Can Gatorade Cause Heartburn or Acid Reflux?


If you have just drank Gatorade and noticed digestive issues like heartburn or acid reflux you might be wondering if the Gatorade caused it.

Yes, Gatorade can cause heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. That’s mainly because of its high acidity and ingredients that can cause or worsen acid reflux symptoms like heartburn or acid reflux.

Below we will look into this in more detail to give you the complete picture.

Does Gatorade Cause Acid Reflux?

If you have just drank or recently drank Gatorade, you might be wondering if it was the reason for your heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. Well, yes there is a good chance it could have caused or worsened them.

There is a selection of reasons why it might have irritated or caused your acid reflux problems.

Too Acidic

The most likely reason the Gatorade has caused your acid reflux problems is because of its high acidity level.

On the pH scale Gatorade sits at a pH of around 3 pH. 3 pH is quite a high acidity that is likely to cause or worsen acid reflux symptoms.

If there is too much acid in the stomach, if any of the stomach contents does spill up and out of the stomach and into the esophagus, you are much more likely to be irritated due to the higher acidity.

This is also more likely if you drink more of it because it overloads the stomach with the liquid that is quite acidic. In fact, the acidity of the Gatorade is similar to the pH of your stomach acid.

This shows you negative effect that these kinds of soft drinks along with the likes of Coca-Cola and Sprite can have on the digestive system.

In my Wipeout Diet plan tailored for people with acid reflux we recommend avoiding all kinds of soft drinks like these due to the high acidity levels.

High Sugar Contents

Depending on which brand of Gatorade you opt for some of them have quite a high level of sugar contents.

Of course, if there is too much sugar it’s not ideal for your digestive system and it can cause irritation and things like indigestion which is especially likely for people with more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR.

You might think the ones with less sugar are better though this is often not the case. That’s because the alternatives that are used instead of the sugar are often as bad if not worse than the sugar itself.

Bad Added Ingredients

Most of the other ingredients in Gatorade are quite bad for acid reflux. Some of these ingredients include citric acid, sodium citrate and monopotassium phosphate.

These kinds of ingredients tend to make the drink more acidic and harder on your stomach and digestive system to break down.

Is Gatorade a Bad Choice for Acid Reflux?

Overall as you can see Gatorade is a bad choice if you are prone to things like heartburn or acid reflux and has a good chance that it might worsen or cause acid reflux in the first place.

The same can be said for most soft drinks as they mostly tend to be quite acidic and generally irritable on the stomach and the digestive system.

Therefore, we recommend that you avoid all kinds of drinks like Gatorade particularly if you are prone to acid reflux issues.

How to Calm Heartburn or Acid Reflux Caused by Gatorade

If you have heartburn or acid reflux that has been caused by Gatorade it would be a good idea to take something to calm it down.

A great home remedy is baking soda mixed with a little water. When baking soda is mixed with water it makes the water mixture much more alkaline. So, when you drink it the alkalinity of the drink helps neutralize any excess acid in the stomach and the whole digestive tract. You can read how to make this mixture here – baking soda for heartburn.

Other simple options include medication such as Gaviscon. Gaviscon helps lower the acidity of the stomach similar to how the baking soda mixture works along with creating a barrier like effect on top of the stomach contents which helps keep the acid down in the stomach where it belongs.

Alternatives to Gatorade

If you want an alternative to Gatorade that is safe if you have acid reflux here are a few options –


While water might seem boring it’s the best choice if you have acid reflux and will help aid digestion and acid reflux effects. It will be the best choice particularly if you have had an acid reflux incident more recently.

Alkaline water in particular also can offer a great healing and settling effect on the digestive system. For more on that check here – alkaline water for LPR.

Watermelon Juice

Fresh watermelon juice that you have made yourself is a great choice if you want a sweet alternative to Gatorade.

You should make it yourself because this way you will know that the watermelon juice is completely plain and won’t have any additives or preservatives that you may find in store bought options.

Fruit Smoothie

A fruit smoothie is another good option instead of Gatorade. The secret here is to use milk or a milk alternative to help neutralize any excess acidity.

For example, berries can be quite acidic but when blended up with a milk alternative like almond milk or soy milk it neutralizes their acidity and make them much safer and easier on the digestive system than eating them directly which for some people with acid reflux may cause irritation.

For more on this and drink options for people with acid reflux check my Wipeout Diet Plan.

Interesting Related Questions

Does Gatorade Mess with Acid Reflux?

Yes, Gatorade can mess with and irritate acid reflux mainly because of its high acidity along with irritating added ingredients.

Is Gatorade an Acidic Drink?

Yes, Gatorade is a very acidic drink with a pH of around 3. Which makes its acidity comparable to that of stomach acid!

Can Gatorade Make Your Stomach Burn?

Yes, it is possible that Gatorade can cause the sensation of a stomach burn, mainly because of its higher acidity and irritable ingredients.

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