Is Cranberry Juice Bad for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Cranberry juice is bad for acid reflux. Because it has citric acid and vitamin C and they can lower the esophageal pH and trigger acid reflux symptoms.

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), a muscle that prevents the backflow of stomach acid, does not close properly.

This causes the stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, irritating its lining and causing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

This can lead to various health problems, such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, 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 foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds and avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate, garlic, onion, and spicy foods.

Now, cranberry juice is a beverage made from cranberries, water, and sugar.

People usually drink cranberry juice for its health benefits, such as preventing urinary tract infections, improving heart health, and boosting immune system.

Cranberry juice is bad for acid reflux because it contains citric acid and ascorbic acid.

Citric acid is a natural acid found in citrus fruits, and ascorbic acid is another name for vitamin C.

Both of these acids can lower the esophageal pH and trigger acid reflux symptoms.

If you have different types of acid reflux, such as GERD or LPR, cranberry juice can also worsen your condition.

One cup of cranberry juice can give you 23.5 milligrams of vitamin C (26% of your daily needs) and 0.24 grams of citric acid (no recommended intake).

Vitamin C can negatively affect acid reflux by increasing the acidity of your stomach and esophagus.

Citric acid can also negatively affect acid reflux by irritating the esophageal lining and causing inflammation.

Furthermore, cranberry juice is a liquid and liquids are bad for acid reflux.

Because, liquids can dilute the stomach acid and reduce its effectiveness in digesting food.

Liquids can also increase the pressure in the stomach and push the acid back into the esophagus.

That’s why I suggest you limit your cranberry juice intake to prevent acid reflux.

Stick to one cup or less per day to minimize the risk of heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain.

Also, you shouldn’t drink cranberry juice if you have or suffer from gastritis, peptic ulcers, or hiatal hernia to prevent bleeding, pain, and nausea.

Because, cranberry juice can aggravate these conditions by increasing the stomach acid production and irritating the stomach lining.

You can buy fresh cranberries in your local market or can order them online.

Always choose organic and unsweetened cranberries.

Because, organic cranberries are free of pesticides and chemicals, and unsweetened cranberries have less sugar and calories.

You can store them in the refrigerator for up to two months or in the freezer for up to a year.

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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