Can Chocolate Cause Heartburn?

Can chocolate cause heartburn?  Chocolate can intensify your acid reflux symptoms and induce heartburn since it includes ingredients like cocoa, caffeine, and sugar that irritate both your stomach and esophagus. This results in an increase in stomach acid formation, which can then reflux and produce heartburn.

Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food—rich, sweet, and delicious. But wait…

Have you ever had a flare-up of heartburn after eating chocolate? Is that really because of chocolate? YES, IT IS! Chocolate is the sweetest lovely thing that may trigger your acid reflux—the primary cause of heartburn. Cocoa, caffeine, and sugar are all suspicious members doing this mess.

Let’s check out what science and experts say about it. Is there any true link between chocolate and heartburn? 

It’s time to figure it out!

The Link Between Chocolate And HeartBurn

If you’ve ever told your doctor that you have heartburn, you’ve probably been handed a lengthy list of foods to skip. Where does chocolate fall? Somewhere in the last section, but it definitely does.

According to the Academy of Nutrition, there is a link between heartburn and chocolate.

However, we can connect the links, why is it so?

The backward flow of acid into the esophagus causes unpleasant heartburn. When you have heartburn, you will feel a burning sensation in your chest which shows that the acid from the stomach is traveling up toward the throat.

Cocoa is the criminal here. Cocoa present in chocolate is acidic and eating more than enough cocoa can increase serotonin production. Yeah, it is a good hormone, but it can also lead to heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. It can upset your stomach and relaxes the intestinal muscles which can cause the acid to reflux up or rise up.

Moreover, high amounts of sugar in white chocolate and milk chocolate can further worsen your acid reflux symptoms. They can raise esophageal pressure which may ultimately lead to heartburn or chest inflammation.

In most circumstances, the sweeter the chocolate, the more probable you may get heartburn. Whereas dark chocolate can act as a trigger, it does not generally cause reflux as rapidly or as badly as white or milk chocolate.

If you are asking for evidence, research on chocolate and heartburn clearly shows that chocolate can induce acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn.

In a 2021 research published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences, more than half of the GERD patients involved in the study selected chocolate as a triggering food for heartburn.

Pin Points

  • Because chocolate is heavy in fat, it takes longer to digest. 
  • It contains a lot of caffeine, which triggers the esophagus pressure and causes acid reflux to rack up. 
  • Chocolate is a reliever that causes your body to release pleasurable hormones which can cause heartburn.

Chocolate And Acidity

As I said acid reflux too many times, it is necessary to check out if chocolate is acidic

Yes, chocolate has an average pH level of 6.3 to 6.7, with white chocolate being the lowest value. However, all varieties of chocolate contain acid-forming tendencies. 

Chocolate also includes a lot of sugar, which is acidic and can cause a lot of stomach acid to be produced. A high-sugar diet has also been linked to a higher risk of diabetes and weight gain, both of which can exacerbate acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

Experts recommend consuming chocolate in very low amounts (also cakes and desserts) if you suffer from stomach acidity problems frequently. 

Can I Eat Chocolate If I Have Heartburn?

I understand that being unable to eat chocolate is a first-world concern. But don’t worry, let’s solve this!

One thing to be noted, in persons who are very susceptible to such symptoms, all chocolate kinds appear to cause heartburn and other acid reflux concerns. 

However, chocolates made with more natural components, such as cocoa powder, appear to be superior to white chocolate, which is filled with artificial sweeteners and sugar.

Keep the amount of chocolate to a minimum, which is a rule we can all follow whether we have acid reflux or not. Another strategy to fulfill your daily chocolate appetite is to consume it with meals that do not cause reflux.

Also, keep in mind chocolate desserts, cakes, and even milkshakes can cause heartburn so you have to eat those things in moderate quantities. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is chocolate giving me heartburn?

Chocolate contains cocoa, caffeine, and sometimes lots of sugar which can increase esophageal exposure to acid and triggers the acid to boost up into the throat which can cause heartburn.

Does chocolate mess with acid reflux?

Small amounts of chocolate won’t mess with your diseases. but yes, a lot of it can make your acid reflux worse.

What foods will cause heartburn?

Spicy foods, citric, sweet, and fatty foods can cause heartburn such as oranges, celery, chocolate, caffeine, sweets, peppermint, garlic, onion, tea, and colas.

Why do I get heartburn after eating sweets?

Sweets or surgery items can cause stomach acid to travel up to the throat which can give you an inflammatory sensation known as heartburn.

How much chocolate is too much?

More than 1 to 2 ounces of chocolate on a daily basis can give you a lot of calories which might not be good for your body.

Why does my stomach hurt after eating chocolate?

Chocolate has been seen in triggering stomach problems such as diarrhea, pain, acid reflux, and more. As it contains lots of sugar, lactose and milk, it can cause stomach pain if you are intolerant to these.

Now, It’s Your Turn!

Chocolate is hard to ignore! However, it can not always be good for your body. If you are a GERD patient, chocolate can trigger heartburn and acid reflux problems. But the good news is that small amounts of chocolate occasionally are unlikely to cause any heartburn problems. The goal is to find out how to maintain your favorite tasty treat in your life without causing your tummy upset. It’s also crucial to understand that trigger foods differ from person to person. 

As a result, not everyone who consumes chocolate will suffer heartburn 

Now tell me, have you ever felt heartburn after eating chocolate?

Photo of author
From chocolate craving to winter hot cocoa drinks indulgence - I've being through it all. In as much as I'm always learning about the awesomeness of cacao/cocoa beans, there's one thing I know for sure. Quality cocoa product always comes tops. The devil is in the details. That's why you should listen to me. I've done the research. I've made all the mistakes in the books. Yes, I'm just like you but I know a thing or two that can help you make a better choice.