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Does Drinking Hot Water Help Acid Reflux?

Quick Answer: Does Hot Water Make Reflux Worse?

Hot water can worsen reflux. The stomach produces more acid when the body is hot, which can cause reflux. For example, a hot shower, bath, or water bottle applied to the belly can worsen reflux. The stomach produces more acid when the body is hot, which can cause reflux.

Drinking hot water can help to soothe the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, especially if it is made into a tea that includes anti-inflammatory or alkaline ingredients like ginger or lemon.

Hot water on its own might be psychologically soothing which could calm your body’s response and reduce symptoms. However, water doesn’t chemically help you deal with acid reflux directly.

It can’t impact the pH of your stomach acid. In some cases, hot drinks can actually make acid reflux worse.

Many people believe that acid reflux is caused by stomach acid becoming too acidic. This is only partly true. 

They also assume that drinking water can “dilute” the acid in your stomach, lowering the pH so that you experience fewer acid reflux symptoms.

Again, this is only partly true.

Hot water can help your acid reflux symptoms, but only if you take it the right way, and not because it is water.

Does Drinking Hot Water Help Acid Reflux?

Hot Water

Hot water can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD by psychologically calming the person experiencing the symptoms, but not by meaningfully affecting the stomach pH of the person suffering.

Hot water has a pH of 7, while the acid in your stomach is <1. In other words, the acid in your stomach is thousands of times more acidic than water.

Although, you would need liters and liters of water to make even the smallest difference in your stomach pH balance. Hot water is relaxing, but not chemically helpful for acid reflux.

The idea that water can “balance” your stomach acid is a widespread myth. It gets repeated again and again, but it has already been thoroughly debunked

Water has a pH of only 7, and it would take an impractical amount of water to make even the slightest change in the pH of the liquid in your stomach.

Water can be psychologically soothing, it can improve digestion. It can even flush out toxins from your body, but whether it is hot or cold, it doesn’t reduce the pH in your stomach or prevent acid reflux.

The best way to use hot water when you are suffering from acid reflux is to make tea with it.

While water itself can’t do much to change the pH in your stomach, adding a tiny bit of lemon juice, or some ginger peels can add an active ingredient to the mix that will help settle your stomach. 

Although lemon juice is technically an acid, adding some lemon juice to hot water has an alkalinizing and balancing effect on the stomach.

You can drink a glass of water with lemon (hot or cold) and it will stimulate your stomach while reducing acid buildup.

Ginger is another amazing ingredient for sufferers of acid reflux and GERD. If you enjoy the flavor, adding a bit of ginger to your hot water can make a tea that is both delicious and soothing.

Ginger has been proven to settle a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including acid reflux.

It’s important to note: there is nothing wrong with drinking water, and it won’t make your acid reflux worse! Water is both alkaline and neutral. Y

ou should drink water when you are thirsty, but don’t force yourself to drink water when you are experiencing acid reflux symptoms, because chugging a lot of it probably won’t be effective

RELATED: Is Mango an Acidic Food? The Truth About Mangoes and Health

Does Drinking Hot Tea Help Acid Reflux?

Tea is one of the best remedies for acid reflux, but it depends on what kind you are serving.

Some varieties of tea are high-acid, and can actually make symptoms worse. 

However, many of the popular teas are medicinal ingredients that have positive gastrointestinal effects. Many different teas that you might already enjoy just for the flavor can also reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

Did you know that studies show a single cup of chamomile tea has the same effect as a commercial antacid?

Hot water alone might not pack the medicinal punch you need to deal with your acid reflux. Adding an extra ingredient could make a huge difference.

Hot water is soothing, it helps hydrate you,  and it flushes out toxins. It doesn’t, however, balance the pH in your stomach. To do that, you need medicinal tea.

Here Are Some Of The Best Teas For Acid Reflux:

  • Ginger
  • Fennel
  • Chamomile
  • Lemon
  • Honey
  • Licorice
  • Marshmallow root
  • Turmeric 

Is It Better To Drink Water Hot Or Cold For Acid Reflux?

drinking hot water help acid reflux

Some people swear by hot water as a remedy for acid reflux, but both hot and cold water can be troubling to the stomach.

Your stomach is constantly trying to restore a balance, an equilibrium. 

To digest your food, the acid in your stomach needs to be a very low pH – less than 1. It needs to be thousands of times more acidic than the foods you are eating to break them down. 

When you eat very acidic foods or very basic foods, your stomach needs to adjust slightly to make sure that the pH levels are correct.

The more food changes the pH in your stomach, the harder it is for your body to restore balance, and the more stress it goes through to produce the chemicals that adjust the pH.

The same is true of temperature levels. There is an optimal temperature that your stomach is supposed to remain at so that all of your digestion processes work correctly. 

If the temperature in your stomach changes too much, it can throw things off. This can cause your body stress, as it tries to adjust.

