Can Cold Water Treat Heartburn?

Dr. Michael DiLeo
Latest posts by Dr. Michael DiLeo (see all)

The next time heartburn strikes, reach for a glass of cold water instead of an antacid. The water can quickly reduce the burning pain caused by excess gastric acid.

If you’re reaching for antacids every night, it might be time to try a different heartburn remedy. While there are all kinds of home remedies that people swear by, the best option might be something simple: cold water.

Cold water can neutralize the acid churning around in your stomach and burning your chest and throat. At the very least, it can dilute the acidity. Acidity is measured in pH, which is a measurement of concentration. Diluting it will also reduce the acidity.

Here are a few suggestions to make this simple home remedy effective.

A Cold Glass of Water, Please

When heartburn comes on strong, head to the tap. Pour yourself a glass of cold water and drink it down. It should calm the heartburn. If you really want to crush your heartburn, take a 10-minute walk after you drink the water to help stabilize your body fluids.

Add a Dash of Baking Soda

If you have consistent heartburn, try adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your glass of cold water. The soda prevents the acid from traveling back up into your throat.

Drink Water Before Bed

If you tend to wake up at night with heartburn, drink a glass of water before bed. Try to drink it about an hour before you go to sleep so you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The water should soothe your digestive system while you’re sleeping.

Avoid Troublesome Foods

A glass of cold water can certainly help treat the symptoms of heartburn, but if you can avoid foods that trigger heartburn, you’ll be in an even better situation. Avoid acidic foods and juices. Try to avoid spicy and oily foods. Watch your meal portions; overeating can cause heartburn.

Take a look at this list of foods that are common heartburn triggers.

Consult with a doctor

If you have persistent heartburn that is more than just an occasional annoyance, you should talk with your doctor. You could be dealing with acid reflux, i.e., gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. 

Over-the-counter products can treat occasional heartburn. But if you experience it chronically, prescription medications may be your best choice. Talk to your doctor. 

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