GERD-Friendly Non-Citrus Beverages for Every OccasionPublished on Wednesday, January 17, 2024 by
GERD-Friendly Beverages: Exploring Options Beyond Water
When you live with acid reflux, you may find yourself often looking for beverage recipes that do not trigger your acid reflux. Lifestyle changes for GERD can be challenging in itself; however, actively working on lifestyle changes as well as diet changes can become overwhelming.
In case you aren’t familiar with GERD-triggering foods, let’s first start with a few items that you may want to avoid when considering beverages. Things like lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruits, tomato juice, and regular coffee are all acidic and may contribute to acid reflux symptoms. Alcohol is generally considered acidic, as well as some types of tea, including those made from citrus fruits such as lemon or orange.
When it comes to beverages, there are so many recipes that have some type of acidic product as an ingredient, which can be triggering when it comes to GERD symptoms. A quick Google search for non-acidic beverages and it’s easy to become frustrated with the lack of options.
Alternatives to Plain Water
So, you may be wondering, what exactly is left to drink besides plain water? Luckily, there are still several options!
Refreshing Coconut Water
Coconut water is a great source of potassium, which is an important electrolyte for our body. Coconut water plain is not my favorite due to its nutty taste, but it can be so refreshing when mixed with lower-acidity fruit juices. It is also a plus that most unflavored varieties of coconut water have no added sugar.
This review reveals that papaya directly influences the movement of gastric smooth muscle and contains enzymes supportive of digestion. Consider incorporating papaya alongside water. When selecting papaya juice, always look for 100% fruit juice.
Pear and Apple Juices
Pear and apple juices are good beverage choices due to their lower acidity when compared to citrus juices, such as orange or grapefruit. Choosing pear and apple juices that are lower in added sugars or those labeled 100% juice can be a healthier choice for digestive health.
Although some teas, like those with citrus fruits or peppermint, can be a trigger, there is research to suggest that chamomile may have properties to ease digestive issues. Along with chamomile, licorice root tea and ginger tea are also good choices. With all teas, you will want to trial them in small amounts to test for tolerance to monitor how your body responds before going all in.
For years, ginger has been known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, and antiulcer properties. Ginger's spicy flavor added to various liquids can lead to a great-tasting drink, plus the smell of ginger is one of my favorites. I personally love adding pieces of ginger root to hot water and honey for a nice warm drink during the winter. Ginger is generally well-tolerated by individuals with GERD and acid reflux and has only been shown to have digestive concerns when consumed in quantities greater than 6 grams at a time.
Exploring GERD-Friendly Alternatives
Navigating GERD-friendly beverage options can be a challenge, given the limitations imposed by trigger foods. The frustration often lies in the abundance of acidic ingredients in popular recipes. However, several alternatives offer both refreshment and digestive ease. From coconut water to herbal teas and ginger-infused concoctions, these options go beyond plain water. Additionally, there are also a number of GERD-friendly mocktails and non-alcoholic beverage options available to try! It's crucial to remember that individual tolerance varies, and consulting your healthcare provider for personalized advice is recommended if you frequently experience acid reflux.
- Schulz, R. M., Ahuja, N. K., & Slavin, J. L. (2022). Effectiveness of Nutritional Ingredients on Upper Gastrointestinal Conditions and Symptoms: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 14(3), 672. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14030672
- Dossett, M. L., Cohen, E. M., & Cohen, J. (2017). Integrative Medicine for Gastrointestinal Disease. Primary care, 44(2), 265–280. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pop.2017.02.002
- Modi, K. (2022, November 28). Ginger Root - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK565886/
Haley McGahaRDN, CSO, LD