Cheers! Alcohol Options with Reflux

Cheers! Alcohol Options with Reflux

Published on Thursday, December 30, 2021 by Allison Koch

Alcohol is a common trigger for acid reflux.

We have talked about how both alcohol and carbonated beverages can be a trigger for individuals experiencing gastrointestinal discomfort and reflux due to either an increase in acidity, a decrease in lower esophageal pressure, or increased abdominal pressure from the carbonation in certain beverages. But it does not apply to everyone. It is all about knowing your personal triggers. 

Here are some tips to consider when making your next beverage decisions:

Know Your Limits: Moderate alcohol intake has been associated with some health benefits. What exactly is moderate alcohol intake? Recommendations have been made because alcohol consumption beyond these recommendations has been associated with adverse health outcomes, especially if more than three alcoholic beverages are consumed in one day or more than seven alcoholic beverages are consumed in one week for women and for men over the age of 65 and more than 14 beverages in one week for men under the age of 65.

  • Women: 1 alcoholic beverage per day; Men: 2 alcoholic beverages per day
  • An alcoholic beverage serving:
    • 12 fluid ounces of beer
    • 5 fluid ounces of wine
    • 1.5 fluid ounces of distilled spirits (80 proof)

Non-Alcoholic Options:

This is always a social hot button for people, and I have been there. I can’t tell you how often I have been around other people who are drinking, and if I was not, the question was always, “Are you pregnant?”. All I can suggest is if a person chooses not to drink alcohol at a party, how about we not make this a thing to point it out? But, I personally do enjoy alcohol on occasion and am quite particular about my taste. I decided to try a  zero-alcohol product to review this article sincerely. 

Before my mother-in-law passed away from Lewy-body dementia, there came a point when she wanted a daily glass of chardonnay, but the alcohol in regular wine was not in her best interest. So, we found a company that made an alcohol-free chardonnay: St. Regis. I decided to try it myself; right off the bat, it smells like a legit chardonnay. The breath and mouthfeel of the non-alcoholic wine fit the wine experience perfectly. The only thing you do not have is the afterburn from the alcohol post-swallowing. I’m honestly impressed and wish I would have found this before the Covid 2020 quarantine. 

Alcoholic Beverage Breakdown: 

Some alcoholic beverage choices may be more irritating to individuals living with acid reflux and GERD because of the additional irritants in the ingredients they are made with. For example, if you have cocktails that are made with a citrus base (orange juice screwdrivers; margaritas or daiquiris) or contain peppermint, chocolate, or coffee (mudslides, peppermint martinis, white and black Russians) -they could be extra triggering to symptoms. 

If you are looking for a lower pH liquor, gin, tequila, and non-grain vodkas (like potato vodka) will be the easiest on the stomach. Wine is more acidic than beer; the sweeter the wine, the more acidic the wine. And as always, don’t forget to hydrate between alcoholic beverages to ward off those dreaded hangovers!


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