Can tea cause heartburn? (+7 drinks that help)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can tea cause heartburn?”, and what to drink and what not to drink for acid reflux?

Can tea cause heartburn?

Yes, tea can cause heartburn. Caffeine triggers acid reflux by relaxing the esophageal sphincter, present at the joining between stomach and esophagus. 

It can also trigger the release of more stomach acid. The symptoms can be mild or severe or even non-existent in some people because everyone has a different tolerance to caffeine.

Tea and GERD 

The caffeine content of the different tea per 8 ounces serving is listed in the table below.

Type of tea How much caffeine?
Black tea25 to 48 mg
Decaffeinated black tea 2 to 5 mg 
Decaffeinated black tea5 to 40 mg 
Green tea 25 to 29 mg 

The highly processed the tea is, the greater caffeine content It has. For example, black tea provides more caffeine as compared to green tea. 

Similarly, the longer you steep your tea, the greater caffeine levels It’s going to have. GERD is not limited to caffeinated tea. 

Some herbal teas that have ingredients like peppermint and spearmint might also trigger acid reflux. Always read the label to avoid teas with such ingredients. 

What to drink for acid reflux?

Herbal teas 

Herbal teas are famous to relieve gas/bloating and nausea. Except for peppermint, spearmint, and caffeinated herbal teas, you can drink any herbal tea. Chamomile, licorice, slippery elm teas are particularly beneficial in this regard. 

If you are using herbs to make your own herbal tea from scratch, use them in the ratio of 1tsp pf herb per cup of hot water. Leaves and flowers need to be steeped for 5-10 minutes while roots require 10-20 minutes of steeping. 2-4 cups of herbal tea per day are ideal to relieve acid reflux.

Low fat or skim milk 

Cow milk full of fat triggers or causes acid reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. Therefore, always chose the reduced-fat or skim milk options when It comes to dairy milk.

Plant-based milk

Switch to plant-based milk If you repeatedly experience acid reflux after drinking dairy milk or If you are lactose intolerant. You can go for alkaline almond milk, low-fat soy milk flax milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk, etc. 

The alkalinity of almond milk helps neutralize the acidity of the stomach. However, avoid any non-dairy milk with carrageenan as an additive. Therefore, make sure you read the label first.

Fruit juice 

High acid fruit juices like pineapple, tomato juice, and apple juice worsen acid reflux. Drink carrot juice, aloe vera juice, cabbage juice, beet juice, cucumber juice, watermelon juice, pear or spinach juice instead.


Smoothies are delicious and full of minerals and vitamins. Make sure you use low acid fruits like watermelon or pear and spinach or kale to make smoothies. For example, you can pair spinach and avocado, etc.


An optimum amount of water can help relieve acid reflux because water has a neutral ph of 7. Do not overdo with water as It can strip your body ff of minerals triggering acid reflux.

Coconut water 

Unsweetened acid reflux is full of electrolytes like potassium and is helpful for ph balance in the body. 

Other FAQs about Tea which you may be interested in.

Can tea get you high?

Can tea go bad If left out?

Drinks to avoid 

Citrus juices 

Drinking citrus juices rich in acids like lemon, orange, tangerine, lime, or grapefruit juice can worsen acid reflux. Unlike the stomach, the esophagus cannot tolerate high levels of citric acid. 

Store-bought juice drinks with citric acid should also be avoided. Make sure you read the label before buying it.


Caffeinated sodas, tea, and coffee aggravate acid reflux by triggering the release of stomach acid. Therefore, they must be avoided at all costs.


Avoid drinking hard liquor, wine, margarita, or any other alcohol since It can worsen acid reflux. Excessive consumption of alcohol increases the risk of GERD.

Risk factors for acid reflux and heartburn 

High fat or spicy food can cause occasional acid reflux. However, you are at higher risk of developing GERD If you are overweight or obese, are pregnant, have diabetes, or smoke regularly. Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa may also trigger GERD.

How to prevent acid reflux and heartburn through lifestyle changes?

A lifestyle shift can help prevent the occasional incidents of acid reflux.

  • Divide your meals into smaller portions and eat after smaller intervals.
  • Get rid of extra pounds.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes to avoid suffocating your stomach.
  • Use bed risers.
  • Stay in an upright position for at least 3 hours after taking a meal.


In this article, we answered the question “Can tea cause heartburn?”, and what to drink and what not to drink for acid reflux?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.