Can Coffee Cause Heartburn?

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Hey there! While enjoying a delicious cup of joe, you may have noticed that sometimes it can lead to a not-so-pleasant side effect: heartburn. But is there really a connection between coffee and heartburn? Let’s dive in and find out!

But before we look at whether coffee can cause heartburn, let’s look at heartburn itself. 

What Actually is Heartburn?

First, let’s define heartburn. It’s that uncomfortable feeling you get when stomach acid flows back up into your esophagus, the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

It can cause a burning sensation in your chest or throat, and sometimes it can even cause a sour or bitter taste in your mouth. Yuck!

How Drinking Coffee Can Lead to Heartburn

Now, on to the coffee connection. It’s true that coffee can indeed cause heartburn for some people. But it’s not because of the caffeine (although that can contribute to the problem in some cases). The main culprit is actually the acidity of the coffee itself.

You see, the majority of coffee beans are naturally acidic. When they’re roasted, the acidity level increases even more. And when you brew a cup of coffee, the resulting liquid is even more acidic than the beans themselves.

This high acid content can irritate the lining of your esophagus and lead to the dreadful feeling of heartburn.

But here’s the good news: not everyone is equally sensitive to the effects of coffee on heartburn. Some people can drink coffee all day without experiencing any discomfort, while others may only need one cup to feel the burn.

It all depends on your tolerance and sensitivity to the acidity in coffee.

How to Avoid Heartburn When Drinking Coffee

So, what can you do if you love coffee but also suffer from heartburn? Here are a few tips:

Try switching to a coffee blend lower in acidity. Many coffee enthusiasts say that Arabica beans are generally less acidic than robusta beans, so they may be a good choice. However, some individuals are convinced it’s the other way around – so it’s best to do your own research when purchasing it. 

Avoid brewing your coffee with boiling water. This can increase the acidity of the coffee even more. Instead, use water that’s just below boiling (around 195-205°F) for a less acidic brew.

Following this, add some milk to your coffee. The calcium in milk can help neutralize the acidity of the coffee, so it may help reduce heartburn symptoms.

Drink your coffee in moderation. If you’re prone to heartburn, limiting the amount of coffee you drink can help prevent symptoms. And this goes with most things in life!

If you’re a serious coffee aficionado, you may have heard about cold brew coffee. This trendy method of brewing coffee involves steeping ground coffee beans in cold water for an extended period of time, usually 12-24 hours.

The result is a smooth, less acidic, and less bitter brew than traditional hot-brewed coffee. We have loads of cold brew recommendations that have been tried and tested – feel free to take a look.

Is Cold Brew Definitely the Answer to Stopping Heartburn? 

But does cold brew coffee have the same potential to cause heartburn as its hot-brewed counterpart? The short answer: it depends.

Because cold brew coffee is made with cold water, the extraction process is slower and less efficient than with hot water. This means that the resulting brew contains less acid than traditional coffee. So, in general, cold brew coffee is less likely to cause heartburn than hot-brewed coffee.

However, there are a few factors to consider. First, the type of coffee beans you use can affect the acidity of the brew. As mentioned earlier, Arabica beans are generally less acidic than robusta beans, so using Arabica beans for your cold brew may help reduce the risk of heartburn.

Another thing to consider is how you prepare your cold brew. Some people add hot water to their cold brew coffee to “warm it up” before drinking it. This can increase the acidity of the brew, and therefore it can increase the potential for heartburn.

So, if you’re sensitive to heartburn, it’s best to avoid adding hot water to your cold brew.

Finishing Thoughts

In conclusion, cold brew coffee is generally less acidic and therefore less likely to cause heartburn than traditional hot-brewed coffee. However, the type of beans you use and how you prepare your cold brew can affect its acidity, so it’s vital to keep these factors in mind if you’re trying to avoid heartburn. 

As always, moderation is key. And if you’re prone to heartburn, it’s best to limit your coffee intake and listen to your body. Happy brewing!

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