Acid Reflux: Can You Still Have Your Coffee?

Everyone has probably experienced acid-reflux at some point in their life: a burning sensation in the mid-chest area with pain ranging from mild to severe, and attacks being anything from a rare one-off to an almost constant irritant for an unlucky few.Triggers are wide rangingand can vary from person to person, but nearly always include fatty, acidic, or spicy foods.

Thinking carefully about your diet is a good way to control and reduce the reflux you experience, but it’s not just about cutting out spicy curries and fatty desserts - ‘everyday’ food can also be to blame. One of the most common culprits: coffee.

Acid in coffee

Coffee is a naturally acidic ingredient, and the acid is some of what provides coffee’s special flavour. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants, which are beneficial for health, but unfortunately, not everyone's digestive system can cope with the acid content. You don’t need to panic though; there are several ways to reduce the levels of acid in coffee, meaning you can still have your essential morning cup.

What you can try:

Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roast blends naturally have less acid than light roasts, so if you can handle the change in flavour, try to avoid light or medium beans.

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is increasing in popularity with its round, smooth taste - and is great for helping to combat acid reflux, as it contains 70% less acid than regular hot brew coffee. Cold water draws out less acid from the beans, but does require a little forethought. Ideally it should be left to sit in your refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Acid Reducers

If you can’t handle a dark roast flavour and don’t have the time for cold brew, try using an alkaline product to neutralise the acid before it gets in your body.

Natural ingredients with an alkaline signature are great for reducing the acid in your coffee and make it kinder on your stomach. Try crushing one or two clean, washed eggshells and placing them in your french press or percolator with your coffee grounds.

There are several brands of acid reducer supplements for coffee, and these can be more convenient than natural options for heading out and about, or for adding to your instant coffee.

Low Acid Coffee

Some coffee brands produce low-acid beans, which are roasted slower or have the outer waxy layer of the bean removed. This method helps the coffee to retain its flavour and aroma, while reducing your chances of reflux.

Everyone’s acid reflux and triggers are different, so try several varying options and see what works for you.