What to Drink When You Have Heartburn

Recommendations for Better Management

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Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, causes a pain or burning sensation in the chest. It occurs when stomach acid travels back into the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth and stomach).

Treatment for heartburn often includes taking medications and making diet and lifestyle changes. Certain beverages, including water, nonfat dairy, and herbal teas, may also reduce symptoms.

This article discusses what to drink and not drink for heartburn relief.

Woman with heartburn drinking water

Piyapong Thongcharoen / Getty Images


Heartburn often occurs when the valve between the stomach and esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), relaxes when it shouldn't or becomes weak. Although medications are sometimes required, dietary changes can often help prevent and manage heartburn.

Avoiding soda, alcohol, and other beverages that reduce LES pressure can lessen symptoms of heartburn by preventing stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. Additionally, citrus juice and other acidic drinks can irritate the lining of an already damaged esophagus.

What to Drink

Several drink options are available that should not trigger heartburn and may even help ease symptoms.


Water is vital for our health and well-being. It also helps keep the digestive system moving.

One study found frequent sips of water can help clear acid from the esophagus, which may help prevent heartburn and damage to the esophagus.

With a pH of seven, pure water is considered a neutral, meaning it's neither acidic nor basic, as measured on the pH scale. One study found that drinking alkaline electrolyzed water with a modified pH can help neutralize stomach acid, relieving heartburn and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Nonfat Milk and Yogurt

While the fat content in whole milk can aggravate heartburn, drinking nonfat milk may be helpful. Nonfat milk is thought to provide quick heartburn relief because it can act as a temporary buffer between the stomach lining and stomach acid.

Low-fat yogurt is also a good option to ease heartburn because it has the same soothing qualities as milk. Yogurt also contains probiotics, which can help digestion.

Nonacidic Fruit and Vegetable Juice

Acidic juices, including pineapple, tomato, and orange juice, can irritate the esophagus, making heartburn worse.

Low-acid fruit and vegetable juices are less likely to cause heartburn. Some people even report symptom relief after drinking low-acid juices.

Examples of low-acid juices include:

  • Cabbage juice
  • Carrot juice
  • Celery juice
  • Melon juice
  • Pear juice
  • Aloe vera juice

You can blend low-acid fruit with nonfat or plant-based milk and leafy greens into a heartburn-friendly smoothie packed with vitamins and minerals.

Herbal Tea

Herbal teas have a high water content, which may help dilute and weaken stomach acid. However, some may be more effective than others at relieving heartburn.

Herbal teas to ease acid reflux include:

  • Ginger tea: Ginger is well known for its ability to alleviate nausea, gas, and bloating. Although additional research is needed, it is believed that ginger's anti-inflammatory properties make it effective at reducing irritation in the digestive tract and relieving heartburn.
  • Licorice root tea: Licorice may be helpful for heartburn because it increases the mucosal lining of the esophagus, which may help protect it from irritation caused by stomach acid.
  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties that make it a good option to help ease heartburn symptoms. Some research suggests combining Roman chamomile and ginger to prevent and relieve heartburn.

Additionally, you might find it helpful to add a spoonful of honey to your herbal tea. Honey has natural anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce inflammation in your esophagus.

Peppermint Tea and Heartburn

Although peppermint can help ease some digestive symptoms, it may worsen heartburn. Peppermint decreases LES pressure, which can send acidic stomach contents back into the esophagus.

What to Avoid

Certain drinks may trigger heartburn in some individuals. If you are struggling with heartburn or want to prevent it, you may consider limiting or avoiding certain beverages.

Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine have been identified as potential triggers for heartburn. It is believed that caffeine may relax the LES, contributing to acid reflux. However, it is important to note that current research remains mixed.

One study examined the relationship between the consumption of coffee, tea, soda, milk, water, and juice on reflux symptoms in women without a history of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Researchers found that drinking six servings of coffee, tea, and soda per day caused increased symptoms of reflux. Replacing two servings of these beverages with water helped to decrease symptoms.

Interestingly, results were similar between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and soda. There also was a stronger association between decaffeinated tea and the risk for reflux symptoms than caffeinated tea. This suggests that compounds other than caffeine may contribute to heartburn.

Another study from that same year, however, found no link between tea and coffee consumption and reflux symptoms.

Certain Fruit Juices

Citrus fruits are triggers of heartburn because they reduce LES pressure and delay gastric emptying, causing food to stay in the stomach longer than it should.

Acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes also contain citric acid, which can irritate the lining of a damaged esophagus. Examples of juices to avoid for heartburn include:

  • Orange juice
  • Lemon juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Tangerine juice
  • Tomato juice
  • Lime juice
  • Pineapple juice

Carbonated Drinks

Soda and other carbonated drinks are often considered triggers for heartburn and acid reflux. According to one review, several studies have found a significant association between carbonated beverages and a higher risk of reflux disease.

Drinks with carbonation can cause gas and bloating inside the stomach and increased pressure on the LES, causing stomach acids to flow into the esophagus.


People with heartburn are advised to avoid alcoholic beverages, including wine, beer, and hard liquor, because alcohol can lower LES pressure, contributing to acid reflux.

One meta-analysis found a significant association between alcohol and the risk of reflux disease. Individuals who drink heavily are at a greater risk.

Another study found that beer and wine may increase heartburn, with most symptoms appearing within an hour of consumption.

If you have acid reflux and choose to drink, it's best to do so in moderation and avoid consuming alcohol with carbonated or acidic mixers.


Heartburn can be uncomfortable, but it can be managed. In addition to following an eating plan to keep heartburn in check, you can also include drinks that won't irritate your esophagus or cause reflux. Water, nonfat milk, and certain herbal teas may benefit those with heartburn, while acidic juices, carbonated beverages, caffeine, and alcohol may increase symptoms in some individuals.

A Word From Verywell

It's important to remember that no two people are the same. What works for one person may not work for you. Although some people may experience increased frequency and severity of heartburn with certain drinks, your body may process these same beverages without difficulty. There's no need to avoid or restrict a particular food or drink unless it's causing you discomfort.

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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Lindsey DeSoto, RD, LD
Lindsey Desoto is a registered dietitian with experience working with clients to improve their diet for health-related reasons. She enjoys staying up to date on the latest research and translating nutrition science into practical eating advice to help others live healthier lives.