How to Avoid Acid Reflux from Coffee: Simple Tips and Tricks

I love coffee. There’s something about the aroma and the taste that instantly wakes me up and puts a smile on my face. But as much as I adore this delicious beverage, it does have one downside – it can trigger acid reflux. Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, occurs when the acid from your stomach flows back up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your chest. This can be incredibly uncomfortable and can even lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. So, how can we enjoy our daily dose of caffeine without suffering from acid reflux? In this article, I will share some simple tips and tricks to help you avoid acid reflux from coffee.

Understanding Acid Reflux

Before we dive into the ways to avoid acid reflux, let’s take a brief look at what causes it and why coffee can be a trigger. Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular ring that separates the stomach from the esophagus, doesn’t close properly. This allows the stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing that burning sensation.

There are several factors that can weaken the LES, including certain foods, lifestyle choices, and medications. Coffee, specifically, has been identified as a potential trigger for acid reflux due to its high acidity. Additionally, coffee stimulates the production of stomach acid, which can further exacerbate the issue.

Choose Low-Acid Coffee Beans

One of the simplest ways to reduce the risk of acid reflux from coffee is to choose low-acid coffee beans. Some coffee brands offer specially roasted beans that are less acidic, making them easier on the stomach. Look for terms like “low-acid,” “non-acidic,” or “stomach-friendly” when shopping for coffee.

Using a cold-brewing method can also help decrease the acidity of your coffee. Cold-brewed coffee has lower acidity levels compared to traditional hot-brewed coffee, as the cold water extraction process reduces the release of certain compounds that contribute to acidity.

Opt for Decaffeinated Coffee

Caffeine is known to relax the LES, making it easier for stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Therefore, if you’re prone to acid reflux, opting for decaffeinated coffee is a wise choice. Decaf coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine, but significantly less than regular coffee. Be sure to check the labeling to ensure it is 97% caffeine-free, as regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Choose a Light Roast

The roasting process of coffee beans plays a role in their acidity. Dark roasted beans may contain compounds that can trigger acid reflux, so it’s best to opt for a lighter roast. Light-roasted coffee tends to be less acidic and may be kinder to your stomach. Experiment with different roast levels to find one that suits your taste buds and doesn’t aggravate your acid reflux.

Use Non-Dairy Milk Alternatives

While coffee itself can be a trigger for acid reflux, the addition of dairy products like milk can worsen the situation for some people. If you find that dairy products don’t sit well with you, consider using non-dairy milk alternatives in your coffee. Almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk are all excellent options and can help reduce the risk of acid reflux.

Take It Slow and Enjoy

Often, we gulp down our morning coffee in a rush, not realizing that the speed at which we drink can contribute to acid reflux. Drinking coffee quickly can increase the chances of stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus. To minimize this risk, take your time with your coffee. Sip it slowly and savor each sip. This not only helps avoid acid reflux but also enhances your overall coffee-drinking experience.

Give Your Coffee a Little Extra Time

Do you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning on an empty stomach? If so, you might be setting yourself up for acid reflux. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can aggravate the production of stomach acid and increase the likelihood of acid reflux. To reduce this risk, try having a light breakfast or snack before enjoying your morning cup of joe. Giving your stomach something to digest before consuming coffee can help minimize the chances of acid reflux.

Alkaline Water to the Rescue

If you’re still experiencing acid reflux even after making the aforementioned changes, try switching your regular water for alkaline water when brewing your coffee. Alkaline water has a higher pH level, which can help neutralize the acidity in your coffee. By using alkaline water, you may be able to enjoy your favorite brew without the discomfort of acid reflux.


As a coffee lover, acid reflux shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a cup of your favorite brew. By implementing these simple tips and tricks, you can minimize the risk of acid reflux from coffee and continue to indulge in your love for caffeine. Remember to choose low-acid coffee beans, opt for decaffeinated coffee, and experiment with lighter roasts. Additionally, consider trying non-diary milk alternatives, sipping your coffee slowly, and having a light meal before your morning cup. Finally, alkaline water can help neutralize the acidity in your coffee. So, go ahead, grab a cup, and savor the moment without worrying about acid reflux spoiling the fun. Happy sipping!

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