Family bbqing

Enjoy BBQ Season without the Burn of GERD


Written by: CDHF

Updated: November 30th, 2022

Spring has sprung! Something about the warmth in the air makes you want to break out the BBQ’s and enjoy some hotdogs, ribs, and spicy margaritas! To help you enjoy this BBQ season, we’ve put together a list of our top 5 tips and tricks to help you reduce and avoid reflux symptoms and heartburn. 

1. Schedule early meals.

Avoid firing up the grill and having dinner late in the day. Plan your BBQ three to four hours before going to bed.

2. Choose a lean protein.  

High-fat meals and fried foods could increase your risk of getting acid reflux 1, 2. This means BBQ ribs and hotdogs may not be the best choice to fire up on the grill due to the high fat to protein ratio. Here are some of our tips for grilling some lean protein:

bbqing a lean protein

3. Avoid spicy and acid-containing foods. 

Although food triggers may be different for everyone, there are certain foods that have caused symptoms for many people 3.  Try these tips for healthier sides and toppings

4. Choose water as your drink of choice!

As much as shaking up a spicy margarita sounds appealing; it’s not worth the unpleasant symptoms that may come later! Alcohol, juices and carbonated beverages like soda (this includes soda water!) may trigger reflux symptoms. Our suggestion is to always make water your drink of choice, or switch it up with some cold unsweetened iced tea.

5. Two words, portion control. 

We know this can be a tough adjustment. BBQ foods taste so good that it may be hard to stop eating them! However, overeating causes the stomach to expand and may increase the risk of reflux. Here are our top tips to eating smaller portions:

It’s important to note that not all foods will affect all people in the same way. Coming up with the appropriate diet for you will take a little experimentation. So every time you go to grill, try switching up what you eat to identify which specific foods are your triggers. Next time you can find replacements for them, and grill on, GERD free!

Quick list of potential reflux-triggering foods to avoid at the BBQ:

If acid reflux, pains in the chest, a cough or a sore throat persist for long periods of time, they could be symptoms of GERD. If you start to experience excessive or daily acid reflux, especially coupled with a sore throat and a cough that lingers, you should ask your doctor about GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Learn more about GERD on CDHF’s website here.


1DeVault KR, Castell DO. Updated guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2005;100(1):190–200. [PubMed[Google Scholar]

2. Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) [PubMed]

3. Diet Changes for GERD (2020). Retrieved from:

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