How To Prevent Heartburn At A BBQ

Published August 18, 2020 by

We could advise you not to go, but yeah, that’s not an option. We all look forward to these warm weather events where we can eat outside, enjoy our friends and relatives, and just relax. At the same time, if you suffer with heartburn or GERD, these occasions are setting you up for failure and a sleepless night. How to prevent heartburn at a BBQ may be easier than you think.

Start In Your Own Backyard

If the BBQ is in your own backyard with family members, create a meal which will please everyone. Avoid serving foods or sauces that will cause you or your guests to suffer from acid reflux and heartburn.

You’re probably familiar with the following distasteful symptoms:

  • Acid backing up into your esophagus
  • Burning feeling in your chest and throat
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Indigestion and regurgitation

If the dinner is elsewhere, there are still ways to prevent heartburn at a BBQ.


Start by packing a cooler and bringing your own drinks to a BBQ. Fill it with water (lots of it), sports drinks, and ice cold herb tea. You can still have fun without drinking alcohol which will lead to all kinds of digestive problems. At least match water with alcohol consumption.

Think Ahead

Take an OTC antacid before you go. Get ahead of the problem and be proactive.

Skip The Ribs

Besides being high in fat content and especially with a spicy sauce, ribs will trigger acid reflux. Stick with poultry, grilled veggies, or a lean burger.

Know Your Triggers

If you have had heartburn problems for any length of time, you surely know what causes you digestive grief. Avoid those triggers, from tomato sauces, fatty meats, onions, ice cream, carbonated drinks (even seltzer water), citrus fruits and juices. Lemonade may cool you off on a hot day, but you’ll pay for it later.

Instead eat turkey burgers, grilled lean meats and veggies, melons, and non citrus drinks.

Know When To Stop

If your event is late in the day, stop eating at least 3 hours before you will be going to bed. Give your food a chance to settle and digest before you lay down. Without drinking any or too much alcohol, this will be a lot easier to do.

See Dr. Carlos A. Barba and Ask About GERD

If your bouts with heartburn or GERD occur a few times a week, it’s time to see a physician. Over time acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer, so getting treatment is essential.

You may be told to lose some weight or stop smoking which contributes to heartburn, but you can finally get some proper treatment.

Contact Dr. Carlos A. Barba if you have been experiencing heartburn or GERD. Call (956) 621-4981 to schedule an appointment at our office in Harlingen and Brownsville, TX today!

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