Is Gatorade Good for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Gatorade is bad for acid reflux. Because it has sugar and sodium, and they can trigger or worsen 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 allows stomach acid or bile to flow back into your esophagus.

This can irritate the lining of your esophagus and cause heartburn, indigestion, regurgitation, and other symptoms.

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

What you consume can affect your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the valve that prevents acid reflux, and your stomach acid production, which can impact your acid reflux symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage acid reflux, you should consume high-fiber foods like oatmeal, vegetables, and non-citrus fruits, and avoid high-fat foods like fried food, cheese, and chocolate.

Now, Gatorade is a sports drink that contains water, sugar, salt, potassium, and artificial flavors and colors.

People usually drink Gatorade to hydrate and replenish electrolytes after exercise or sweating.

Gatorade is bad for acid reflux because it contains a lot of sugar and sodium, which can trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms.

Sugar can increase stomach acid production and lower the pressure of the LES, while sodium can cause fluid retention and bloating, which can put pressure on the stomach and the LES.

One 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade can give you 140 calories, 34 grams of sugar, 270 milligrams of sodium, and 75 milligrams of potassium.

These amounts are more than 10% of your daily needs for sugar and sodium, and less than 2% of your daily needs for potassium.

Sugar can negatively affect acid reflux by increasing stomach acid production and lowering the pressure of the LES, which can allow acid to flow back into the esophagus.

Sodium can negatively affect acid reflux by causing fluid retention and bloating, which can put pressure on the stomach and the LES, and make it easier for acid to reflux.

Potassium can positively affect acid reflux by helping to balance the pH of the stomach and the esophagus, and by relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract, including the LES.

However, the amount of potassium in Gatorade is very low compared to other sources, such as bananas, potatoes, and spinach.

Furthermore, Gatorade is a carbonated drink and carbonated drinks are bad for acid reflux.

Because, carbonation can cause gas and bloating, which can increase the pressure on the stomach and the LES, and make acid reflux more likely.

That’s why I suggest you limit your Gatorade intake to prevent or reduce acid reflux symptoms.

Stick to one 8-ounce serving or less per day to minimize the sugar and sodium intake, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Also, you shouldn’t drink Gatorade if you have or suffer from GERD, a chronic and severe form of acid reflux, to prevent worsening your condition.

Because, Gatorade can aggravate the inflammation and damage in your esophagus, and increase the risk of complications, such as esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, and cancer.

You can buy Gatorade in most grocery stores, convenience stores, and online.

Always choose the original or low-calorie varieties, and avoid the ones with artificial sweeteners, caffeine, or added ingredients.

Because, these can also trigger or worsen acid reflux symptoms.

You can store Gatorade in a cool and dry place for up to 9 months, or in the refrigerator for up to 3 days after opening.

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.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

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

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