If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if alkaline water is good and if you should drink it.
Yes alkaline water is good for acid reflux. That’s due to it being alkaline, it usually helps calm and settle the stomach and the whole digestive tract. If you are feeling acid reflux alkaline water works to help neutralize or decrease the acidity in the stomach and the esophagus which reduces acid reflux symptoms.
Below we will go into alkaline water in more detail and how it can help acid reflux.
Is Alkaline Water Good for Acid Reflux?
The main reason that alkaline water helps is that it acts as an acid neutralizer and also generally lowers the acidity of the stomach. This means it’s generally a good choice if you are prone to acid reflux whether it’s more minor or severe.
If your acid reflux symptoms are worse drinking alkaline water will often soothe and help calm symptoms at least somewhat. Though there a few things to consider when it comes to alkaline water.
If you didn’t know some of the acid reflux symptoms are derived from pepsin which is a digestive enzyme produced in the stomach. When this enzyme refluxes up and into the esophagus or even the larynx (throat area) it can cause irritation or inflammation. This is particularly common for people with LPR which is also called silent reflux. This is where acid and pepsin come up and into the throat area and cause problems. If you have throat problems or LPR check this article here – Alkaline Water for LPR.
The reason we have mentioned this is because alkaline water over a pH of 8 has been shown to deactivate pepsin completely which in turn reduces symptoms. This is in addition to the acid balancing effect that I mentioned before. You can read more about this in this study which confirms the effects.
What Alkaline Water to Choose?
If you want to have alkaline water you have a few options. You can buy alkaline water from the store; you can add drops to your tap water to make it more alkaline or even you can add something like baking soda to your water to make it more alkaline.
If you didn’t know any water with a pH higher than 7 is considered alkaline but ideally we want water that has a pH higher than 8. When the water is more alkaline than 8 it deactivates the pepsin that we mentioned before and also helps neutralize and balance acid better in the stomach and the digestive tract.
Remember to keep in mind higher pH is more alkaline and lower is more acidic. Let us cover your 3 options in more detail below –
Bottled Water – Probably the best option is to buy bottled water from the store that you know is alkaline.
Ideally the higher the pH the better because then it will be more effective for easing your acid reflux. If you check the bottle it will usually state the pH of the water at the source. This is a good first indicator but keep in mind that the pH at source is often not always the same as the pH in the bottle.
Ideally you will want to buy a few different brands of higher alkaline water and then test them yourself using a digital pH meter. This way you will actually know what the pH is of the water in the bottle and then you should opt for the one that is the highest pH ideally or at least over that 8 pH at a reasonable price. Here is the pH meter I have used to test my own water.
Keep in mind that water that is naturally alkaline is a much better choice than water where ingredients have been added to make the water more alkaline. It’s always best to opt for the natural alkaline water if and when possible.
Drops – Your second choice is to add drops to the water yourself. You can buy these kind of drops on Amazon here.
What they do is make your water more alkaline. While they are not the perfect choice they are a good alternative if you can’t easily find bottled alkaline water near you.
Baking Soda – Your final option is to make your own alkaline water with baking soda. Basically, you mix a little baking soda with your tap water. This will make the water much more alkaline. You can adjust the amount so the water is alkaline enough without adding too much baking soda. You can do this testing with a digital pH meter to be sure.
Also keep in mind this is a short term option as constantly adding baking soda to your water is not a good idea due to the salt level in the baking soda (sodium bicarbonate). For more information on how to make this combination check our article – Baking Soda for Heartburn – Is It Effective.
Can Alkaline Water Make Acid Reflux Worse?
Most of the time alkaline water will only help acid reflux not make it worse. Though there are situations where alkaline water may not be a good choice. For example, if you suffer from low stomach acid drinking alkaline water may only make it worse.
If you know you have low stomach acid then alkaline water will not be helpful for you but it’s unlikely to make it much worse even if that is the case.
How Much Alkaline Water Should I Drink for Acid Reflux?
You can drink as much alkaline water as you need for acid reflux. There is no set limit. But if you are unsure usually drinking around 8 oz (227ml) is enough to help calm and settle acid reflux symptoms.
Ideally if you have just eaten then try not too drink too much because this can further overload the stomach and increase the chances of acid reflux.
When Should I Drink Alkaline Water for Acid Reflux?
You can drink alkaline water anytime if you have acid reflux. The only time you need to be aware when not too drink as much is immediately after eating as this can overload the stomach and perhaps could make your symptoms worse. If you are to drink soon after eating just keep it in moderation.
Who Should Not Drink Alkaline Water?
The only people who perhaps should not drink alkaline water is people who have lower stomach acid. Drinking alkaline water for these people may make their digestion less effective.
What are the Negative Effects of Alkaline Water?
There are no known side effects to drinking alkaline water. So, it’s considered safe for everyone.