Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common condition characterized by the burning sensation in the chest and regurgitation of stomach acid.
While there are several over-the-counter and prescription medications available to treat acid reflux, some people find relief through home remedies such as drinking hot water.
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Does drinking hot water help acid reflux?
Drinking hot water can help to soothe the digestive system, promote digestion, and alleviate the symptoms of GERD. In addition, drinking water can help to dilute stomach acid which can be beneficial for managing acid reflux.
It is important to note, however, that while hot water may provide temporary relief, it is not a cure for acid reflux and should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment.
How does hot water help with acid reflux?
Drinking enough water every day helps dilute your stomach acids, making them less strong and less likely to cause acid reflux.
It also helps maintain a proper electrolyte balance in your body, which is essential for managing GERD symptoms and acid reflux.
The pH of most water is neutral or 7.0, which can help alkalize acidic foods that cause heartburn.
Water also mixes well with fiber in your stomach. This not only helps curb your appetite, so you don't consume too much food, but it's also a good way to soak up excess stomach acid.
That way, the acid won't leak up to your esophagus, causing that unpleasant burning sensation and many other symptoms.
Therefore, consuming foods rich in fiber in combination with some water is a great way to combat the symptoms of acid reflux.
Moreover, drinking hot water can speed up digestion. This means that the foods causing your stomach acid to reflux will be removed from your body faster, preventing more severe and uncomfortable symptoms from developing.
Always make sure that the water is not too warm, though, as it can worsen your acid reflux symptoms.
Additionally, a cup of warm water helps flush out the toxins that accumulate in your body throughout the day.
These toxins can cause more damage to your esophagus, worsening your acid reflux over time. As a result, ending your day with a glass of warm water might be beneficial in more than one way.
Many people also choose to add honey to their warm water and drink it every night. Honey is a known antioxidant and helps protect our cells from free radicals.
Those free radicals may cause acid reflux since they can damage the lining in your esophagus, causing inflammation.
Hence, adding some honey to your hot water may reduce the inflammation and soothe the burning sensation.
However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of honey in relieving acid reflux symptoms has not been scientifically proven.
Can fruit-infused water help with acid reflux?
If you struggle with drinking enough water daily, you may want to consider adding some fruit. While all fruit is acceptable for most people, those struggling with acid reflux and GERD should opt for low-acid fruit.
Infusing water with fruit also adds flavor, which means that you'll be more likely to drink enough water each day.
On average, men should drink 15.5 cups of fluids per day, and women should drink 11.5 cups of water per day.
This might seem like a lot, but by adding some fruity flavor to your water, you increase the likelihood of drinking enough every day.
When infusing your water with fruit, it might be best to choose lukewarm or cold water. That way, the fruit won't lose its nutrients and health benefits.
Another alternative is adding dried leaves to your hot water, especially if you prefer it warm, and make a tea out of it.
Certain teas have anti-inflammatory properties, which can decrease the intensity of the acid reflux symptoms.
Is cold or hot water better for acid reflux?
Research varies when it comes to whether hot or cold water is better for acid reflux. However, there are no signs that drinking either will make your acid reflux worse.
In fact, consuming enough water is essential to stay in good health, so avoiding water will only harm you.
Whether you choose to drink cold or hot water depends mostly on your preferences and the type of beverage you're preparing.
For instance, tea requires hot water, whereas fruit-infused water is best served cold. Nevertheless, something might be said about hot water's ability to dilute stomach acid better than cold water.
So you might want to try lukewarm water and gradually increase the temperature — without going too high.
Is hot tea good for acid reflux?
Just like hot water, teas are a good home remedy for acid reflux. Nevertheless, make sure to choose teas that don't contain caffeine as it can aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux and especially GERD.
Herbal teas are a good choice as they don't trigger increased acid production. Teas like chamomile, licorice, and marshmallow are a good soothing alternative to the traditional earl grey tea.
The best tea choice for acid reflux in chamomile. It has anti-inflammatory properties, and when paired with hot water, it soothes your stomach and prevents the acid from going up your esophagus.
In fact, some studies show that drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea is the same as taking an over-the-counter antacid.
The same can be said for adding a spoon of baking soda (which is also consider a natural antacid) to a cup of warm water and drinking it.
Those two options work relatively fast for acid reflux since the water helps flush out the toxins and the anti-inflammatory properties remove the excess acid.
In most of its shapes and forms, water is a great remedy for acid reflux. It not only hydrates you and keeps you energized, but it also helps prevent several symptoms of GERD.
Another good thing about water is that it's incredibly hard to drink too much of it — but not impossible — so it's safe to keep a bottle by you at all times. By adding low-acid fruit, you can even make your water-drinking way more pleasurable!