If you have ever suffered from acid reflux you know it can be debilitating. It can have a huge impact on your life and control what you eat and drink.
Hard seltzers are a new but hugely popular class of alcoholic drinks. If they are just mainly fizzy water will they trigger heartburn? Are White Claws bad for acid reflux?
Are White Claws bad for acid reflux?
White Claws can be a potential trigger for acid reflux if you are prone to it. They are acidic, carbonated and contain alcohol. All three are separate risk factors for acid reflux.
The more acidic a drink the more it irritates the stomach, carbonation distends and irritates and alcohol can have a number of effects to cause acid reflux.
For a full overview of the subject, what causes acid reflux or heartburn and how White Claw fits in then read the article below.
What is acid reflux? Is it the same as heartburn?
Acid reflux, reflux, heartburn and indigestion : are they all the same thing? Basically, yes they are.
What tends to happen is some of the juices from the stomach can travel back up the food pipe (oesophagus) which causes a burning sensation.
The stomach juices are very acidic and your stomach is well designed to deal with that, however, your oesophagus is not really designed to deal with the acidity and you feel the burn like pain.
Why does it happen?
There are many reasons for heartburn but in general there is an inappropriate relaxation of a ring of muscle at the junction of your food pipe with the stomach (lower oesophageal sphincter).
When this muscle ring doesn’t close properly or is easily overcome from pressure within the stomach then stomach contents can leak out and “reflux” back up causing some burning symptoms as they go.
You might experience this worse at night time as when you are lying on your side, the stomach contents can press against the sphincter causing it to leak. They then don’t have to overcome gravity to rise up your food pipe, a double whammy.
What can cause acid reflux? What are the triggers?
There are a long list of foods and drinks that can trigger heartburn for a few reasons.
Some increase acid production or are very acidic in themselves. Others can bloat the stomach and make it more likely to regurgitate food back up from whence it came.
- Spicy foods
- Citrus foods or drinks
- Fatty or fried foods
- Peppermint or strong mint flavours
- Carbonated beverages
- Coffee or other caffeinated beverages
- Excess eating
Apart from the foods and drinks we consume, your particular body shape can play a role. If you have a few extra pounds on, this can cause increased pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter, especially when lying down.
Pregnancy also adds the same pressure with it increasing to full term.
Which drinks are the worst for acid reflux?
From personal experience i can testify that something like a cocktail that included citrus juice was a killer for myself! The combination of alcohol, highly acidic juice and often bubbles, made for an unholy amount of heartburn which could stop me in my tracks.
Coffee could also be bad for me if i drank it early in the morning.
Generally very acidic drinks are the worst and they then to be citrus fruit ones.
The measure of acidity is called pH level. 7 is neutral, over 7 is alkaline and under 7 is acidic. The lower the number the more acidic the drink. Below is some citrus fruits and their pH.
Stomach acid can get down to a pH of 1.5 or lower so you definitely want to avoid it coming back up the wrong way.
How does White Claw compare?
A White Claw will have a pH of between 3-3.5. You can see from the table above that is in the range of grapefruit to orange juice. That means it is quite an acidic drink so from that risk factor alone it can trigger acid reflux in those prone to it.
If you add in the alcohol and the tight bubbles then White Claws can be up there with heartburn inducing drinks.
Can you treat acid reflux?
The good news is yes!
There are a good few types of drugs that can reduce the acid in your stomach. The main category is proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Omeprazole or Lansoprazole.
Another issue that can lead to reflux and increased pain is a bug that lives in a lot of peoples stomach called H.Pylori. The good news is it is easily treated with antibiotics and PPIs
So are White Claws bad for acid reflux?
I’m afraid the answer is yes, White Claws are bad for acid reflux.
They are acidic which when regurgitated out, can burn. They are alcoholic which is another risk factor for heartburn and lastly, they are fizzy which can fill the stomach with gas, forcing some liquid back up the food pipe, causing acid reflux.