Is Tonic Water Good for Acid Reflux? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Tonic water is bad for acid reflux. Because it has carbonation, quinine, and sugar, and they can increase gas, acid secretion, and inflammation.

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), the muscle that prevents the acid from flowing back into the esophagus, does not work properly.

This can cause a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), regurgitation of food or sour liquid, and other symptoms.

This can lead to various health problems, such as inflammation, ulcers, and cancer of the esophagus.

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

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

To effectively manage acid reflux, you should consume fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables, and avoid fat-rich foods like fried foods, cheese, and butter.

Fiber can help prevent constipation and reduce pressure on the LES, while fat can relax the LES and increase acid production.

Now, tonic water is a carbonated drink with quinine, sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and flavorings.

People usually drink tonic water as a mixer for cocktails, especially gin and tonic, or on its own for its bitter taste.

Tonic water is bad for acid reflux because it contains carbonation and quinine.

Carbonation can increase gas and bloating, which can put pressure on the LES and cause acid reflux.

Quinine can also irritate the stomach and esophagus, and increase acid secretion.

Tonic water may also contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which can worsen acid reflux by feeding harmful bacteria in the gut and causing inflammation.

One cup (240 ml) of tonic water can give you about 83 mg of quinine, 32 g of sugar, and 124 calories.

Quinine can negatively affect acid reflux by stimulating gastric acid secretion and causing stomach irritation.

Sugar can negatively affect acid reflux by feeding harmful bacteria in the gut and causing inflammation.

Carbonation can negatively affect acid reflux by increasing gas and bloating, which can put pressure on the LES and cause acid reflux.

Furthermore, tonic water is a beverage and beverages are bad for acid reflux.

Because, they can dilute the stomach acid and impair digestion, or they can increase the volume of the stomach contents and cause reflux.

That’s why I suggest you limit your tonic water intake to avoid worsening your acid reflux symptoms.

Stick to one or two glasses per day at most, and drink them slowly and with a straw to minimize contact with your teeth and esophagus.

More than that can cause nausea, headache, ringing in the ears, and other side effects due to quinine overdose.

Also, you shouldn’t drink tonic water if you have or are suffering from ulcers, gastritis, or bleeding disorders to prevent aggravating your condition.

Because, quinine can interfere with blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding.

You can buy tonic water in most grocery stores or online.

Always choose tonic water that has natural quinine and no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Because, natural quinine has less side effects and no added sugar or artificial sweeteners can reduce the risk of inflammation and acid reflux.

You can store tonic water in a cool and dry place for up to a year, or in the refrigerator for up to three months 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.

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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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