Do you love red wine but sometimes suffer from acid reflux? You’re not alone. Is red wine bad for acid reflux?
Many people enjoy a nice glass of red wine but find that it doesn’t agree with their stomachs. Let’s explore the link between red wine and acid reflux.
Is Red Wine Bad For Acid Reflux?
Yes, red wine and white wine can cause acid reflux because wine (and other alcoholic beverages) relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that stops acid from flowing up from the stomach into the esophagus.
When the LES is relaxed, acid can flow backward through the valve, rising into the esophagus and causing burning, indigestion, and nausea.
Left unchecked, this can cause esophageal cancer.
Those who already suffer from acid reflux or GERD have preexisting weakness in the LES which is exacerbated by the consumption of wine or other alcoholic beverages.
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Is Red Wine Bad For Acid Reflux?
Acid that rises up the esophagus is painful and causes damage.
However, red wine is not the only guilty culprit for causing acid reflux.
White wine and other alcoholic beverages have the same effect on the esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux.
Can I Enjoy Red Wine Without Getting Acid Reflux?
There are several ways to enjoy red wine without triggering acid reflux. Some simple first steps include staying hydrated and eating a light meal before drinking.
The food will help buffer stomach acid.
Choosing to drink red wine on an empty stomach can quickly lead to discomfort because the red wine increases stomach acid production while also relaxing the valve that keeps stomach acid where it belongs.
It’s also important to limit your intake. Drinking multiple glasses of wine is a recipe for pain and even long-term esophageal damage or ulcers.
Instead, sip wine slowly, savoring the experience.
Limit intake to a single glass, enjoyed slowly, and sip water during the same time period to help dilute the alcohol and acid in the stomach.
Talk to your doctor if acid reflux is a recurring problem because the problem could be more serious than spending an evening drinking less wine than you want.
Which Wines Are Better for Acid Reflux?
If you suffer from acid reflux, it’s important to choose your wines carefully.
You can’t get an acid-free wine, because acid is part of winemaking and part of the overall flavor experience.
Wine acidity has to do with the pH of the finished wine. The higher the pH level, the less acidic it is.
Here are some wines that have a higher pH, so they’re easier on the stomach and esophagus.
- Bordeaux blend wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are lower in acid than many other wines, and they work for most occasions.
- Carmenere is similar to merlot and has a nice dark cocoa and fruit flavor.
- Charbono is a lower acid wine that’s similar to merlot but brighter.
- Cinsault is a delicious fruity French wine that is lower acid but big on flavor.
- Dolcetto is a sweet wine that can pass for a dessert wine, though it’s not syrupy.
- Pinotage has a nice earthy, fruity flavor and low acid – a smooth choice.
- Zinfandel is a hearty wine that pairs with just about any hearty meal, but has a lower acid content so you can indulge without regret.
There are other lower-acid wines that can be enjoyed, and even medium-acid wines like Malbec may be fine if you only suffer from occasional acid reflux.
Red wine is a favorite drink for millions worldwide, but acid reflux is a more common side effect of drinking red wine than you might think!
With a little self-control and research, you can still enjoy red wine without the painful experience of acid reflux that makes your evening painful rather than enjoyable.