A common question among those struggling with acid reflux is: is orange juice bad for acid reflux?
The answer is generally yes orange juice is bad for acid reflux, as the high acidity of orange juice can provoke or aggravate acid reflux.
This article will delve deeper into the connection between orange juice and acid reflux and provide some practical advice for those who still want to enjoy their fresh, tangy drink.
How Orange Juice Affects Acid Reflux
Orange juice, like other citrus fruits, is high in acidity, which can exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux. This occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach are refluxed back into the esophagus, causing discomfort and sometimes damage. Orange juice should never really be considered good for acid reflux but for some it may be tolerable.
When you consume orange juice, it can increase the acidity of your stomach, leading to heightened chances of reflux.
Several factors can influence this relationship, including the quantity of orange juice consumed, the timing of its consumption, the specific acidity of the juice, and individual tolerance levels.
Drinking excessive amounts of orange juice can spike the risk of reflux, and consuming it on an empty stomach or before bedtime can further aggravate symptoms. The acidity of the juice can also vary – different varieties of oranges have different pH levels, with some being more acidic than others.
Individual tolerance to citrus fruits and their juices also varies, with some people more sensitive than others.
How to Enjoy Orange Juice Without Causing Acid Reflux
While it is generally advisable to avoid orange juice if you suffer from acid reflux, some people may tolerate small amounts. If you are among them, here are a few tips to minimize potential negative effects:
1. Dilute your orange juice with water or mix it with other, less acidic juices like carrot juice. This makes the mixture less acidic and therefore less likely to cause or contribute to acid reflux.
2. Consume orange juice in moderation, avoiding large quantities. It’s best to drink only a small amount if you are not sure it’s effect on you. For example, 150ml or a small glass full.
3. Pair your orange juice with meals or snacks that contain protein and fat. The food can help to neutralize the high acidity of the orange which will help buffer excess acid which should make the orange juice less intense on the stomach.
4. Drink orange juice earlier in the day and avoid it close to bedtime.
5. Opt for low-acid varieties of oranges like navel or Valencia or choose an orange juice product without added sugars or preservatives.
To sum up, while the high acidity of orange juice can exacerbate acid reflux, it’s not universally harmful. Your individual tolerance, as well as how and when you consume it, can greatly influence its impact on your reflux symptoms.
If you find it hard to give up your morning glass of orange juice, implement the tips above to reduce potential negative effects.
However, for those struggling with more severe forms of acid reflux, such as GERD or LPR, it often will be best to avoid orange juice altogether.
Important Frequently Asked Questions
What Juice Is OK for Acid Reflux?
Non-citrus juices like carrot, aloe vera, or watermelon are generally considered safe for individuals with acid reflux. Keep in mind that many fruit juices should be avoided if you have acid reflux especially if it is more severe. Citrus juices like orange juice tend to be very acidic and therefore are best to be avoided or drank only in moderation.
Do Oranges Make Acid Reflux Worse?
Yes, due to their high acidity, oranges can make acid reflux symptoms worse. Some people may be able to tolerate them, but this usually is on a case-by-case basis.
What’s the Worst Drink for Acid Reflux?
In general, any drink high in acidity or caffeine, including coffee, citrus juices, and carbonated beverages, can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Therefore, it’s best to stick with water especially when having an acid reflux flare up.