If you suffer from acid reflux, choosing what to eat can be difficult for you as various food items can trigger the condition.
This might cause you to wonder if an energy drink can trigger the condition.
According to health experts, caffeine can result in acid reflux. This means that caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks should be avoided.
But that is not the case for everyone. For some people adjusting or limiting their daily caffeine intake is enough to prevent acid reflux.
If you are one of those then this article is for you.
In this article, I explore the different aspects of an energy drink that might trigger acid reflux and in the end, there is a list of energy drinks that will help you enjoy an energy boost without having to worry about acid reflux.
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What Causes An Acid Reflux?
In simple terms, acid reflux is caused when the stomach acid moves up into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in your chest and a bitter taste in the back of your throat.
Acid reflux is quite common but if it occurs more than twice a week then you might have developed a condition called Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD can be treated by medication and some change in your diet and lifestyle.
What triggers acid reflux varies from person to person. Some common factors include eating a big meal, a high intake of salt, caffeine, and carbonated drinks.
Main Ingredients Of An Energy Drink
Energy drinks are a blend of various active ingredients that work together to enhance your mental and physical abilities. These active ingredients can vary depending on each brand but some ingredients are common to all.
Two of the main ingredients that make up an energy drink are sugar and caffeine.
Caffeine is an essential component of energy drinks due to its stimulating properties. It enhances focus and improves brain performance.
For most people, a shot of caffeine first thing in the morning helps them get energized for the rest of the day.
But it is important to consume caffeine in moderation as the excess amount can lead to restlessness and anxiety.
If consumed near bedtime, caffeine hinders sleep and in some extreme cases can also lead to insomnia.
Some other side effects of excess caffeine intake include
- Severe headache
- High blood pressure
- Muscle breakdown
Therefore, FDA recommends a daily caffeine intake of 400mg.
Sugar acts as an instant source of energy boost. The rise in blood sugar levels results in enhanced energy levels.
But consumption of sugar is more harmful than it is beneficial. Added sugars are one of the main causes of obesity which in turn leads to several other health issues.
Some common side effects of excess sugar intake are:
- Risk of heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Risk of type 2 diabetes
- Difficulty in concentration
To minimize the risk of the potential side effects, AHA recommends a daily sugar intake of 24g and 36g for women and men, respectively.
Can Energy Drinks Cause An Acid Reflux?
The answer to this is not as straightforward as you might expect. This can vary for each individual.
To reach a conclusion, we will focus on the two main components of energy drinks, caffeine, and sugar.
Can Caffeine Cause An Acid Reflux?
Starting with caffeine, it is known commonly that caffeine can trigger acid reflux. However, it is not supported by any facts or studies.
Some studies suggest that caffeine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This causes the stomach acid to flow back up into the food pipe.
However, there is no solid evidence on whether cutting off caffeine from your diet can help improve GERD.
The impact of caffeine on acid reflux varies from person to person. And for many, limiting caffeine intake works just fine.
With a lack of facts and evidence, the best option is understanding the impact of caffeine intake on your body and practicing its intake accordingly.
Can Sugar Cause An Acid Reflux?
Sugar, on the other hand, does not cause acid reflux and can be consumed without any worry. However, consuming an excessive amount of added sugar is not recommended in any case.
Carbonated energy drinks can trigger acid reflux as the bubbles put pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) resulting in backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
In conclusion, going for non-carbonated energy drinks with moderate amounts of caffeine can result in minimized risks of acid reflux.
What Can You Drink For Energy With Acid Reflux?
If caffeine doesn’t work for you, then don’t worry. There are still many ways you can get an energy boost without acid reflux.
Here are a few options
Smoothies and fruit juices
Smoothies and fruit juices are a great way to replenish your body with essential vitamins and minerals. Avoid using citrus fruits and vegetables instead go for fruits like watermelon, carrots, and cucumber.
Adding green vegetables to your smoothies will help you feel energized and will also help ease acid reflux.
Avoid adding tomatoes as it is likely to trigger acid reflux.
Herbal teas are known to soothe the stomach and improve digestion.
Ginger, Licorice, and chamomile tea are great substitutes for an energy drink. Even though they will not provide you with an intense energy boost but they will help you feel refreshed and relaxed.
Coconut water is a rich source of minerals and potassium. The electrolytes present in coconut water help balance the pH levels of the body.
It will help you feel active and energetic without any caffeine or carbonation.
Best Energy Drinks For Acid Reflux
Since caffeine does not trigger acid reflux for some people, moderate consumption of caffeine will give you the required energy boost without any discomfort.
Generally, carbonated drinks can trigger acid reflux therefore all the energy drinks in the following list are powdered.
Zipfizz contains 100mg of caffeine with zero sugar and 20 calories.
It is infused with essential vitamins and electrolytes to help your body perform at its maximum potential.
With all-natural ingredients and antioxidants, it is an effective and reliable energy source.
G Fuel Energy Powder
G Fuel contains 150mg of caffeine and zero sugar. Even though the amount of caffeine is on the higher side of the spectrum, with powdered energy drinks you have the option to dilute the drink according to your liking.
G fuel helps clear mental fog and enhances physical performance.
Sneak Energy contains zero sugar, 150mg of caffeine, and 12 calories.
Packed with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, Sneak Energy helps you fight fatigue and enhances brain function.
Advocare Spark contains 120mg of caffeine, 15 calories, and zero sugar.
It helps you maintain proper hydration, achieve nutritional balance, and have a sustainable energy boost.
However since energy drinks usually contain various amino acids, you must consult your dieticians before incorporating any of these energy drinks into your diet.
If you suffer from acid reflux then consuming an energy drink might not be as simple for you as it is for others.
This is because energy drinks are a blend of various ingredients and how each of those ingredients affects the body may vary from person to person.
This makes it difficult to say anything for sure since what might work for you will not work for somebody else.
With energy drinks, the best bet is that you go through all the ingredients and consult your dietician before you consume any.