Take The Acidic Bite Out Of Coffee With A Pinch Of Baking Soda

More than half of coffee drinkers enjoy at least three cups of joe a day to stay awake, per Statista, but coffee is so much more than an energy drink. Besides being a comforting beverage known for aiding social bonding, coffee also helps our bodies' metabolism, improves brain function, reduces our risk for type 2 diabetes and depression, and can potentially protect the liver against diseases, according to Healthline. Despite these benefits, though, coffee is naturally acidic, with an average pH value of around 5. Although that's on the mild side, it stimulates the production of stomach acid and can cause problems for people with sensitive stomachs (via Well+Good). So, if you experience symptoms like heartburn, indigestion, stomach cramps, loose stool, or even gastroesophageal reflux disease after drinking coffee, should you cut it out entirely?

For starters, you might want to consider at least changing the type of coffee you're drinking, because "coffee beans grown at higher altitudes will taste more acidic," according to Real Good Coffee Co, while "darker roasts have less acid than lighter roasts." And if you're a cold brew fan, good news: This brewing method is known to produce a less acidic beverage. However, a simpler yet highly effective remedy is to just add a pinch of baking soda to your cup of joe.

What does baking soda do to coffee?

Baking soda (not to be confused with baking powder), is an alkaline substance with a pH around 9. This means that when mixed into coffee, it raises the drink's pH to a more neutral 7. This, in turn, can help to neutralize stomach acid and prevent those aforementioned unfortunate side effects.

Surprisingly, this little hack can also improve the taste of coffee. Your Dream Coffee says that when added to cheap coffee, baking soda elevates the sweetness and cuts the bitter tones to give it a smoother and enhanced taste. You can either add it during the brewing process or to a cup of prepared coffee; Kitchn recommends adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to a pot of coffee for the same effect.

Also on the plus side, baking soda is inexpensive and suitable for basically any diet — unlink sugar, milk, or non-dairy creamers — making it a win-win-win for anyone with allergies or health concerns.