Has your morning coffee routine turned into an agony instead of pure joy? No matter how much you love it, coffee makes you feel bloated. Or it causes horrendous discomfort instead of setting you up for the day. So now we’re going to solve the mystery for you by answering – Why does coffee upset my stomach?
Due to the chlorogenic acids, caffeine, and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine found in coffee.
They stimulate your stomach to produce more gastric acid, which might cause discomfort.
Also, the stimulation of colonic activity and gallbladder contractions triggered by caffeine may result in digestive stress.
It could be that your stomach is sensitive to caffeine due to its laxative effect.
Or because you are drinking coffee on an empty stomach.
And you may be thinking acidity is the main culprit here.
We have to dispel this myth and tell you the pH acidity of coffee isn’t responsible for upsetting your tummy.
In fact, acidity and coffee generally go hand in hand. It’s what defines the flavor-profile of your cup.
Experiencing irritations in your stomach doesn’t mean you would have to completely cut out any coffee intake!
Stay with us and find out how to still enjoy your cup for many mornings to come – without that nasty feeling in your gut.
Table of Contents
Is Drinking Coffee On An Empty Stomach The Main Culprit Here?
Yes, it’s definitely among the top reasons for feeling discomfort when you sip on some tasty java.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach may trigger your stomach to produce more acid, which can be a problem.
The habitual coffee intake on an empty stomach can result in heartburn, indigestion, and even harm your stomach lining.
When your stomach has nothing else to absorb besides coffee, it starts producing more acid.
Even though stomach acid is an integral part of our digestive system responsible for breaking down stuff we consume, too much of it may cause indigestion.
But as a coffee lover, you probably crave your cup of Joe the moment you open your eyes.
Sure, It is okay not to be the breakfast type.
However, if you have gastro issues after drinking java, consider if you’re drinking it on an empty stomach.
If you want to get rid off of that nasty belly irritation, you would have to get used to taking a few bites before your first cup.
Cereals with milk, a banana or protein would help a lot.
Bananas are high in potassium and are rich in calcium and carbohydrates, which do wonders with the ill-effects caffeine causes.
Another thing is switching to a darker roast.
What About Caffeine Sensitivity – Does it Play a Role?
You bet! Some may people down several cups without any problems.
For others, drinking coffee can lead to discomfort of varying degrees.
And coffee itself isn’t the issue – caffeine is what irritates your belly.
Caffeine acts is a superb laxative as it stimulates the digestive system to fire up on all 12 cylinders.
As for insensitivity to caffeine – it can be genetic or determined by gender or age.
Fun fact – women are more sensitive to caffeine than men!
Oral contraceptives or pregnancy increase the chances of stomach irritations due to coffee intake.
So ladies, keep an eye out on your caffeine intake in those scenarios!
But what if you simply love your morning java, regardless of any caffeine sensitivity that you might have.
Well, we would highly recommend decreasing your daily intake to two cups a day maximum. I repeat – 2 cups/day at max!
Hardcore coffee lovers may object to this as well, but going decaf can be the ideal solution to your gastro problems.
No matter how sacrilegious this may sound, you can still enjoy coffee throughout the day – only without caffeine.
Got Acid Reflux When You Consume Caffeine? The Dr. Oz Show Provides the Solution!
If you experience heartburn each time you consume caffeine, there’s a solution.
The solution is a 2-week detox plan from Dr. Rosser who appeared on Dr. Oz’s show.
This detox plan lasts precisely 2 weeks and it’s meant to help you wave goodbye to that caffeine-induced burn.
Dr. Resser advises people to not go cold turkey from your caffeine habit (i.e. to stop consuming caffeine all of a sudden) because this can give you nasty migraines!
Now, the first thing is to reduce any coffee or soda consumption for several days.
During those few days, you’ll be consuming 50% less the amount you’d normally consume.
The idea is to slowly cut out the caffeine completely after a few days.
Wondering how you’d survive without your precious caffeine?
Don’t worry – as evident on that clip above from Dr. Oz’s show, you’ll replace coffee with healthy shakes.
These smoothie-like beverages are meant to provide you with enough energy during the 2-week span.
Now, ere’s what you need to prepare this customized acid reflux detox shake:
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 shot aloe vera juice
- 1 date
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 bananas
Consume maximally 2 of these shakes per day until you reach the end of the 2-week period.
After the detox period is over you can go back to drinking caffeine.
To avoid any caffeine-induced heartburn symptoms when you resume drinking coffee or soda, chase your caffeine (or soda) drink with coconut water or alkaline water!
After you drink a cup of coffee or finish off your favorite soda, chase it with an alkaline-rich drink like coconut water.
This will help you avoid the unwelcomed heartburn symptoms.
This beauty offers an ultra-healthy mix of ingredients that are alkaline-enough to end that heartburn.
And it’s super tasty as well so you might even forget about coffee altogether. Although that’s unlikely!
Does Adding Potential Irritants Like Creamer And Milk Increase Stomach Discomfort?
