What Does Coffee Do To Your Stomach?
Stomach is a part of our digestive system which is responsible for digestion. Our digestive system run on acids and it is the fluid of the machine that breaks down whatever we intake. But too much of these gastric acids may cause some problems that can be apparent through bloating, belching and discomfort.
Coffee is an intense drink with rich, bold and complex flavor and chemical makeup and if you’re drinking it with empty stomach you’re going to encounter trouble. Those extra acids and caffeine molecules can upset your stomach. Caffeine and other plant-based compounds stimulate your stomach to release more hydrochloric acid which aids digestion.
For starters, coffee can take serious toll on your digestive system. It increases acid production and if you haven’t already eaten those acids could damage your stomach’s lining and cause indigestion and heartburn. It can also increase symptoms of anxiety, boost heart rate, irritability and loss of focus.
But if you opt to brew your coffee with lower acidity, you may encounter possible problem. It has a pH level of 5 close as carrots. It’s not that acidic so, it’s not the acid that cause the issue. So if not what is it? What does coffee do to your stomach?
Normally, your stomach is sensitive to coffee’s caffeine. The caffeine in your coffee can activate contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles. Coffee has chlorogenic acids that stimulates acid, moving food through the digestive tract. It can also stimulate hormone that help to push food through the gut and increase levels of gastrin which makes the colon more active. Your daily mug of coffee helps produce more acid than on a normal case.
Even though coffee in nature is not too acidic, caffeine may boost your acid production beyond the normal. However, the coffee molecule itself is considered as a stomach irritant. It has a laxative effect forces your digestive system works faster. It intensifies symptoms of bowel conditions like gastritis, irritable bowel disorder and colitis. Coffee has certain enzyme that triggers an immune response resulting to inflammation, cramping or even diarrhea.
What Does Coffee Do To Your Stomach?
Some studies claimed that drinking coffee can lead to acid reflux or heart burn which is an involuntary series of muscle movements that send gastric acid up into the esophagus. But this findings has no strong evidence.
It concludes that caffeine can be a start of some acidic-related issues and it brings along discomforts. It’s better to compare the difference between drinking acidic drinks and alcohol and those that don’t have if you feel any discomforts. And if acid is the main culprit you can still enjoy your coffee. You can try cold brew, where brewing coffee in a cold water instead of hot as it reduces as much as 66% acid levels. You can still enjoy it like a normal brewed coffee. You may find it as low-acidity-stomach friendly coffee. As coffees grown at low altitudes so normally it has lower acid levels. The caffeine content in coffee can release hormones cortisol, adrenaline and non-adrenaline. Your blood is diverted away from the digestive system leading to indigestion. If you have this condition, there’s no need for you to give up your coffee instead minimize its consumption. As sometimes we think that drinking coffee will save us from any problems which is true for some but we also have to consider genetic factors that impact our coffee metabolism and stress breakdown.
On the other hand, if you have gallstones, you are not advised to drink coffee. Even if it doesn’t directly cause gallstones but it does cause your gallbladder to contract and create painful situation. If it has severe laxative effect, studies found that it can cause damage and irritation so better stop drinking coffee. So it is generally advised to uptake 400mg or 3-5 cups a day or 200mg if pregnant.
But if you make a switch don’t do it suddenly as caffeine causes physical dependence, so you will probably experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, low mood or even physical symptoms if you cut your cups form 5 to none. Instead, you may consider or replace your cup of coffee with drink of lighter caffeine. It is also important to take note of what you accompany with your coffee like sugar, cream or sweetener and if you’re a dairy sensitive, you may experience bloating or worst diarrhea.
If you encounter these discomforts you may try considering specialty-grade decaf, drink less coffee or eat banana which is an alkaline and cancel out the harshness of extra acids caused by caffeine. Bananas also contain variety of substances that sooth your stomach.
Nobody likes an upset stomach but if you pay attention to how you feel and make minor adjustments and there’s no need for you to give up your coffee. If you are person who drinks a cup of coffee and feels anxious, be mindful and switch to alternative drinks. You can look for stomach friendly coffees and see how it goes.