Have you ever chugged a big glass of cold water on a really hot day? Did it bother your stomach?

Although a cool drink when you’re sweating tastes great, it can actually put stress on your stomach. If your stomach is already stressed and inflamed, this can make things even worse.

Hot water usually isn’t a problem, because you need to sip it slowly. You would need to drink a lot of hot water very quickly to irritate your stomach. However, drinking cold water can be a problem, especially on a hot day.

If you have acid reflux and want to drink water, the safest thing is to drink room-temperature water, or water that is only slightly warm or cool. That way, your stomach won’t have to do any extra work to adjust its temperature.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is caused by a weakness in the sphincter that separates your stomach from your esophagus. This causes it to release the liquid acid in your stomach into your esophagus. 

Not only is this uncomfortable and even painful, but it can also be very unhealthy, especially in chronic cases where it keeps happening for a long time. The esophagus wasn’t meant to be exposed to so much harmful acid.

Although the real cause of acid reflux is the sphincter muscle separating the esophagus from the stomach, the contents (and pH level) of the stomach matter a lot.

When your stomach pH is more acidic, or when your system is struggling or inflamed for other reasons, you will end up having more symptoms.

However, there are a lot of reasons you might get acid reflux symptoms! Acid reflux is common during pregnancy, and it can also be caused by stress, anxiety, or depression.

Your digestion is deeply tied to your mental health, so even being stressed about your acid reflux can cause acid reflux!

Working on your thoughts is one way to help yourself, but you can also focus on curating your diet.

Experts recommend featuring foods that prevent acid reflux and reducing or eliminating the foods that trigger and aggravate symptoms.

RELATED: Are Apples Acidic?

What To Drink For Acid Reflux?

drinking hot water help acid reflux

If you want something to drink that will reduce the symptoms of acid reflux, there are lots of choices that are more effective than hot water.

Of course – to say it again for anyone who hasn’t heard it – hot water is okay to drink, and as long as it is not too hot it shouldn’t cause any problems for you, or make your acid reflux symptoms worse.

We all need water, and it is very natural and good to drink as long as you are thirsty.

A mug of hot water won’t bring you immediate relief though like some other drinks might.

Coconut water is a great choice – it is more alkaline than water, so it can do (a little bit) more to restore the pH in your stomach and if you are dehydrated it can restore electrolytes. Coconut water is very easy on your stomach.

As we’ve seen, warm herbal teas can incorporate many medicinal ingredients like honey, lemon, ginger, and turmeric to help settle your stomach and prevent symptoms of acid reflux.

Herbal tea with an active ingredient will always be better than a mug of hot water.

Unfortunately, some of our favorite drinks can make acid reflux worse.

Avoid These When You Have Acid Reflux Or GERD:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee/Caffeinated drinks
  • Citrus and fruit juices

What Helps Acid Reflux Go Away?

There are plenty of remedies that can help you get rid of acid reflux better than hot water.

We’ve already looked at some of the best drinks, including coconut water and herbal teas.

If you’re experiencing acid reflux symptoms and you want immediate relief, the best thing you can get is an over-the-counter antacid. Rolaids and Tums are 2 common brands.  

An antacid is so much more powerful than water at alkalizing your stomach and restoring balance. Water has a pH of 7, whereas antacids have a much higher pH and are very concentrated.

An antacid can actually do what people think water does to balance your stomach.

Of course, if you don’t have access to an antacid right away and you want immediate relief, you might have baking soda around. Baking soda is very basic and can alkalize your stomach like an antacid. 

Unfortunately, it tastes much worse and doesn’t come in a pill form that is easy to swallow.

If you can stomach it, a teaspoon or two of baking soda dissolved in water can settle your acidic stomach and quickly relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. It does taste very bitter, so if this is the route you choose, be prepared for that. 

When it comes to food, it might be the best choice to eat banana.

Many people get acid reflux when they are too hungry. When you start thinking about food, your body starts to produce stomach acid in anticipation of the tasty meal you’re about to have.

The problem is – when the meal doesn’t happen, you have all of that stomach acid and nothing to dissolve.

If you’re hungry and starting to get acid reflux symptoms, eating a banana can protect you from the worst of it. Bananas are low-acid fruits that can also coat your stomach and prevent gastrointestinal problems. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hot Water Make Reflux Worse? 

Foods and drinks that are suspected of making symptoms worse in people include peppermint, chocolates, spicy foods, hot drinks and more. 

Is Milk Good For Acid Reflux?

Milk and dairy products are high in fat and tend to make heartburn worse. When you have frequent GERD symptoms, eating high-fat dairy products, heartburn, and cheese can aggravate your symptoms.

Does Drinking Water Help Acid Reflux? 

Drinking water can help you to balance the pH of a particularly acidic meal. It does reflect acid reflux in some people.

Jess Smith