Absolutely – dairy products are known for causing stomach discomfort.
This is especially true for lactose intolerant individuals.
So what if you already have gastric uneasiness from the caffeine?
Well, adding milk or cream to your java can make things even worse.
Hot caffeinated liquid mixed with cream and sugar will make you run to the bathroom in minutes. It can even cause constipation – if you are intolerant to lactose!
Get a quality dairy-free coffee creamer (lactose-free, 100% organic, non-GMO etc.).
However, even non-diary, artificial creamers can cause discomfort due to high fructose corn syrup levels, thickeners, and hydrogenated oils.
That’s why you have to do your due diligence and choose a top-rated creamer that’s free of any artificial stuff.
Nonetheless, we know that adding things like milk and sugar can turn your cup of Joe into a real treat.
Especially if you tend to have a sweet tooth!
But while these additions to your coffee will make it taste better, your tummy might not be that happy about it.
You can experience an awful rumbling in your belly the next day.
Either way, cutting off these irritants should help you get rid of stomach aches.
As a result, you’ll be able to reclaim the joy of sipping on some delicious hot coffee.
What About The Brew – Does It Also Affect The Digestive System?
Yep, how you brew your java can affect your tummy as well.
Consider several things when it comes to brewing and your digestive system.
Are you brewing strong coffee that’s actually too strong?
Do you prefer a bitter taste?
To help you out – here are a few tips on how to brew your coffee to limit any stomach discomfort:
- Opt for cold brew techniques – Cold brew coffee has a lower caffeine content as opposed to regular brewing methods. This means less potential irritation for your stomach. And that’s what we’re after, right?
- Try darker roasts – Dark roast coffee will be easier on your stomach than lighter roasts. In fact, a 2010 study proves that (1). The reason for that is simple. Dark roast coffee contains a particular compound that blocks the effects of Hydrochloric acid, which causes stomach discomfort.
You can also experiment with how much coffee grounds you use.
The ground coffee-to-water ratios etc.
Also, you can try adding or subtracting a couple of grams of coffee.
This way you can find what’s optimal for your system.
Why Do I Feel Sick After Drinking Coffee?
Generally, it might be due to all the artificial sweeteners as well as the caffeine content of the coffee.
Yes, coffee can make you a bit queasy (especially in the morning), but you can’t blame the actual coffee for that.
In short, it’s several key factors that can make you feel sick after drinking java:
- Artificial flavors and sweeteners
- Other additives (e.g. fructose corn syrup)
- The caffeine
Now, caffeine can truly make you feel nauseous due to the fact it kick starts your digestive system.
It can even leave you feeling all weak and sick.
But that depends on how well your body responds to caffeine.
And unless you’re too sensitive to caffeine or if your coffee is filled with additives, there’s another potential cause for feeling sick.
But coffee doesn’t dehydrate you per se.
While caffeine might be a mild diuretic, we’re talking about general dehydration here.
That’s why having a glass of water before downing your java can be a great idea.
Can You Be Intolerant To Coffee?
In short – yes, you can.
It doesn’t matter if you are intolerant to coffee or caffeine – certain reactions may trigger anyway.
Here are several signs that your body might not tolerate coffee too well:
- Feeling anxious
- Mouth ulcers
- Upset stomach
- Minor skin breakouts
If that’s the case after each time you drink java, then you might be intolerant to coffee.
However, if you have any doubts – we strongly advise you to take a food intolerance test.
This can help you figure out if you’re intolerant (to coffee) or not.
There is a general consensus that caffeine (not coffee) gives a strong impulse to our intestines.
So, going for coffee drinks with less caffeine will result in a lesser laxative effect.
Try espresso or French roast to counteract the morning runs to the bathroom.
Yet, sometimes the very nature of this brewed beverage builds up in your gut and gives you that instant wake-up call in the morning.
A simple change in the way you brew it can make a big difference and ease up morning discomfort.
Artificial sweeteners (sugars and lactose-laden creamers) cause digestive mishmash even with people who are tolerant of lactose.
You know what you gotta do if you feel bloated right after drinking your morning cup of Joe – skip the sweeteners.
Regardless, some people are extremely sensitive to coffee.
The ones diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome for example.
Eventually, it all comes down to a particular person and his or her digestive system.
Still, it’s rare for someone to have to cut out coffee intake altogether.
Maybe all you need is a banana or oatmeal before your first cup to make that feeling in your gut disappear.
Have you ever had a caffeine rush?
Is it making your stomach bloated?
Would you quit coffee for life if discomfort would turn into a routine?
Leave your answers in the comment section below!
Did somebody say coffee? Two shots of espresso for me, thanks. Oh, nevermind – I’m Simon, nice to e-meet you, dear CoffeeLifior! I like to write, drink coffee and I believe in Jesus. Highly-caffeinated drinks are my thing, but you can occasionally see me sip on decaf (my wife never finishes her coffee). Speaking of which, I’m off to grab another cup of caffeinated goodness now, laters!
Last update on 2021-04-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API