The Acid Reflux/Soda Connection

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Acid Reflux, Digestive Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

How drinking carbonated soft drinks can contribute to acid reflux problems

Carbonated soft drinks have been linked to acid reflux problems.

In one study, doctors evaluated the sleeping habits of over 15,000 individuals from various parts of the country. Almost 25 percent of those surveyed reported they experienced nighttime heartburn, which was defined as being awakened at night two or more times a month due to heartburn. Further investigation revealed that increased nighttime heartburn episodes were strongly associated with drinking carbonated soft drinks, either alone or in conjunction with taking prescription anti-anxiety drugs (which are often used as sleep aids), including Xanax and Valium.

In regard to causing acid reflux problems, soft drinks do two things. First, the carbonation increases stomach distention. If you drank a pint of water, your stomach would distend by a pint. If you drank a pint of carbonated soda, however, your stomach might distend to twice that size, the size of a quart. This increased distension can cause the reflux where the acid within the stomach is forced back into the esophagus.

Second, carbonated sodas are acidic themselves. Studies have shown that consuming approximately one can of soda (350 ml) increases the acid level in the stomach for a period of 53.5 minutes. Just drinking one can of soda a day would subject your stomach to over 19,500 more minutes of acid exposure every year. Most people who drink sodas, however, drink more than a single can a day.

More Dr. Williams Advice on Acid Reflux

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