Exploring Acid Reflux-Friendly Coffee Alternatives
Article

Exploring Acid Reflux-Friendly Coffee Alternatives

Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2024
by
Haley McGaha

Acid Reflux
GERD
Nutrition

Exploring Acid Reflux-Friendly Coffee Alternatives

Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Then, hearing the song in your head from the Folgers commercial, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!”

For me, I can’t really disagree with that statement (except I’ll trade the Folgers for a different brand of coffee), however, for those of you living with acid reflux, this saying may not ring true. Even if you love coffee, it may be impossible to ignore the uncomfortable symptoms that arise due to acid reflux after drinking coffee, which can be pretty frustrating.

Here at Foodguides, we understand how frustrating it can be, so we decided to compile a list of acid-reflux-friendly coffee alternatives that won’t compromise on flavor

First, we’ll start with tea. Tea is a great alternative to coffee because there are several varieties of tea.  

1. Matcha tea

Matcha tea has become relatively popular in the last few years due to its anti-inflammatory properties and high levels of antioxidants, including catechins which have a protective effect on the digestive system. In addition to having a lower acidity content compared to coffee, matcha tea also contains lower levels of caffeine- a known trigger for reflux. While matcha may be a great alternative for most people with acid reflux, it is important to mind how you make it. Many matcha drinks at popular coffee shops can contain additional flavoring, milk or dairy products, or coffee/espresso additions, so make sure to check the ingredients of the beverages you are ordering.   

2. Marshmallow Root Tea

If you are looking for a cooling and calming, warm alternative to coffee, marshmallow root tea may be the beverage of choice! When steeped in water, marshmallow root releases something called mucilage, a slippery substance that can help coat the membranes of the esophagus and stomach. This can aid in relieving the symptoms of acid reflux, all while enjoying the tea and gaining added benefits like hydration. Since this tea can lower blood sugar levels, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider before drinking it if you have health conditions such as diabetes.

3. Licorice Root Tea

If you like the flavor of licorice, then this tea is for you. Some people describe it as sweet and earthy, while others describe it as tangy. Either way, paired with a bit of low-fat cream, this is a great coffee alternative. To learn more about licorice root for acid reflux relief, check out this article.

4. Ginger Tea

If you are looking for something with a “kick”, ginger tea can be a great option. Its slightly spicy taste can really get your taste buds going. Historically,  ginger has been shown to help reduce acid reflux when used in moderation. However, side effects, including heartburn, have been reported when taken in excess of 5 grams/day (that’s a lot of tea).

5. Chicory Root Tea Blends

If you are someone that often spends your time looking up new trends for acid reflux relief, it’s likely that you’ve come across the recommendation of chicory root blend tea since ground chicory root has a very similar flavor profile as coffee. Chicory root tea is a low acid alternative to coffee, and also does not contain caffeine. Furthermore, it provides gut health benefits. Chicory contains inulin, which is a prebiotic. Prebiotics have been shown to help support a healthy gut microbiota, which in turn, can help reduce acid reflux.  

Mushroom, Low-Acid, and Decaf Coffee

For those of you non-tea lovers, don’t worry! There are still some other options if your mind is still on coffee. One option is mushroom coffee. Thankfully, it tastes better than it sounds. You can buy mushroom coffee grounds, pre-made mushroom coffee lattes and instant mushroom coffee packets. There are also a lot of stores that carry sample packets of mushroom coffee grounds so that you can try it before buying a big bag. Also, since some varieties of mushroom coffee may contain caffeine, opt for the decaf blends to ensure a reflux-friendly experience.

If your acid reflux is mild, you may be able to tolerate low-acid coffee or decaf coffee.  It is all about trying these options and monitoring your personal reactions and preferences to determine what is the best beverage for you!

 

  1. Cleveland Clinic. (2023, March 6). What’s the deal with Mushroom Coffee? https://health.clevelandclinic.org/mushroom-coffee-should-you-be-drinking-it/ 
  2. Houston, K. V., Elmahdi, A., Davis, I., Vilela, A., Soo Yoo, B., D’Souza, S. M., & Johnson, D. A. (2023, January 20). Esophageal dysbiosis-correcting the paradox: Prebiotics, probiotics, or antibiotics?. Esophageal Disease and the Role of the Microbiome. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780323950701000059  
  3. Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(1), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085 
  4. Marshmallow. Mount Sinai Health System. (n.d.). https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/marshmallow 
  5. Yeh, A. M., & Golianu, B. (2014). Integrative Treatment of Reflux and Functional Dyspepsia in Children. Children (Basel, Switzerland), 1(2), 119–133. https://doi.org/10.3390/children1020119 
  6. Sokary, S., Al-Asmakh, M., Zakaria, Z., & Bawadi, H. (2022). The therapeutic potential of matcha tea: A critical review on human and animal studies. Current research in food science, 6, 100396. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crfs.2022.11.015 

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