If you’re a coffee lover, you’ll do anything to keep coffee in your routine! It can be a familiar drink and part of a comforting daily ritual. Or it may be a treat you look forward to regularly. Or it could be something you use for energy or as a part of a social experience.
Whatever it is, you don’t want to give it up! But do you have to if you have GERD or heartburn? Many people report having acid reflux or heartburn after drinking coffee, and regular coffee is definitely an acidic beverage. Luckily, low acid coffee can be an alternative, and low acid decaf coffee is also available from Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee.
If you have GERD or heartburn, be sure to ask your doctor for help managing it. You can also ask which low acid decaf coffee brand may be okay for you to keep in your daily life. With low-acid decaf coffee, you can probably have your coffee and enjoy it, too!
Gastroesophageal reflux disease happens when the lining of the lower esophagus is repeatedly exposed to acid from the stomach. Here’s how it happens. There’s a ring-like muscle, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which sits between the lower esophagus and the stomach. It opens to allow food to pass through when you are eating, and it closes afterwards to make sure acid from the stomach does not come up into the esophagus.
If you have GERD, the LES is not closing as tightly as it should when it should. This allows acid from the stomach to come up into the lower esophagus, which is a place that it should not go! This is called acid reflux. You can feel this happen in the form of heartburn. That is the burning sensation that you may feel at night or after eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages, such as coffee.
Heartburn and GERD are more than just a rare nuisance. As many as 1 in 4 adults has GERD. Other people may have occasional heartburn when they have certain triggers. It’s not just unpleasant. It can be harmful. Having untreated GERD for too long can lead to chronic inflammation. This increases the risk for conditions such as esophageal stricture, esophageal ulcer, and potentially cancerous changes known as Barrett’s esophagus.
Do you need to avoid coffee if you have GERD or sometimes have heartburn? It’s always best to ask your doctor first, but probably not. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee comes in low-acid decaf coffee as well to further lower the acid content.
What People with GERD Have in Common
Who gets GERD? What triggers heartburn and acid reflux? It depends, and sometimes it varies. Not every person with GERD or heartburn has all of these risk factors, and not everyone with these risk factors gets GERD or heartburn. But these are some common risk factors for GERD or triggers for heartburn.
Being overweight or obese
Having bariatric surgery or another abdominal surgery
Having a hiatal hernia
Having a condition that delays stomach emptying after a meal
Smoking or using tobacco
Eating large meals, especially dinner
Eating too late at night or too close to bedtime
Exercising intensely after a meal
Taking certain over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as antibiotics, aspirin, ibuprofen, iron supplements, narcotics, progesterone, sedatives, ACE inhibitors and some other blood pressure-lowering medications, and certain antidepressants
With all of these risk factors, it’s no wonder so many people have GERD or heartburn. But you don’t have to just accept it, and nor should you. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best ways to prevent, manage, or treat your symptoms or condition. There’s a good chance you can get GERD or acid reflux under control and keep low-acid decaf coffee in your regular routine at the same time.
Coffee and Acid Reflux
It turns out that many people report having heartburn or acid reflux after drinking coffee. It may be one of the most often reported triggers for heartburn! That’s not surprising because of the vast number of people who drink coffee - about ⅔ of American adults! And it makes even more sense when you think about the acidity of coffee.
Acids in Coffee
Coffee is an acidic beverage. It has more than 30 types of acid. The acids that contribute most to the acidity of coffee are chlorogenic acids. There are also acids such as quinic acid, citric acid, and acetic acid. They contribute to the complex flavors of coffee, but they also cause coffee to be more acidic.
Coffee isn’t as acidic as some other beverages. Colas are far more acidic than coffee, and other soft drinks, such as lemon lime sodas, are also way more acidic. Tomato juice and orange juice, as well as sports drinks and energy drinks, tend to be more acidic than coffee.
Not all coffee is the same. Just as different brands have different tastes, they also have different acid profiles. At the foundation are the acids in the beans. Different coffee beans have different acid types and amounts. Coffee from beans that are grown in cold temperatures tend to be higher in acid.
Caffeine and Heartburn
When you think about coffee, you may quickly think about caffeine. That’s the compound in coffee that causes the jolt and energy burst. Caffeine is a natural compound in tea and chocolate, and it is often added to soft drinks and energy drinks, too. It can have some positive effects such as increasing ability to focus and lowering the risk of certain chronic conditions, but it may not be the best for acid reflux.
Aside from its positive effects on cognition and energy levels, caffeine stimulates the release of gastric acid in the stomach. At the same time, it causes a decrease in LES pressure. That means there is more stomach acid available, and it is more likely to come up into the lower esophagus because the LES is not closed tightly like it should be.
