Most adults like to consume a glass of wine every now and then, but for some, the mere act of drinking a glass of wine can cause debilitating heartburn. Alcoholic beverages in general are known to contribute to acid indigestion in general, but this effect is even more pronounced when drinking wine. Some heartburn sufferers choose to simply give up wine, but if you follow a few simple pieces of advice, you can enjoy the occasional glass of wine without the awful acid reflux. Here’s what you need to know to prevent heartburn caused by drinking wine:
1) Don’t drink wine on an empty stomach. This probably seems like obvious advice, but it constantly amazes me how many people drink wine on an empty stomach and then wonder why they suffer from heartburn. Wine is a very acidic beverage, and having some food in your system before you start drinking gives your body a bit of a “buffer” to handle the onslaught of acid in your stomach. Most doctors recommend having a small meal or at least a snack twenty to thirty minutes before you start drinking. Many people who thought they’d never be able to drink wine without getting heartburn have found their symptoms completely disappear by following this one simple piece of advice.
2) Drink white wine instead of red wine. Any wine can cause heartburn, but red wine is much more acidic than white wine, and is more likely to cause an upset stomach. Plus, red wine is served at room temperature whereas white wine is served chilled, and warm beverages have a greater propensity to cause heartburn than do cold ones. For these reasons, if you find that you get heartburn after drinking wine, it may be helpful to switch to a “lighter” wine than you’re used to. This can be especially helpful for frequent wine drinkers.
3) Take an “acid reducer” pill 20-60 minutes before you consume any wine. If all else fails, most cases of wine-induced heartburn can be prevented by taking a single, over-the-counter acid reducer tablet before drinking. Pills like Pepcid AC and Zantac reduce the amount of acid that is produced in your stomach, which makes your body more able to handle the extra acid from the wine. Taking just one tablet before drinking wine can usually prevent heartburn for an entire evening in most people.
If, after following these steps, you find that you still suffer from heartburn after drinking wine, you may want to talk to your doctor as it could be a sign of a more serious condition. Luckily, most adults will find that these simple preventative measures will allow them to enjoy a few glasses of wine from time to time without any ill effects. For more information about heartburn and its underlying causes, be sure to check out the links listed in the resources section of this article.