Step Away from the Soda

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Step Away from the SodaDid you know that nearly every bottled or canned drink is acidic… by law? In 1973, the United States Congress administered a law that gave the Food and Drug Administration the power to regulate all canned or bottled goods crossing our borders. As a response to an outbreak of botulism, Title 21 specified new requirements for acidity levels in pre-packed foods and beverages.

Carbonated beverages—especially caffeinated sodas—are known to increase the incidence of acid reflux. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux in Macon, steering clear of carbonated drinks may help. Even sufferers of occasional heartburn and acid reflux may benefit from reducing their intake of unhealthy caffeinated sodas and other carbonated beverages.

The Acid Reflux Triple Threat

Soda consumption contributes to acid reflux incidence in three ways:

  1. Caffeine in soda can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax (LES). When the LES is relaxed, it’s easier for stomach acid to reflux back into the esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux.
  2. The bubbles from carbonation in sodas increase pressure within the stomach causing stomach acids to reflux into the esophagus.
  3. Popular sodas such as Diet Coke, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have pH levels ranging between 2.4 to 2.5—almost as acidic as stomach acid which ranges between pH 1.5 to 3.5.

Replacing Soda with Safe Alternatives

Ditching soda or other carbonated beverages to avoid reflux may not be an easy task for some —but it is possible. You may have to give up your love of carbonation but you don’t have to give up flavor. There are several healthy alternatives acid reflux sufferers can enjoy without boring their taste buds.

  • Decaffeinated herbal teas are great choices of drink if you suffer from acid reflux. This kind of tea helps combat indigestion by decreasing stomach acid production. Try decaffeinated herbal teas containing acid reflux friendly ingredients like chamomile, ginger root and lavender.
  • Infused water concoctions are great alternatives to plain water. Add slices of low-acidic fruits like cucumber and watermelon to a pitcher of plain water. Let the pitcher chill in the fridge for two to three hours before drinking. The flavor may be subtle—but it might be enough to stop you from reaching for a soda.

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