Wine is a very popular type of alcohol. Since it’s made from grapes, it provides some health benefits and usually has a sweet taste.
There are many varieties of wine, which all go with different food types and occasions, so there’s something for everyone.
But have you ever noticed that you get heartburn after drinking too much wine? Do you know the reason behind it?
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Why does wine cause heartburn?
Wine causes heartburn because of several reasons, including its sugar content, the effect it has on your stomach acid levels, and throat irritation. Drinking wine may also impair your judgment, especially if you drink a lot, so you may be more likely to consume high-fat foods after you’re done drinking.
Is wine acidic?
Wine has a pH level of around 2.7-4.0. This is not only low, but wine also has acid-forming properties.
This means that once you consume it, it acidifies your stomach and increases gastric acid production.
Because of that, consuming a lot of wine can lead to unpleasant symptoms, such as heartburn, and can even worsen your overall acid reflux and GERD if you suffer from such conditions.
How does wine cause heartburn?
There are several reasons why drinking wine causes heartburn. One of the most common ones is the presence of alcohol in wine.
It tends to irritate your throat and stomach, leading to inflammation. When your upper digestive tract is inflamed, it’s less likely to control how acid affects it, which may cause acid reflux.
Another way wine causes heartburn is that it relaxes the muscles leading to your stomach.
When this happens, there is no ‘block’ preventing the stomach contents from refluxing up your esophagus, causing heartburn.
To avoid that, it’s important not to consume wine as well as other types of alcohol too often and in large quantities.
A single glass of wine during dinner shouldn’t cause severe heartburn as long as you follow an otherwise healthy, balanced diet.
Drinking wine may also have negative effects on your good judgment.
For example, a lot of people tend to overindulge in the wine after having a glass or two, while others smoke.
Both tobacco and alcohol increase your chances of developing acid reflux and GERD symptoms, so it’s a good idea to avoid these two.
Along with this, when you become intoxicated, you may also consume more high-fat and high-carb foods, which increase stomach acid production.
Is wine good for you?
Wine is made with grapes, so most of its health benefits come from this fruit.
Firstly, grapes are rich in antioxidants, which help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body.
Red wine grapes are higher in antioxidants than white grapes, so drinking red wine can bring more benefits from antioxidants.
It’s worth noting, though, that overconsuming wine negates the health benefits, so make sure to drink wine in moderation.
Having an occasional glass of wine also helps reduce inflammation in your body, which is the lead cause of many chronic health conditions.
Studies show that wine contains resveratrol, a compound that fights against inflammation and infections.
Interestingly enough, these health benefits only come from alcoholic wine, while alcohol-free wine doesn’t seem to have the same effects.
Due to the high concentration of polyphenol antioxidants, research shows that red wine might positively affect your heart health, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and metabolic conditions.
Wine only provides you with these health benefits if you consume it in small quantities, as too much wine may interact with certain medications and worsen your health.
Some experts believe that drinking wine may even promote gut health, keeping your digestive system healthy.
This is because the compounds in wine, especially red wine, help the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria, which can improve metabolic syndrome symptoms and lower your risk of obesity and unhealthy weight gain as a whole.
While all of these benefits sound impressive, it’s important to remember that wine is still a type of alcohol, which is unhealthy if consumed in large quantities.
Not only is alcohol addictive, but it also leads to dehydration, hangover, headaches, and other issues.
Because of that, it’s important to drink it in moderation and follow an otherwise healthy, balanced diet.
That way, you can also avoid acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn and stomach pain, which are associated with high alcohol intake.
What type of wine is the least likely to cause heartburn?
The best type of wine to drink if you tend to experience acid reflux symptoms, such as heartburn, is the kind low in sugar.
This carbohydrate is hard for your stomach to digest, which means that it will stay in your stomach for a longer period of time.
This, in turn, may lead to the overproduction of gastric acid that can then reflux up your esophagus.
Sugar also tends to irritate and inflame your digestive system, which can further worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Because of that, slightly more bitter wines might be better for your digestive system than sweet and rich kinds.
Instead, you might want to go for some light red wine and consume it in small amounts and not too often.
It’s also a good idea not to consume wine that’s very high in alcohol. It’s best to go for wines with lower alcohol percentages, which are better tolerated by your stomach and digestive system.
Because of that, it’s best to avoid wines that are heavy and very full as those are usually the highest in alcohol.
Wine is a rather acidic drink, just like all other types of alcohol. Because of that, those prone to acid reflux symptoms should avoid consuming too much wine.
On the bright side, if your digestive system can tolerate it, having an occasional glass of wine can actually benefit your health.
So, it always depends on how sensitive you are to experiencing heartburn and other symptoms.