There’s a long list of things you shouldn’t drink if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn: orange juice, hot chocolate, carbonated beverages, lemonade, anything with mint and any bottled drinks with added acid. Water is really the best thing for people with reflux to drink, along with low-fat milk.
You may know that I have been undergoing treatment for acid reflux for about two months, under the supervision of Dr. Jamie Koufman at The Voice Institute of New York. Dr. Koufman is one of the authors of Dropping Acid: The Reflux Diet Cookbook & Cure. I’m a big lover of tea, and I was happy to hear that there are still several varieties of teas that don’t trigger acid reflux. Some doctors might recommend that patients stay away from caffeine altogether, but Dr. Koufman says that a cup of tea (black, green or white) or coffee with milk per day is fine. It’s the people who drink “a fishbowl” of coffee each day who have a problem. Herbal teas like chamomile and rooibos are good, but any fruit-infused teas will be too acidic.
Ginger is also good for people with reflux, so I like to make a simple tisane with fresh ginger. Boil a tablespoon of freshly chopped ginger for about two minutes, and sweeten with honey or sugar. Use less ginger for a milder flavor.
Homemade smoothies with low-acidity fruits and low-fat dairy are also a great option. You can make a simple smoothie by freezing a banana (be sure to peel it first), and sticking it in the blender with some milk–no ice needed.
Dr. Koufman’s team tested the acidity of many different beverages, to better help patients know what they can and can’t drink. They found that coconut water, without added flavors, is also good for people with reflux, as is Vanilla and Strawberry N Cream Slim-Fast. For more information about what to drink if you have you have acid reflux and for Dr. Koufman’s complete list of reflux-friendly drinks, check out the Reflux Cookbook Blog here.