Why Can Coffee Upset Your Stomach? Coffee is a popular beverage today, but many people regularly use it and find that drinking coffee causes stomach pain and other complications. So what is in the composition of coffee that makes users have stomach pain?
1. Does drinking coffee hurt your stomach?
Scientists have discovered the cause after having coffee drinkers with stomach pain reflected their symptoms. Several studies have confirmed that the bitter taste of coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid. Many people believe that drinking coffee causes stomach pain, worsens existing stomach conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and causes some symptoms like heartburn, ulcers, nausea, acid reflux, and indigestion.
Some people think that drinking coffee on an empty stomach is especially harmful because there is no food to prevent the coffee acids from damaging the stomach lining. However, no studies have found a link between drinking coffee on an empty stomach and the risk of stomach diseases.
Although some people are sensitive to coffee, they will experience heartburn, vomiting, and indigestion when drinking. Still, the frequency and severity do not change whether they drink coffee on an empty stomach or an empty stomach.
However, the most important thing is the stomach’s response to coffee if you experience digestive problems after drinking coffee on an empty stomach but not when complete, you need to adjust the time to drink coffee accordingly.
2. What ingredients does coffee have that cause stomach upset?
Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee that makes you more alert. An 8-ounce (240-ml) cup of coffee contains about 95 mg of caffeine.
Many people think that caffeine is merely a mental stimulant, but studies show that it can increase the frequency of contractions in the digestive system. For example, an older study from 1998 found that caffeinated coffee stimulates the colon 23% more than decaf coffee and 60% more than water. This indicates that caffeine has a strong stimulant effect on the lower organs of the digestive system.
In addition, some studies have shown that caffeine can increase the production of stomach acid, causing stomach pain if it is susceptible.
- Acid coffee
In addition to caffeine, studies have shown that coffee acids can also cause stomach pain. Coffee is high in acids like chlorogenic acid and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine, which have been shown to increase stomach acid production. This acid breaks down food to move down to the intestines for further digestion. They suggested that coffee might aggravate heartburn symptoms; the study was inconclusive and showed no significant link.
- Other ingredients
In some cases, coffee isn’t what upsets the stomach. An upset stomach can be caused by additives like milk, cream, sweeteners, or sugar, which more than two-thirds of Americans add to their coffee.
For example, about 65% of people worldwide cannot digest lactose, a type of milk sugar, which can cause symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, or diarrhea soon after consuming dairy products.
3. Can decaf coffee cause an upset stomach?
In some cases, users turn to decaf coffee which can help relieve stomach pain. This only works when caffeine is the culprit.
The composition of decaf coffee still contains coffee acids such as chlorogenic acid and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine, linked to increased production of stomach acid and intestinal contractions.
Additionally, adding milk, cream, sugar, or sweeteners to decaf coffee may increase the risk of stomach upset in people who are sensitive to these additives.
4. Coffee also causes any adverse effects on the body?
- Caffeine can be addictive, especially in people who are genetically sensitive to caffeine. Regular coffee consumption can alter brain chemistry, requiring more significant amounts of caffeine to produce the same responses.
- Drinking too much coffee can lead to anxiety, restlessness, heart palpitations, and panic attacks. It can even lead to headaches, migraines, and high blood pressure. Most experts agree that you should limit your caffeine intake to about 400 mg per day, equivalent to 4-5 cups of coffee.
- Coffee can also disrupt sleep, especially when taken late in the day, as its effects can last up to 7 hours in adults.
- Caffeine can easily cross the placenta, and its effects can last up to 16 hours longer than usual in pregnant women and babies. Therefore, pregnant women are encouraged to limit their coffee intake to 1 – 2 cups (240 – 480 ml) per day.
5. How to drink coffee without stomach pain?
For starters, drinking coffee slowly can make your stomach feel better. Also, try to avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach. Coffee is considered acidic, so sipping it during lunch can reduce absorption.
Here are some other ways to minimize the acidity of your coffee :
- Choose dark-colored coffee beans: Research shows that coffee beans roasted longer and roasted at a higher temperature are less acidic. That means dark-colored beans tend to be less acidic than light-colored beans.
- Drink cold coffee: Research shows that cold coffee is less acidic than hot coffee.
- Choose products with extensive coffee grounds: Research shows that the smaller the size of the coffee grounds, the lower their acidity. (Coffee grounds are waste products from coffee makers in the final stage of the coffee-making process.)
In addition, if you want to enjoy a cup of coffee with milk but your body is lactose intolerant or causes stomach upset, switch to non-dairy coffee with other types of milk such as soy or almond milk.
Coffee is a beverage in daily life; in fact, coffee will not be too harmful if people scientifically use them, in the correct dosage, especially for people with stomach diseases.