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Is Decaf Coffee Better for Acid Reflux

03rd March 2023

Is Decaf Coffee Better for Acid Reflux

People who suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux, Disease (GORD) often seek alternatives to their favourite food and drinks. This means they may have to give up things like fast food, spices and coffee. Coffee is a naturally acidic beverage which triggers GORD and thus causes great discomfort. This is one of the many reasons coffee lovers switch to decaf coffee.

In this blog post, we will discuss the relationship between acid reflux and coffee and see whether decaf provides a solution.

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

GORD is a disease that affects people of all ages. This is when acid from the stomach travels upwards to the oesophagus. This typically creates an uncomfortable burning sensation. Coffee is one of the drinks that causes acid reflux and here’s why:

Coffee as an Acidic Drink

Most caffeinated coffee is acidic. The acidity of coffee is measured on a pH scale. If the coffee scores under 7, then the coffee is deemed non-acidic. However, most coffee that isn’t decaffeinated has a pH value of around 4.85 to 5.14, which means most caffeinated coffee is acidic. Caffeine is usually the cause of acid reflux because it is naturally acidic. Thus, caffeinated coffee causes acid reflux.

GORD and Caffeinated Coffee

Your lower oesophagal sphincter (LOS) is the muscle that contracts to prevent stomach acid from going up. However, acidic beverages like coffee weaken the LOS pressure, which allows for more acid to make its way up the oesophagus.  So, if you suffer from GORD, it might be best to stay away from highly caffeinated cups of coffee.

Is Decaffeinated Coffee better for Acid Reflux?

Due to caffeine’s acidic nature, people turn to decaf coffee as a solution. But does this solve the problem of acid reflux?

Decaf coffee is usually less acidic than regular coffee, and this is because the caffeine is removed from decaf coffee (hence the name). During the decaffeination process, the coffee loses some of its phenolic acids. Therefore, decaffeinated coffee allows for less heartburn and acid reflux.

However, results may vary. There are many factors that play in the acidity of coffee. The acidic nature of coffee depends on the kind of beans, roast profile, brewing technique, and ratio of coffee to water utilised in the extraction process. Nevertheless, you are still less likely to experience acid reflux when you opt for decaf coffee.

Why Switch to Decaf Coffee?

Well, for starters, it doesn’t trigger acid reflux like regular coffee. Moreover, decaf coffee has a range of benefits:

Decreases heart disease and other illnesses- Studies have shown that decaf coffee reduces the likelihood of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. This is because they’re full of antioxidants.

Vitamins-Decaf coffee is packed with vitamins. Particularly vitamin B-3. Vitamin B-3 reduces stress and anxiety whilst also fighting fatigue.

Improved sleep- Regular coffee is known for having a negative impact on sleep. However, the lack of caffeine in decaf coffee makes this cup of joe the perfect bedtime beverage.


If you’re a coffee lover who suffers from GORD, all hope is not lost. You can drink decaf coffee and still enjoy the benefits of coffee. Although decaffeinated coffee beans mean that the coffee may lose some of its flavours, it’s worth the switch. What’s more, if you do suffer from GORD, have a go at drinking cold brew coffee. Hot brews are another factor that could trigger acid reflux which is why people often turn to cold brews.

So, grab your hot (or cold) cup of decaf coffee and enjoy your favourite brew!


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