Does Coffee Cause Acidity in the Body? Exploring the Relationship Between Coffee and Acid Reflux

I have always loved my morning cup of coffee. The rich aroma and the comforting warmth as I hold the mug in my hands, it’s the perfect way to start my day. But recently, I’ve heard some people saying that coffee can cause acidity in the body. This got me thinking, is there any truth to this claim? Does coffee really cause acidity? In this article, I will explore the relationship between coffee and acid reflux to find out if there is any scientific basis behind this idea.

Understanding Acid Reflux

Before we delve deeper into the coffee and acidity debate, let’s first understand what acid reflux is. Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), occurs when the contents of the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This can cause a range of symptoms, including heartburn, regurgitation, and a bitter taste in the mouth.

Coffee and Its Acidity Level

Coffee is known for its distinct taste and acidity. The acidity in coffee comes from naturally occurring compounds, such as chlorogenic acid and quinic acid, which give coffee its characteristic flavor. These acids can stimulate the production of stomach acid, leading to a potential increase in acid reflux symptoms.

The Role of Caffeine

Another factor that needs to be considered is caffeine. Coffee is a significant source of caffeine, a stimulant that can affect the digestive system. Caffeine can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a group of muscles that act as a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. When the LES is relaxed, stomach acid can easily flow back into the esophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms.

Scientific Studies on Coffee and Acid Reflux

Numerous scientific studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between coffee consumption and acid reflux. While some studies suggest a possible association between the two, the results are not conclusive.

A Study on Acid Reflux Symptoms

A study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” examined the effect of coffee consumption on acid reflux symptoms. The study found that regular coffee consumption was associated with an increased risk of acid reflux symptoms. However, the study also noted that the risk appeared to be limited to individuals who consumed more than two cups of coffee per day.

The Role of Decaffeinated Coffee

What about decaffeinated coffee? Does it have the same effect on acid reflux as regular coffee? A study published in the “Journal of Gastroenterology” found that decaffeinated coffee did not increase the risk of acid reflux symptoms, suggesting that caffeine may play a role in triggering acid reflux.

Individual Differences

It’s important to note that individual differences play a significant role in how coffee affects acid reflux symptoms. While some people may experience a worsening of symptoms after drinking coffee, others may not notice any difference. Factors such as overall diet, lifestyle, and the presence of other underlying health conditions can also influence how coffee affects acid reflux.

Reducing the Risk

If you’re concerned about the potential effects of coffee on acid reflux, there are several steps you can take to minimize the risk.

1. Choose Low-Acid Coffees

Not all coffees are created equal when it comes to acidity. Some types of coffee, such as dark roasts, tend to be less acidic compared to lighter roasts. Opting for low-acid coffees or cold brews can reduce the chances of experiencing acid reflux symptoms.

2. Limit your Consumption

Moderation is key. If you’re prone to acid reflux, consider reducing your coffee intake. Limiting the number of cups you drink per day or switching to decaffeinated coffee can help decrease the risk of acid reflux symptoms.

3. Watch your Timing

The timing of your coffee consumption can also impact acid reflux symptoms. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can increase the chances of experiencing acid reflux. It’s best to have your coffee with a meal or at least after eating to minimize the risk.

4. Dilute the Acidity

If you enjoy the taste of coffee but have concerns about the acidity, you can try diluting your coffee with milk or non-dairy alternatives. This can help neutralize the acidity and reduce the intensity of acid reflux symptoms.


In conclusion, while there may be a potential link between coffee consumption and acid reflux symptoms, the effects can vary from person to person. Factors such as the type of coffee, caffeine content, and individual differences can influence how coffee affects acid reflux. If you’re concerned about the potential impact of coffee on your acid reflux symptoms, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. Remember, moderation and listening to your body are key when it comes to enjoying your favorite cup of coffee without compromising your digestive health.

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