That’s why the acids in coffee aren’t the only consideration. For some people, low acid coffee brands may be the answer to avoid the effects of caffeine on heartburn.
Low-Acid Decaf Coffee to Prevent Heartburn
Knowing the effects of caffeine on heartburn, it follows naturally that decaffeinated coffee can be a better choice for preventing acid reflux. And there’s another reason: decaf coffee has been found to have lower chlorogenic acid content than regular coffee. That may make it even better for heartburn than regular low acid coffee.
With no caffeine and a lower acid content, there are fewer triggers for a reduction in pressure on the LES, and there is less cause of overproduction of stomach acid. You may want to ask your doctor about low acid decaf coffee.
We wanted to be sure that our coffee was lower in acid than the competition, so we sent out samples of Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee to an independent lab to be tested against major brands. The others included Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joes, and more.
The results weren’t surprising. We beat the competition! Our pH was higher than the average pH for the other brands. That means the overall acidity of Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee was lower. Our total chlorogenic acid content was lower than the average of the other brands, too. Our pH was 5.3, compared to the average of 5.1 for the other brands. The chlorogenic acid content was lower, too.
Best Low Acid Decaf Coffee
The best low acid decaf coffee tastes the best, has the lowest acid content, and is the most sustainably produced. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee contains coffee beans from the Chiapas region of southern Mexico. It borders Guatemala. These beans take longer to grow, and they develop a rich flavor that is less bitter than some other coffee beans. It has earthy, nutty tones to greet you every day.
Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee is a low acid decaf coffee that can be compatible even if you have GERD. Just be sure to talk to your doctor. In many cases, the best low acid decaf coffee can fit into a healthy lifestyle to manage acid reflux.
The best low acid decaf coffee isn’t just tasty and good for you. It’s also good for the world. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee lends itself to sustainable and environmentally friendly growing methods. It takes time to cultivate these plants until they yield a good crop. Practices such as allowing the forest to grow naturally and using mulching in compost can make you feel good about buying Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Coffee. Plus, it’s grown organically with no synthetic pesticides or herbicides.
Best Low Acid Decaf Coffee Brands
There are some other characteristics of the best low acid decaf coffee brand. The source of the beans is important, but there are other factors, such as how it is produced and processed. The best low acid decaf coffee brand may have these.
Great-tasting beans with a naturally lower acid content.
Roasting with heat convection instead of processing with a drum, so the beans never touch metal and the acid content is lower.
Roasted to a dark or French roast to further reduce acidity.
Ways to Further Lower Acidity of Low-Acid Decaf Coffee
Once you settle on the best low acid decaf coffee, you can think about ways to lower acidity even more as you prepare it. You can add milk or almond milk to your coffee as a way to make it creamier and more dilute, which lowers acidity. Or you can try cold brew with Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Decaf Whole Beans or Ground Roast.
Low-Acid Decaf Coffee as Part of a Holistic Approach to Heartburn
Heartburn and GERD have many causes, and there are many ways to approach them. Choosing the best low acid decaf coffee brand is just one of many strategies. Talk to your doctor about other strategies. These are some common parts of a holistic approach to managing heartburn.
Avoiding intense exercise soon after eating.
Avoiding night-time snacking.
Eating a smaller, earlier dinner.
Avoiding carbonated beverages and alcoholic beverages.
Losing weight if you are overweight.
Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter medications or prescribe medications to treat acid reflux.
Using Low-Acid Coffee in Recipes
You don’t have to limit your low-acid decaf coffee use to beverages. There are tons of recipes that you may now be able to enjoy without fear of acid from coffee triggering acid reflux. Coffee can add a rich flavor.
These are some examples.
In chocolate-based dishes, such as brownies, chocolate cake, or chocolate sauce or fondue. Use dutched cocoa for a lower acid cocoa option.
Beef or pork soup or stew with ¼ cup of strong brewed low acid decaf coffee.
Chicken with a marinade including ¼ cup of coffee along with your regular marinade.
Stuffing with ¼ cup of coffee.
When you use coffee in cooking, you may be able to reduce the amount of high-acid ingredients you use and instead use low-acid coffee to get the desired flavor.
Heartburn and GERD are serious and uncomfortable conditions that many people attribute to drinking coffee, but low acid decaf coffee can be a great choice. Alex’s Low-Acid Organic Decaf Coffee comes in French Roast Whole Beans and Ground options. You can brew and use them as you like to keep coffee in your life. Just keep in touch with how you feel and with your doctor to stay healthy as you manage acid reflux!