Is Alcohol Acid or Alkaline? (& Is It Bad for Acid Reflux)

alcohol drinks

If you’ve ever wondered about the acidity or alkalinity of alcohol, you’re not alone. Many people are curious whether alcohol falls on the acidic or alkaline side of the pH scale.

Typically, most alcohols are acidic on the pH scale for example wine and beer although there are some exceptions where the pH can be alkaline (also known as base), these examples include some vodka and gin varieties.

In this article, we’ll explore the pH values of different types of alcohol, discuss how alcohol affects digestion and acid reflux, and provide some helpful tips for managing these effects.

The pH Scale

Before we dive into the acidity of alcohol, let’s briefly explain the pH scale. The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance on a scale of 0 to 14. A pH value of 7 is considered neutral, while values below 7 are acidic and values above 7 are alkaline. Understanding the pH scale is crucial for understanding the effects of alcohol on our bodies.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the acidity and alkalinity of different types of alcohol. It’s important to note that most types of alcohol are acidic, with some exceptions. The acidity or alkalinity of alcohol can vary depending on factors such as the ingredients, the fermentation and distillation processes, and any additives used in the production.

The Acidity and Alkalinity of Different Types of Alcohol

Here’s a breakdown of the pH values of some common types of alcohol:

1. Beer: Typically falls in the range of 3.5 to 4.5 on the pH scale, making it mildly acidic.

2. Wine: Can range from 2.5 to 4.5 on the pH scale, depending on factors such as grape variety and fermentation techniques. White wines tend to be more acidic than red wines.

3. Spirits: Vodka, gin, whiskey, and other spirits generally have a pH value of around 4 to 6, making them slightly acidic. Vodka tends to be less acidic where some is even alkaline with a pH of over 7.

It’s important to note that these pH values can vary depending on the brand and specific production methods. For example, some wines may have a higher or lower acidity level compared to others. It’s always a good idea to check the specific pH value of a particular brand or type of alcohol if you have concerns about acid reflux or digestion.

For a complete list of alcohols that are stuitable for people with acid reflux check the Wipeout Diet Plan here.

The Effects of Alcohol on Digestion and Acid Reflux

Alcohol is a common beverage consumed by many people, but it can have negative effects on digestion and contribute to acid reflux symptoms. Understanding how alcohol affects the digestive system and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) can help individuals manage their acid reflux better.

How Alcohol Interferes with Digestion and the LES

Alcohol can interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive system in several ways. Firstly, it acts as a diuretic, which means it increases urine production and can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause constipation and other digestive issues. Additionally, alcohol can irritate the stomach lining, leading to inflammation and an increased production of stomach acid.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of muscle located between the esophagus and the stomach. Its main function is to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. However, alcohol can weaken the LES, resulting in relaxation of the muscle and allowing stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus. This can lead to symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, bloating, and regurgitation.

Alcohol and Acid Reflux

Research has shown a strong association between alcohol consumption and the development or worsening of acid reflux symptoms. A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that individuals who consumed alcohol more frequently were more likely to experience acid reflux symptoms. Another study found that alcohol consumption was associated with an increased risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Alcohol can also trigger or worsen symptoms of acid reflux due to its acidic nature. Many alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and spirits, are acidic in nature. The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with a pH of 7 being neutral. Pure alcohol, such as vodka or whiskey, has a pH of around 7, making it neutral. However, when mixed with other ingredients, such as carbonation in beer or the acidity of fruit juices in cocktails, the pH of the beverage can become more acidic.

The higher the pH the less likely an acholic drink will be to make acid reflux worse. Therefore, choosing less acidic alcohol choices will be the safer choice for someone with acid reflux.

Alcohol’s Effects on Overall Health

Aside from its impact on digestion and acid reflux, alcohol can also affect other aspects of health. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver damage, as the liver is responsible for metabolizing alcohol. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to conditions such as alcoholic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Alcohol can also interfere with proper hydration, as it acts as a diuretic and increases urine production. Proper hydration is essential for overall health and optimal digestion. Additionally, alcohol can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, which are important for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Tips to Prevent or Reduce the Effects of Alcohol on Digestion and Acid Reflux

While it may be challenging to completely eliminate alcohol from your life, there are practical steps you can take to prevent or reduce the effects of alcohol on digestion and acid reflux. Here are some evidence-based tips to consider:

1. Limit the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption: Moderation is key. Limiting the amount of alcohol, you consume and spacing out your drinks can help reduce the impact on your digestive system.

2. Choose less acidic or alkaline types of alcohol: Opt for less acidic beverages such as vodka, which has a neutral pH, or choose alkaline options like certain types of gin or tequila. However, it’s important to note that individual tolerances and triggers may vary, so it’s essential to listen to your body and make choices accordingly.

3. Drink water or other non-alcoholic beverages between alcoholic drinks: Staying hydrated can help counteract the dehydrating effects of alcohol and support proper digestion. Alternating alcoholic beverages with water or other non-alcoholic options can also help reduce overall alcohol consumption.

4. Eat food before or while drinking alcohol: Consuming a meal or snacks before or during alcohol consumption can help slow down the absorption of alcohol and mitigate its effects on the digestive system. Opt for foods that are low in fat and acidity to minimize the potential for triggering acid reflux.

5. Avoid spicy, fatty, or acidic foods that can trigger or worsen acid reflux: Certain foods can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Avoiding spicy foods, high-fat meals, and acidic ingredients can help minimize the risk of acid reflux when consuming alcohol.

6. Take antacids or other medications like Gaviscon: Antacids can provide temporary relief from acid reflux symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid.

7. Elevate the head of the bed or sleep on the left side: If you experience acid reflux at night, elevating the head of your bed or sleeping on your left side can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. This position can help keep the LES above the level of stomach acid, reducing the likelihood of reflux.


Alcohol can have detrimental effects on digestion and acid reflux. It can interfere with the normal functioning of the digestive system and weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), leading to symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and bloating.

Choosing less acidic or alkaline types of alcohol, drinking water between alcoholic beverages, eating food before or while drinking, avoiding trigger foods, and taking antacids can help prevent or reduce the effects of alcohol on digestion and acid reflux. However, moderation and awareness are crucial when consuming alcohol to minimize its impact on overall health and well-being.

Recommendation: If you want to know the best options of low acid alcohol along with their precise pH values, consider following the Wipeout Diet Plan to help manage your acid reflux symptoms. For personalized guidance and support, you can also book a Private Consultation with Dr Gray to address your specific concerns and receive tailored recommendations.

Don’t forget to check our article here – Is Red Wine Good for Acid Reflux?

Important Frequently Asked Questions

What pH is Pure Alcohol?

Pure alcohol has a pH of around 7, depending on variety and brand.

Is Wine Acid or Alkaline?

Wine can vary in acidity, depending on the type. White wines are generally more acidic, with a pH range of 3-4, while red wines tend to be less acidic, with a pH range of 3.5-4.

Is Vodka Acidic or Alkaline?

Vodka usually has a neutral pH of around 7, making it neither acidic nor alkaline.

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