If you have acid reflux you might be wondering if coke (Coca Cola) is a good choice and if it can help acid reflux.
Coke is typically not a good choice if you have acid reflux. Though there may be some occasions where coke may be helpful for an upset stomach but if you have acid reflux it’s best to avoid drinking coke.
Below we will get into coke in more detail and if you should drink it if you have acid reflux.
Coke for Acid Reflux – Good or Bad?
As you will probably already know coke is a drink that is high in sugar, caffeine, and artificial ingredients. All of these can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.
For starters sugar can increase and trigger more acid production in the stomach which can increase or worsen acid reflux for some people. Caffeine is also known to make acid reflux worse. When you have caffeine it can relax the valve above the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
When the LES is more relaxed and open it causes more acid reflux because the LES helps keep the acid down and in the stomach when it is tighter but when it’s more open and relaxed the acid can much more easily reflux up and into your esophagus.
Also, artificial ingredients not only make coke more acidic but also make it more likely to irritate your stomach and digestive tract which can worsen your acid reflux too.
Carbonation is also another factor about coke that typically is not good. When you drink any carbonated drink it can increase the pressure in the stomach and the digestive tract. This pressure and gas build up can cause distention in the stomach which leads to the LES opening more than it should, which in turn causes acid reflux and excess gas like burping, which often can worsen acid reflux. This effect is only amplified and worsened with coke because of its ingredients and acidity.
When it comes to the acidity of coke you can expect it to be around a 2.6-2.7 pH. This is very acidic, so for anyone with even minor acid reflux, Coca Cola should be avoided for this factor alone. The increased acidity can not only cause and increase acid reflux can be also cause irritation to the digestive tract, particularly if there was some acid reflux that had happened in the past hours or days before.
Can Coke Really Help Acid Reflux or an Upset Stomach?
There are people who say that coke has helped their acid reflux or their upset stomach. But why is that the case when coke seems so bad for most people with acid reflux?
A couple of explanations for this include the acidity of the coke itself. If your stomach is upset and if you have lower acidity in the stomach than normal this can in turn lead to digestion problems because the stomach needs to be very acidic to break down all your food properly.
This is where coke comes in, because coke is very acidic therefore when you drink it, it can increase the acidity of the stomach which for some people may help improve digestion and can calm an upset stomach or even acid reflux if it’s related to the problem.
The second explanation of how coke could help acid reflux is the sugar in the coke. Sugar has an alkalizing effect on the body, which can also help to balance out the acidity in the stomach for some people.
Keep in mind while coke may offer a benefit for some that benefit is usually short lived. Because while the coke make help in some ways in other ways it will likely further irritate or worsen acid reflux. Therefore, I do not recommend that you use coke to settle an upset stomach or acid reflux regardless of if it’s minor or more severe like GERD or LPR.
What Drinks Are Good for Acid Reflux Instead of Coke?
If you have acid reflux and want to take a drink to help calm symptoms you have quite a few good options available.
The first quick remedy to help acid reflux is mixing baking soda with water. When you mix a little baking soda with water this creates an alkaline mixture. This mixture can help calm acid reflux symptoms quickly and effectively, though should not be something you drink regularly but more as an occasional natural remedy when needed. For more on how to make this mixture check our article – Baking Soda for Heartburn.
Other drinks that can be taken include chamomile tea, marshmallow root tea or even fennel tea. All these teas have been shown to help and soothe acid reflux and the digestive system in general and can be drank regularly through the day without concern regardless of if you have an acid reflux flare up or not.
One final drink worth mentioning is alkaline water. When you drink alkaline water it can help soothe and calm acid reflux symptoms because it helps neutralize excess acid in the stomach and the digestive treat. Alkaline water that has a pH above 8 is the ideal level. For more information on alkaline water check our article here – Is Alkaline Water Good for Acid Reflux?
Important Related Questions
Does Coke Increase Stomach Acid?
Yes usually coke will increase your stomachs acidity due to it being very acidic itself.
Does Coke Help Indigestion or an Upset Stomach?
There are some cases where coke may help indigestion or an upset stomach though usually its benefits are short lived and are often a double-edged sword.