Can Water Give You Heartburn?
Heartburn is an uncomfortable condition sometimes associated with certain foods and drinks after consuming them. But did you know that water can actually give you heartburn, too? Let’s explore the science of how water can cause heartburn and why some people are more susceptible to it.
What Causes Heartburn?
Heartburn occurs when acid from the stomach rises up into the esophagus, creating a burning sensation in the chest. This happens when the muscle that keeps the acid in the stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), relaxes too much or is weakened.
Can Water Cause Heartburn?
Yes, drinking too much water can give you heartburn. When you drink excessive amounts of water, it increases the amount of pressure in the stomach and can cause the LES to relax and allow acid to rise into the esophagus, leading to heartburn.
Who Is More Prone to Water-Induced Heartburn?
Some people are more prone to heartburn after drinking water than others. People with a history of acid reflux, GERD, or stomach issues are more likely to experience water-induced heartburn. People who drink cold or iced water may also be at a higher risk because the cold temperature can lead to temporary relaxation of the muscles in the esophagus, which can cause heartburn.
What Are Some Ways to Prevent Water-Induced Heartburn?
There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of experiencing heartburn from water:
- Drink gradually: Drinking water slowly over a period of time can help spread the pressure from the stomach more evenly and prevent sudden spikes of acid rising up into the esophagus.
- Avoid cold drinks: Drinking cold or iced water can cause temporary relaxation of the LES, so try to avoid these temperatures of water when possible.
- Drink less: Excessive amounts of water can affect the pressure in the stomach, so try to limit how much water you drink at once.
- Eat before drinking: Eating can help to absorb the acid and reduce the risk of it rising up into the esophagus.
In conclusion, it is possible for water to give you heartburn, but preventative measures such as drinking gradually and avoiding cold drinks can help reduce your risk. If you have a history of stomach issues or GERD, be sure to consult your doctor before drinking excessive amounts of water.