Water And Acid Reflux

Drink more water. Cheap, ordinary tap water. A deficit of water and acid reflux go hand in hand. Drinking more water is probably the most simple acid reflux cure that exists. 

Problems like heartburn, acid reflux and even peptic ulcers can be caused by a lack of water in your body.



Your stomach contains hydrochloric acid. This is a a highly irritating substance, meant to kill intruders like bacteria. A thick, wet mucous layer forms a shield to protect your stomach walls against acid. Without mucous, your stomach would be digested by its own juices.  


Mucous membrane protects against stomach ulcers

  • Glycoproteins attract and retain water to form a gel layer
  • Sodium bicarbonate inside the gel layer neutralizes any acid that tries to penetrate the stomach walls.

This nifty mechanism depends on one thing: water. Without it, your mucous membrane dries out and acid gets the chance to puncture the protective shield. When this happens, a stomach ulcer is formed. Bacteries, called helicobacters, that dwell in your intestines, can easily infect the ulcer.


Water During Digestion


Digestion starts in your mouth: chewing is the initial step to break down food. Dehydratation leaves your body incapable of making enough saliva to properly mix your food with saliva. 


Your digestion needs water: to break down food proteins, your stomach secretes up to 1,5 liters of gastric juices a day .

Drinking enough, provides a sufficient amount of fluid for your gastric juices. These mix food with digestive enzymes. Your meal turns into a fluid food mass that can smoothly leave your stomach for further digestion.

Water And Acid Reflux:When To Drink?

The most important glass of water is the one in the morning. Since you don't drink during the night, water is the first thing your body needs.

A glass of water rinses your esophagus from remains of stomach content that moved upwards during the night. Use a tongue scraper and drink a glass of water and your morning bad breath vanishes immediately.

At the same time, it rehydrates your stomach's mucous membrane. Your gut absorbs the  fresh water and your stomach uses it to make its mucous membrane swell. This way, the protective shield remains intact.

Avoid drinking too much water during your meal.  
It dilutes digestive juices that help digestion.

Hot Or Cold?

Drinking ice cold water lowers the temperature inside your stomach. For proper break down of your food, your stomach depends on digestive enzymes. 

The problem is that these enzymes don't function at low temperatures. So if you drink cold water or cold soda's with your meal, you make it harder for your stomach to digest it.

Cold water and acid reflux are not a good combination.


Can You Drink Too Much?

Yes, you can drink too much water. This is particularly important in runners or others athletes. Fearing dehydratation, athletes sometimes drown themselves in water.

The problem with excessive water intake, is that it changes the ratio of salt and water in your body. The lack of salt makes your cells swell, causing life threatening overpressure in your brain.

So drink enough water during a day, but not all at once. The trick is to check the color of your urine. If it is deep dark yellow, you are dehydrated. If your urine is slightly colored, you're good. If your urine, is almost clear, your are over-hydrated

A general guideline is to drink eight glasses of water a day. Drink more on hot days or after exercise. If you are an athlete who likes to drink plenty of water during exercise, put some salt in your water or have a (salt-containing) sports drink during exercise. It's safer than drinking clear water. 

Eat Water

Consume fresh vegetables and fruit and you are eating water!

They consist primarily of water and contain fibres that attract water.  Eating lots of fruits of vegetables is a healthy way to raise your daily water intake.


Pee Break

A lot of people don't drink a lot of water because if they do, they need to go to the toilet too often. Remember that pee breaks can be an advantage when working from behind a desk. Every break gives your body the chance to get out of its slumped sitting position.

Beneficial for your back, but your stomach profits as well. Every time you stand up, pressure on your stomach is lowered and gas bubbles, that push acid upward, have a chance to escape by a little burp.

That is why drinking water and acid reflux at work are related.

Coffee And Soda

Do you reach for tea, cofee, soda's or alcohol when you are thirsty? 

Not a good idea, because they are no adequate substitute for water. Theobromine in tea, caffeine in coffee and sodas and alcohol all are substances that dehydrate your body instead of supplying it with water. Although they all contain water, they drive more water out of your body than they insert.

Also, xanthines in coffee, cola, and tea as well as alcohol in your beer have a negative impact on your stomach's valve, provoking acid reflux and heartburn.

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