Is Chai Tea Bad for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Chai tea is bad for acid reflux. Because it has caffeine, black tea, and some spices that can relax the LES, increase stomach acid production, lower the esophageal pH, and cause inflammation and discomfort.

Acid reflux is a condition that affects your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

In acid reflux, your body produces too much stomach acid or the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly.

This allows the acid to flow back into your esophagus, causing irritation, inflammation and heartburn.

This can lead to various health problems, such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, strictures, and esophageal cancer.

One of the key factors in managing acid reflux is diet.

What you consume can affect your esophageal pH, which can impact your acid reflux symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage acid reflux, you should consume alkaline-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and avoid acidic-rich foods like citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, spicy or fatty foods.

Now, chai tea is a fragrant, spicy tea made from black tea, ginger and other spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper and clove.

People usually drink it with milk and sugar, or as a latte with more milk and sweetener.

Chai tea is bad for acid reflux because it contains caffeine, black tea, and some spices that can trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms.

Caffeine can relax the LES and increase stomach acid production.

Black tea is acidic and can lower the esophageal pH.

Some spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, and clove, can have a warming effect on the stomach and esophagus, which can increase inflammation and discomfort.

One cup of chai tea can give you about 40–120 mg of caffeine, 0.3–1.2 grams of black tea polyphenols, and varying amounts of spices, depending on the recipe and brand.

Caffeine can negatively affect acid reflux by relaxing the LES and increasing stomach acid production.

Black tea polyphenols can negatively affect acid reflux by lowering the esophageal pH and causing irritation.

Some spices, such as ginger, cinnamon, and clove, can have both positive and negative effects on acid reflux.

They can have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and digestive benefits, but they can also cause a warming sensation and aggravate symptoms in some people.

Furthermore, chai tea is a hot beverage and hot beverages are bad for acid reflux.

Because, they can increase the temperature of the esophagus and stomach, which can worsen inflammation and pain.

That’s why I suggest you limit your chai tea intake to avoid or reduce acid reflux symptoms.

Stick to one cup or less per day, and drink it at least two hours before or after meals.

You can also try decaffeinated, herbal, or green tea instead of black tea, and use less or no milk and sugar.

These modifications can help lower the acidity and caffeine content of your chai tea, and make it more acid reflux-friendly.

Also, you shouldn’t drink chai tea if you have severe or chronic acid reflux, or if you are taking medications that interact with caffeine, black tea, or spices.

This can prevent adverse effects, such as increased heartburn, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, or bleeding.

You can buy chai tea in your local grocery store or online.

Always choose organic, natural, and high-quality products.

Because, they are less likely to contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or pesticides, which can harm your health and worsen your acid reflux.

You can store them in a cool, dry, and dark place for up to six months.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management, and essential medical care, is key to managing acid reflux effectively.

I always recommend my acid reflux patients to follow an acid reflux-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

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About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutritionist in West Bengal, India, with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry.

He has done his diploma in nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc (US), and completed various certification courses from several universities. He also has considerable research experience in PCOS.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

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