So it struck at 1 am with a vengeance; the worst case of heartburn I’ve had in a very long time. I wracked my brain trying to figure out what on earth I ate that would have caused it- but in the end the problem was what I drank. I have been chugging carbonated water in an effort to stay hydrated, and obviously overdid it.
Here are some surprising facts I learned about drinking water- especially drinking too much of it:
- The act of swallowing water, in addition to the water itself, can lead to heartburn, particularly if you guzzle it or take big gulps. Even if it doesn’t make you belch, swallowing air along with your water can irritate the ring-shaped muscle that separates your esophagus from your stomach and cause it to relax, allowing acid to escape into your throat.
- The human stomach is, on average, the size of a fist, and has an average capacity of 900 ml (about 30 fluid ounces, or just shy of 4 cups). While your stomach can stretch beyond this, in most cases it’s not advisable because you will feel uncomfortably stuffed. Drinking water might add more volume to your stomach contents, and pressure on your stomach can trigger the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) to open causing heartburn. Heartburn is the result of acidic liquid (usually chyme, or partially-digested food) from your stomach entering your esophagus, or the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach.
- Carbonation increases stomach distention. If you drank a pint of water, your stomach would distend by a pint. If you drank a pint of carbonated water, however, your stomach might distend to twice that size, the size of a quart. The extra gas in carbonated water creates more pressure in your stomach, increasing the chances that your stomach will regurgitate contents upward.
- You should drink a good amount of water each day, but try to not guzzle it and make sure it’s room temperature. Click here for a handy custom hydration calculator.
.livestrong.com, hubpages.com, dr.davidwilliams.com,sites.psu.edu