Acid reflux causes a burning sensation in the throat and chest. Drinking water, low fat milk, and herbal teas may help manage it. Alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and sodas may worsen symptoms.

Acid reflux, or heartburn, occurs when stomach acid flows back up into a person’s esophagus.

It is common for people to experience acid reflux intermittently. However, if a person consistently experiences acid reflux, they may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In this article, we cover the drinks that people can prioritize and avoid to reduce acid reflux symptoms.

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Avoiding the drinks and foods that cause the symptoms is the best way to evade the effects of acid reflux. However, some drinks may help reduce acid reflux symptoms.

Ginger tea

Ginger can help reduce symptoms of many gastrointestinal complaints, including:

Ginger eases pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and improves gastric emptying. Without a reduction of this pressure, the risk of the sphincter failing increases, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the food pipe.

Ensuring a person’s stomach empties effectively may also reduce the amount of stomach acid present in the upper digestive tract.

Drinking ginger tea can help a person get more ginger into their diet and provide a warm, soothing sensation.

Ginger ale is less likely to help because of carbonation, and it sometimes contains caffeine. Most commercial ginger ale sodas also do not contain enough ginger to have a positive effect.

Fruit and vegetable juices

Highly acidic fruit juices may irritate the mucus membrane of the food pipe, which can worsen acid reflux symptoms.

That said, low acid fruits and vegetables often contain natural compounds that may reduce acid reflux. Eating and drinking these fruits and vegetables may be beneficial to some people.

Good choices for juicing include:

Learn more about diets for GERD here.

Low fat milk

Foods and drinks with high fat content, such as whole milk, can worsen symptoms of GERD. So, low fat and plant-based milks can be good options.

Some plant-based milks like almond milk are also alkaline, which can help neutralize stomach acid.


Water can help with digestion and is integral to the proper working of the body. Staying adequately hydrated can ensure the proper passing of food through the gastrointestinal system, reducing the frequency of post-meal acid reflux.

Regularly taking small sips of water throughout the day may also help clear acid in the esophagus and treat a GERD-related chronic cough.

Certain beverages pose a particularly high risk of triggering acid reflux.


A 2018 research review found an association between the frequency and increase in alcohol consumption and GERD.

Alcohol damages mucus in the lining of the gastric system and impairs esophagus contractions. Both of these factors can increase acid reflux.

Learn more about alcohol and heartburn here.

Citrus juices

Juices made from citrus fruits like oranges or grapefruits are highly acidic, which can worsen acid reflux.

Compounds in citrus fruits may also reduce the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter and delay gastric emptying.

Carbonated beverages

A 2021 review suggests that several studies found an association between drinking carbonated beverages and an increased risk of GERD. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) also recommends that people avoid carbonated drinks to reduce acid reflux and GERD.

However, research is not conclusive on the role that carbonated drinks play in acid reflux. For example, a 2017 study found no association between their consumption and GERD symptoms.

Caffeinated beverages

The NIDDK recommends people with acid reflux eliminate coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages from their diets. However, a 2019 study found no association between tea and coffee drinking and reflux symptoms.

Find out more about caffeine and GERD here.

• water
• ginger tea
• low fat milk
• low acid vegetable and fruit juice
• alcohol
• citrus juices
• carbonated beverages
• caffeinated beverages

Acid reflux occurs when the valve that connects the stomach to the food pipe weakens. When this happens, stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus.

Because stomach acid is an irritant, it can cause inflammation in the food pipe, which can cause discomfort.


Symptoms of acid reflux include:

Acid reflux is usually a mild but uncomfortable symptom of GERD. Other people have more serious symptoms of GERD that interfere with daily function.

Learn more about the differences between acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD here.


Some medical conditions increase the risk of severe GERD symptoms, including:

If a person experiences regular and severe episodes of acid reflux or heartburn, they should contact a doctor, as it might develop into a more serious condition.

Other self-care measures that can help manage acid reflux and other symptoms of GERD include:


Several over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications may help treat heartburn and other symptoms of GERD, such as:

A person should speak with a doctor if their symptoms of acid reflux do not improve with lifestyle changes and OTC medications, or if they experience:

If left untreated, acid reflux or GERD may lead to several complications, including:

The following are commonly asked questions about acid reflux

What is the fastest way to reduce acid reflux?

People can try the following to help them reduce symptoms of acid reflux:

  • eating smaller meals
  • avoiding trigger foods and beverages
  • not lying down after eating
  • not eating 3–4 hours before bed
  • elevating the head 10–20 centimeters (4–8 inches) when sleeping
  • taking OTC medications, such as antacids

Does Gatorade help with acid reflux?

Gatorade and other sports drinks are acidic and may exacerbate symptoms of acid reflux. Gatorade also contains citric acid, which has been associated with symptoms of GERD.

What foods and drinks soothe acid reflux?

To help soothe acid reflux, a person can try drinking ginger tea, low fat milk, water, or non-acidic fruit or vegetable juices. Non-acidic fruit and vegetable juices include carrot, melon, or aloe vera.

Foods that might help ease symptoms include low fat yogurt and watery foods, including cucumber, celery, lettuce, and watermelon.

What drinks make acid reflux worse?

People with acid reflux should avoid alcoholic beverages and coffee.

What helps acid reflux go away?

To treat acid reflux, a person can take over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as antacids.

While experiencing symptoms, a person may benefit from elevating their head during sleep. To do this, they can place extra pillows under the head and upper back.

Is Sprite good for acid reflux?

Carbonated drinks, such as Sprite, can increase the risk of acid reflux. A person can instead choose water, ginger tea, or low fat milk.

Acid reflux can be uncomfortable, but will typically resolve independently. However, diet changes may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux in some cases.

Drinks such as ginger tea, certain fruit and vegetable juices, and plant-based milks may benefit people experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.

Avoiding citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and alcohol can also help to reduce symptom frequency and severity.