach acid takes apple cider vinegar due to the high acidity of the vinegar this can make the stomach more acidic.

Because it makes the stomach more acidic also means the digestion is better and thus lends to less acid reflux problems. Keep in mind though if you have an already higher stomach acidity and this is causing your acid reflux taking apple cider vinegar will have no benefit, it will likely only worsen the problem.

What can I drink for acid reflux?

If you are wanting to drink something that can relieve acid relief one of the better home remedies is baking soda mixed with water. This combination makes an alkaline mixture that helps lower the acidity of the stomach and the whole digestive tract that will likely help and ease symptoms for most people suffering with acid reflux and things like heartburn.

If you are looking for something to drink that won’t irritate or flair acid reflux the best option is always water ideally alkaline water. The other options are things like chamomile tea or marshmallow root tea which also won’t worsen acid reflux symptoms.

How do you make acid reflux go away fast?

If you want quite relief from something like heartburn a great option is mixing some baking soda with water and drinking it. It should neutralize the acid in the stomach and help ease symptoms. There are also other anti-acid medicines like Gaviscon which also have a similar effect.

If you want to prevent acid reflux from happening the best piece of advice is to avoid the obvious acid reflux triggers foods/drinks, things like spicy food, fatty food and alcohol should be avoided to name a few.

4 thoughts on “Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux – Does it Work?”

  1. Seems you might want to do some test strips in your alkaline water. I can get up to a 9ph with just a ‘pinch’ of baking soda (which is less than a 1/16 of a teaspoon) in a 20 oz tumbler of water. That way you can use a lot more of it than you are recommending. Deb

    1. Yes well it depends on the water that you are adding your baking soda too. This amount is suggested because it will work with water that is a bit more acidic too. But yes you are quite right you can adjust and work out the optimal level so you don’t need to add quite as much.

  2. Hi David, I would welcome your thoughts on my symptoms… having researched silent reflux, wonder if I might have it…. but I rarely have any reflux symptoms, other than a bad taste/burning sensation, after a very occasional drink of Whisky – Had a flu type virus 7 weeks ago, with a really bad dry cough/infected throat, had antibiotics that did nothing, when the ‘virus’ continued on for some weeks, went to Doctor again, now awaiting Endoscopy, and nose/throat scan, other than that, she didn’t really offer any relief. Symptoms are, tight, tickly and tender throat, almost continuous sticky phlem that just won’t shift (sometimes, this seems to make me breathless when it builds up in my throat, along with a tight feeling, like a lump of mucus has stuck, a dry cough (sometimes looser) feel like needing to clear throat most of the day, tender throat but not really painful, rough sounding voice, unable to sleep well as the phlem either dries up overnight and I spend much of the morning, gargling salt water and making a horrendous noise, (Dry cough) trying to shift the phlem, which I eventually do, or I cough all night trying to throat clear and getting no sleep, managing 4 hours max, on and off. We have an Aga range cooker, which I find difficult to cook on as the heat makes me breathless. feeling very anxious and fed up as it’s just not getting better after such a long time. Do you think its LPR? If so, why has it just started? I am 66 years old now! Have always enjoyed good health. Really feel quite unwell with it, feel worried. If it turns out to be LPR, when I get the Endoscopy in two weeks, what should I do? Pills, or your book, ‘Wipe out diet plan’ I am taking Gaviscon chewable tablets at the moment, 6 per day, is that enough? It seems like a lot to take, not keen on taking any tablets, but research has said they will help protect my UES, is that correct? your Baking Soda water is interesting, is it better than Gaviscon? Can I drink the alkaline water and take the Antacid tablets? Have not tried Gaviscon Plus, is that better? Apologies for such a lengthy mail to you… but really need to find relief of the awful symptoms. Thanks .

    1. Hi Fiona, Yeah it does sounds like LPR from what you have mentioned. Why it’s started could be a host of reasons, could be LES problems, gut problems, low stomach acid, SIBO etc etc. Endoscopy will just check if you have a hernia or something more severe which is unlikely, it won’t really confirm if you have LPR or not. Personally I would suggest my diet plan yes instead of pills. Pills often do more harm than good in the long run and often some of these meds are hard to get off later when you do try. Therefore trying to heal with diet should be the first thing to do. That sound’s like a fair amount of them tablets. I don’t think they protect the UES in particular but instead the upper digestive tract.

      I wouldn’t say the baking soda is better than the gaviscon though it is an okay short term alternative if you can’t get the gavicon as easily. The gaviscon with the more alginate is the best choice for someone with LPR.

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