Should You Drink Low Acid Coffee?

Coffee is the drink for a morning wakeup and afternoon pick me up. It has many health benefits. But what if coffee gives you heartburn or an upset stomach because of acid? Should you drink less coffee? Should you go with decaf? Should you drink low acid coffee? For that matter, what is low acid coffee?

Why Can Coffee Upset Your Stomach?

Drinking coffee can stimulate acid secretion in your stomach. This is because of the caffeine in your coffee. Going with a Colombian Arabica instead of a Robusta like Death Wish Coffee will help this. Then the coffee itself has acid content and, in fact, Arabica coffees with their high antioxidant content also are a bit more acidic. Roast makes a difference as light roast coffees are more acidic while a dark roast is less acidic. Espressos are less acidic than other coffees due to the short brewing time. And cold brewing results in a less acidic coffee as well.

Should You Drink Low Acid Coffee

Coffee Alternatives

You can find coffee brands that advertise lower acid content but remember that they have caffeine which will cause your stomach to secrete acid. Decaf coffee gets around the body’s secretion of acid and a dark roast reduces the coffee’s acid content. Cold brew, espresso are also alternatives. Drinking coffee that is not so strong and drinking fewer cups a day are reasonable approaches to reducing acid. In addition, avoid drinking a lot of coffee on an empty stomach as there is no food there to dilute the effects of the coffee. When you filter your coffee use a paper filter instead of metal as this traps some of the acid.

Chicory Coffee

At times when coffee has not been available people have used roots of the chicory plant to make a coffee substitute. The roots are roasted and ground and provide a non-acidic substitute for coffee. There are types of mushroom coffee that work in a similar fashion. While both of these get around the acid issue, they also eliminate real coffee from your diet.

Not All Heartburn Is Only Because of Coffee

Heartburn happens when acid from the stomach refluxes up into the esophagus. This happens because a band of muscle called a sphincter is not working properly. Many people who do not drink coffee and are careful with their diets need to take medicines like omeprazole (an acid blocker) to avoid having damage and a stricture in their esophagus. You probably do not want to be taking lots of drugs because you are drinking a dozen cups of coffee a day but if one or two cups causes problems ask your doctor about something for your acid reflux heartburn.

How about a Nice Cup of Tea?

Unfortunately, tea also contains caffeine and other chemicals that cause the stomach to secrete more acid. Pretty much any drink that gives you a boost like coffee does also tends to increase acid secretion. Using milk in your tea or coffee helps buffer some of that acid but too much cream (fat) can reverse that benefit by provoking more acid or bile secretion which does not get better with acid blockers!

In the end the best answer to the problem of too much coffee causing acid is to cut back on your coffee intake to where you are not getting heartburn.

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