Does Orange Juice Give You Heartburn?

For many folks, there's nothing more refreshing than drinking a tall glass of orange juice in the morning. However, this popular citrus drink might not be for everyone. For some people, drinking orange juice can actually trigger acid reflux and cause heartburn (via Medical News Today). That's because citrus fruits like oranges are highly acidic and can increase the acidity in your stomach.

Acid reflux occurs when some of this acid goes back up the esophagus and irritates the lining of the food pipe. This can often cause discomfort and heartburn, which is characterized as a burning sensation in the chest. According to a study published in the Korean Journal of Gastroenterology, orange juice and other citrus drinks with a high natural acidity are associated with more reports of heartburn. After surveying 382 patients with heartburn from November 2004 to June 2005, the researchers found that 67% of participants experienced heartburn after drinking orange juice.

What to eat and drink for acid reflux and heartburn

If you tend to experience acid reflux and heartburn after consuming acidic foods and beverages, you should try eating and drinking items with a low acidic content (via Prevention). For instance, low-acid fruits can help settle your stomach and are less likely to trigger your reflux.

"Foods that are easy to digest, but also high in fiber, are a really nice combination for reflux prevention," Robin Foroutan, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told Prevention. "Fruit is nice because it's mostly water and it moves through the stomach quickly." In particular, fruits like bananas can help soothe your gastrointestinal tract and even neutralize the acids in your stomach, which may prevent it from going back up your esophagus.

Oatmeal and dairy products like yogurt and milk can also have a similar effect. Since oatmeal and dairy tend to be thick and creamy and have a basic pH value, they can help settle your stomach acid and close your esophageal sphincter, which can help prevent acid reflux and heartburn from occurring in the first place.