coconut water

Q. I had such painful heartburn and reflux that it would wake me up in the middle of the night. I read somewhere that coconut water helps with heartburn. I have been drinking about two cups of coconut water for four days, and the heartburn is almost completely gone. I haven’t even had to give up my morning cup of coffee.

I cannot believe the quick response that I had to the coconut water. I also noticed that I’m not getting cramps in my legs at night. A friend said that might be due to the potassium in the coconut water.

A. Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside coconuts. It is a popular beverage in the tropics and is indeed rich in potassium. Coconut water has become popular in North America in recent years, so it is now easy to find in any grocery store.

Your story is fascinating, but we have found no research to show that coconut water tames acid reflux. We have, however, heard from another reader who reports:

“Coconut water helps me with reflux. I drink a box every morning and take no meds. When I had to fast for my colonoscopy and drank coffee on an empty stomach, the acid attack returned. Since I was allowed clear juice, I drank coconut water and my stomach was soothed.”

We also heard from Saurian in London:

“I have experienced the exact same effect described by the original poster. I have a hiatal hernia which has been causing me extreme pain for 2 years now. I have been taking omeprazole ever since the problem started, but lately it has stopped helping and the pain was becoming unbearable.

“A friend of mine suggested I drink coconut water to alleviate the pain. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference but I tried it nonetheless. The same night I started drinking coconut water I realized that I had run out of my medication and I would have to wait until after work the next day to get to the chemist to restock. I really wasn’t looking forward to enduring a day without my medication but I went to work anyway.

“It was only when I finished work that I realized that I had suffered no chest pains whatsoever through the entire day. The day before I couldn’t even get through the 30 minute train journey back from work without the pain setting in. The day after drinking coconut water the pain was completely gone!

“I haven’t taken my medication in four days as I’m writing this message and I have felt no chest pain whatsoever. I’m so thankful for it and it feels like I won’t be needing medication any more. All it’s taken is a glass of coconut water in the morning and one in the evening to cause my symptoms to vanish. The speed with which this has happened is astounding!

“I would recommend anyone suffering from acid reflux-related health problems to try this. For me it’s been a life changer!”

In the event coconut water doesn’t do the job for you, we have lots of other home remedies for reflux and heartburn in our book from National Geographic, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. Dutch

    Has anyone tried DGL to coat the stomach? I heard Manuka Hiney and Aloe Vera might also help. I will try the coconut water again. I used to drink it for the potassium.

  2. SGH

    I hadn’t heard of coconut water before. Where in the grocery store can I find it? Also, would taking coconut oil be effective?

  3. dave

    5 mo ago I had tif operation by Dr. Mars at the Mayo Clinic in Barron Wi for severe acid reflux. The operation went well; she successfully reshaped my upper stomach and repaired a hiatal hernia. My gall bladder was bad so it was taken out also. Taking the gall bladder out caused bile reflux. Since the operation I was getting up 3 times per night to take medication and often felt bad during the day. I suddenly had my symptoms pretty much go away 2 days ago; I had never had a single day without symptoms before. I haven’t taken my sucralfate pills for 2 days. The only change I made was I drink 2 coconut worth of water each day and used saffron for the first time putting it in rice.
    Maybe it was just time for the bile reflux to go away on its own; I never had anything natural work for any condition before for me. Knock on wood I hoping the relief is lasting.

  4. Joi
    Kentucky (USA)

    I have a hiatal hernia along with a lot of intestinal damage from an undiagnosed gluten intolerance that wreaked havoc before I went gluten free. I suffered greatly from acid reflux and heartburn on top of hiatal hernia “events” that were nothing short of hell. I began drinking kefir milk each morning and coconut water throughout the day and am absolutely blown away by the difference. I can actually sleep at night (when my cat allows it!) and enjoy meals again without being afraid of them.

    If anyone has any sort of intestinal problems, I’d recommend coconut water. Also, cutting back on caffeine does wonders to promote healing.

  5. Rob
    Dunsborough Western Australia

    The last few weeks have been mostly free from heartburn. It occurred to me just tonight that of late I,Ve been drinking a couple of glasses of coconut water a day so I believe that is doing the trick. The bonus is that I love drinking coconut water.

  6. Linda

    The coconut water has worked for me as well, although I’ve only used six tablespoons a day for a week. It feels like a miracle to be relieved of the constant pain of GERD, not well managed with meds. The other benefit is the cessation of cravings for food to relieve the pain.

    • Simon S.

      Linda, that’s good to hear, but a little more detail would be appreciated. Do you take it before the meal, with the meal, or after the meal? Thanks!

  7. Heather

    I started 4 cups of ginger lemon tea 2 in morning 2 at night before other meds. I went from 40 nexium down to 20 nexium.

    Thanks sure will try coconut water as well.

  8. Jancil Wooge

    Can eating fresh,unsweetened coconut help with acid reflux
    symptoms? I have had a miserable time with this problem
    and would love to get some relief.

    Jancil Wooge

  9. Virginia
    Lula, GA

    I’ve taken PPIs ever since they came on the market, about 30 years and I still fight the battle. The coconut water is the only thing I haven’t tried, but will. I am on Dexilant now, requiring twice daily rather than one, because my gene analysis says I need more. Perfectly clean scopes. I have found when I get esophageal spasms, which feels like a heart attack, that drinking something cold will stop it immediately. Just a hint for anyone else who might need it.

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