ACID REFLUX? Beware of Bottles and Cans
Things are not always what they seem. If you have acid reflux, there probably is a nasty stomach enzyme, called PEPSIN, attached to your throat, esophagus (swallowing tube), and possibly even to your vocal cords, sinuses, and lungs. This powerful digestive enzyme is the actual cause of tissue damage, but the confusion in “acid” reflux comes from the fact that pepsin requires acid for its activation.
When there is no acid around, the pepsin just waits. But when you drink or eat something acidic, the pepsin springs back into action, and starts digesting your throat, esophagus, etc. That’s right, what you eat may be eating you. The biggest risk factor for reflux in our experience is soda pop, carbonated beverages.
If you have acid reflux, particularly if you have “airway reflux” or “silent reflux,” you should never drink these acid bombs. BTW, people with airway reflux have hoarseness, chronic cough, trouble with food getting stuck, choking episodes, shortness of breath, asthma, and sinusitis. AND you can have those symptoms from acid reflux without knowing it, because sometimes acid reflux occurs without indigestion or heartburn! This may be because it happens at night while you sleep of just in small amounts during the day. Silent reflux is often associated with breathing problems.
Carbonated beverages are bad for you for many reasons, but the acidity is the most damaging for many reflux sufferers. The pH scale is tricky, because lower numbers are more acidic. pH 7 is neutral, that is not acidic at all. Stomach acid is usually pH 1-4. Here’s a surprise though, pH 3 is ten times more acidic than pH 4, and pH 2 is ten times more acidic than pH 3. Thus, pH 2 is 100 times more acidic than pH 4 … and that’s the pH level of stomach acid. Coke and Pepsi (shown here) are pH 2.4-2.5
HERE’S A BIGGER SURPRISE: MOST OF THOSE HEALTH DRINKS ARE AS ACIDIC AS COKE AND PEPSI!
Today, almost every bottled and canned beverage today is acidic. That is the law !!??!! See The Missing Link post. Since 1973, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has mandated that acid be put in almost everything bottled and canned to kill bacteria and prolong shelf life.
“Unintended consequences” …. REALLY! This acid in all of our beverages is a big factor in the reflux epidemic. It is one of the biggest causes. We recommend that the acidity (pH) of everything be placed on the nutritional label in the future … like soon. Here are some beverages that you probably think are healthy. Guess again, all have a pH of 2.9, that is, less than three!
Incidentally, why do young people have acid reflux, too these days? The average 12-29-year-old drank 160 gallons of soft drinks last year; that’s almost a half-gallon a day!
And the “common beverage bad news” just keeps on coming; energy drinks like Gatorade are the same … acid, acid, acid. If you have reflux, you are going to have to think about what you drink. The nutritional label will tell you if there is acid inside . Look for ascorbic, acetic, and citric acids; those are the big three. For some alternatives, see Water Water Everywhere But Nothing Left to Drink. BTW, we drink alkaline water. Good Luck!