Is Tonic Water Good for Acid Reflux?

tonic water

If you’re one of the millions of people who suffers from acid reflux, you may be wondering if tonic water is a safe and effective drink choice.

Generally, if you have acid reflux tonic water is not a good choice and may cause or worsen your acid reflux. This is often due to it be being carbonated and too acidic which may lead to problems for some people.

Below, we’ll explore the pros and cons of tonic water in detail and its impact on acid reflux symptoms.

What is Tonic Water and How is it Different from Club Soda?

Before we talk about tonic water it’s effects on acid reflux it’s important to mention the difference between it and club soda because of their apparent similarities.

Tonic water is a carbonated beverage that contains quinine, sugar, and carbonation. Quinine is a bitter compound that is often used as a flavoring agent and has some medicinal properties. Tonic water is usually mixed with gin to create a gin and tonic cocktail, but it can also be enjoyed on its own.

The main difference between tonic water and club soda is that tonic water contains quinine and sugar, while club soda does not. Club soda is also carbonated, but it has a milder taste than tonic water. It is often used as a mixer in cocktails.

How Does Tonic Water Affect Acid Reflux?

While some people may find that tonic water helps relieve their acid reflux symptoms, others may find that it makes their symptoms worse. The effects of tonic water on acid reflux are largely dependent on the individual and the amount consumed though generally speaking it’s best to avoid tonic water because of how it can worsen your acid reflux symptoms.

Studies and anecdotal evidence suggest that tonic water may help increase heartburn symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach. However, tonic water may also worsen acid reflux by increasing gas production, bloating, and pressure on the LES.

Additionally, tonic water’s pH is quite acidic, which often can and will exacerbate acid reflux symptoms.

The sugar and carbonation in tonic water may also contribute to acid reflux by stimulating acid secretion and causing belching.

What are Some Alternatives to Tonic Water for Acid Reflux?

If you’re looking for a beverage that is gentler on your acid reflux symptoms, there are several options to consider. Water is always a safe choice, and herbal teas like chamomile and marshmallow root tea can help soothe the digestive system. Low-fat milk or almond milk are also good alternatives.

On the other hand, it’s best to avoid drinks that may aggravate acid reflux symptoms, such as coffee, soft drinks, alcohol, citrus juices, and tomato juice.

It’s best to avoid drinking any of these trigger drinks particularly if you have more severe acid reflux like GERD or LPR. It’s also recommended to not drink more soon before sleeping. The reason for this is because when you lay down it increases the chances of acid reflux because you don’t have the added benefits of gravity keeping the acid down and in your stomach.


In conclusion, tonic water is not recommended for people with acid reflux. While some people may find that it helps relieve their symptoms, many others may find that it makes their symptoms worse.

It’s best to opt for other drinks such as we mentioned before and find what works best for you.

If you need more diet help for acid reflux, we recommend trying the Wipeout Diet Plan and considering booking a Private Acid Reflux Consultation with David to help manage your acid reflux symptoms and get relief as soon as possible.

Important Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tonic Water OK with GERD?

Tonic water is not recommended for people with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) as it can exacerbate symptoms. Tonic water is acidic and contains sugar and carbonation, all of which can contribute to acid reflux.

Is Gin and Tonic OK for Acid Reflux?

Gin and tonic are not recommended for people with acid reflux as the tonic water can exacerbate symptoms. The gin in the drink may also contribute to acid reflux by slowing the emptying of the stomach.

Also, the alcohol can affect how the valve above the stomach operates. Leaving it open when it shouldn’t be which will often contribute to or make acid reflux worse.

Is Tonic Good for Your Stomach?

While tonic water may have some health benefits, such as relieving muscle cramps though it is not good for the stomach.

Tonic water is acidic and contains sugar and carbonation, which can all irritate the stomach lining and exacerbate acid reflux symptoms particularly for more sensitive stomachs.

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