If you have drank a lot of water and then noticed acid reflux symptoms or heartburn you might be wondering if drinking a lot of water can cause this.
While this is no one answer fits all, for some people drinking a lot of water can indeed cause acid reflux problems. This can be due to a multitude of factors like drinking the water too quickly, drinking the water during eating or it could even be dependent on the water itself being more acidic.
Below we will get into this in more detail, so you know what to expect.
Can Drinking too Much Water Cause Acid Reflux?
If you have noticed acid reflux or something like heartburn soon after drinking water you might be wondering if it really caused it.
In certain situations, for some people drinking water can cause acid reflux though it’s not too typical at least on an empty stomach.
Drinking Too Much Water While Eating
The first thing I want to talk about is when you have drunk too much water alongside eating something.
When you drink too much while eating something the water can combine and mix with the food in your stomach. This can make the stomach expand more which can increase the pressure in the stomach and this pressure can cause the valve above the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to open more which in turn can cause the acid reflux symptoms.
This is why it’s usually recommended not too drink much while eating as I cover in more detail in my diet plan for people with acid reflux – Wipeout Diet Plan.
Drinking too much water while eating is the most likely case where drinking too much water can cause acid reflux.
Drinking Water too Quickly
The second way acid reflux can happen is by drinking the water too quickly. Again, when you drink a lot of water quickly it puts a lot of sudden pressure on the stomach, and this increases the chance of it being overloaded and that LES valve opening and causing you reflux problems.
If you sip water over a longer period this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you drink a lot of water quickly in under 5-10 minutes this is more likely.
Drinking Water that is More Acidic
The 3rd way that water can cause acid reflux is simply by its own makeup. As all waters are different some are more acidic or alkaline than others.
For example, most waters range from a 6 pH to an 8 pH in terms of acidity. But a water that is an 8 pH is considered alkaline and it much more likely to calm acid reflux symptoms due to how it helps neutralize any excess acid. If you didn’t know higher is more alkaline and lower is more acidic.
So, let’s say you usually drink water that is around an 8 pH which is considered alkaline and don’t have any problems with it. But then you drink another water with a pH of 6. In comparison which the pH 6 water it is 100 times more acidic than the 8-pH water. This is quite a noticeable difference and simply changing from the more alkaline water to the more acidic one could cause some acid reflux.
It’s especially true if you drink plenty of water throughout the day and then switch to a more acidic water. The body and digestive system will need some time to adapt to this new water. Keep in mind water with a pH of 6 is considered acidic on the pH scale but generally should not be a concern for most people.
This is more likely to affect you if you are more sensitive or have more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR.
This is why I recommend in my Wipeout Diet Plan and other experts for people more severe acid reflux to drink alkaline water. That’s because it’s likely to calm and neutralize excess acid which in turn usually helps acid reflux.
Also keep in mind certain waters have different balances of minerals that may affect your acid reflux. For example if a water has more bicarbonate in the mixture it’s more likely to be more alkaline and easier on the stomach as an example.
Overall people with a weakened LES are more likely to experience these problems with drinking water because simply too much pressure will cause this valve above the stomach to open sometimes leading to the acid reflux symptoms like heartburn and indigestion to name a couple.
If the valve is opening too much almost anything entering the stomach might be likely to cause some symptoms.
Interesting Related Questions
Can Alkaline Water Give You Heartburn?
Typically, alkaline water is much less likely to give you heartburn than other waters. Though it could still happen if you drink too much of it either while eating or drink a lot of it in a short amount of time.
Should I Drink More Water if I Have Acid Reflux?
Typically drinking a little water can help at least slightly calm down acid reflux symptoms. This is because it can help dilute the contents of the stomach and this can make it less acidic.
Just be aware to not drink too much, as this could overload the stomach and end up not helping as much as you might like.