Can Beer Cause Heartburn?

If you drink beer on a regular basis and often find yourself suffering from a sour taste in the back of your throat or chest pains, you might be suffering from heartburn. Unfortunately for those who love their suds, these things are related. Can drinking beer cause heartburn? The answer is yes. Thankfully, there are some easy things you can do to minimize your heartburn when you drink.

How Beer Causes Heartburn

Does beer cause heartburn? Like any form of alcohol, beer is actually a very common cause of heartburn. This is because alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This seal, which separates the esophagus from the stomach, is responsible for ensuring that stomach acid stays in the stomach. When this seal is weakened, stomach acid can back up into the esophagus, causing the familiar burning and pain of heartburn.

Beer cause heartburnImage: Flickr

Beer can cause heartburn

While there is less alcohol by volume in beer than in most other alcoholic drinks, it can still be a trigger. People often drink more beer in one sitting than wine or hard liquor. This brings more alcohol into the body, even though beer is not a very strong alcoholic beverage.

When you ask “does beer cause heartburn”,you should also realize that in addition to relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, alcohol is an irritant to the stomach. This means that not only does beer reduce the lower esophageal sphincter’s ability to close properly, but it creates more acid in the stomach. If there’s more acid in the stomach, there’s a greater chance of the seal malfunctioning, causing acid reflux or heartburn.

What Can You Do?

The most obvious solution to this issue is to stop drinking beer, but for many people, that’s rather unrealistic especially if they’re already hooked into drinking every now and then. Having a few beers with friends is such an integral part of many people’s lives that cutting it out entirely is just not going to happen even if they try.

Now that we’ve answered the question of “does beer cause heartburn,” we can look at what we can do to minimize the effects.

One of the simplest things you can do to combat beer-induced heartburn is to slow down your drinking late at night. The longer you give your body to metabolize the alcohol before you go to sleep, the less chance you have of developing heartburn later in the night.

You can also try drinking a glass of water, or several. Water will dilute the alcohol, making it less likely to irritate your stomach. This is also sometimes helpful in preventing hangovers, since much of the discomfort related to hangovers is directly related to dehydration.

Conclusion

If you know you’ll be drinking, it’s not a bad idea to keep a few antacids nearby, just in case. Now that you understand the answer to “does beer cause heartburn,” you also understand how to neutralize and minimize these unpleasant side effects. By taking a few simple precautions, you can enjoy a few beers with your friends without worrying about heartburn.

Continue to foods that trigger heartburn article.