Eat smaller meals.
A very full stomach from a big meal puts pressure on the sphincter muscle, making it more likely that stomach acid will burble up. Adding insult to injury, your stomach responds to large portions by producing large amounts of acid at one time, increasing the chance of reflux. (Plus, eating smaller meals can also help with weight loss.) Relaxing while you eat can also help, so try not to eat on the run: When you’re relaxed, you tend to chew your food more completely, gastric and intestinal juices flow more freely, and digestive muscles contract and relax normally, according to Mayo Clinic on Digestive Health.
Get help from H2O.
When you feel that burning discomfort in your chest or throat, start sipping. A studypublished in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that water may be even more effective than acid-inhibiting drugs. The research found that water neutralized the pH of gastric acid within a minute, whereas antacids took 2 minutes and other reflux drugs took more than 2 hours. You don’t have to pony up for pricey alkaline water: Despite the buzz that it’s especially good at quelling heartburn due to its higher pH, there’s little evidence that it works better than plain tap.
Try a supplement.
One that Low Dog singles out in her book is melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates sleep and wakefulness. “The body produces high levels of stomach acid between 10 PM and midnight, which is why reflux is often worse at night,” she explains. Melatonin helps shut down stomach acid when it’s time to go to sleep and also tightens the lower esophageal sphincter, preventing the backflow of acid. One studyfound that it worked as well as Prilosec.