Can Coffee Upset Your Stomach? – Causes And Solutions

* This post may contain affiliate links. When you buy through links on my site, I may earn an affiliate commission. *

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is not only a beverage but also a culture, an art, and an economy. It is part of the agricultural industry of over 50 countries worldwide, mostly in Southern Africa and tropical Asia.

However, most of the consumer community knows little about its plant. The appearance of those plants depends on the growing environment. Most of its species are short plants, while others look like shrubs.

The trees produce red, juicy, edible fruits, which often contain two seeds. Though those fruits have a distinctive sweet taste and a high amount of caffeine, it’s the seeds that people use for flavoring beverages.

The fruits take about nine months to ripen. Then they are harvested and juiced. The seeds often referred to as the “coffee beans”, are collected from the fruits. They come in the market in a roasted form and are used widely to brew into drinks. 

Thanks to the unique taste, this drink became famous globally. Yet, it’s also the beginning of a new rumor about “Can coffee upset your stomach?” To better enjoy your cup of Joe without any bad effects, scroll down to know more!

Can Coffee Upset Your Stomach?

Sadly, the answer is YES. Though it is a warm-hearted drink in the morning that can awaken your body and mind, the beverage can give you a stomachache if you’re not drinking it properly.

There are several reasons why it upsets your stomach. Some of them are controllable, while some aren’t. This article is to give you the knowledge you need to enjoy your cup without experiencing discomfort. 

Why Does Coffee Upset Your Stomach? 

Here are some reasons why this famous beverage can bring an unsatisfied experience for your tummy: 

Your Body’s Dislike Of The Caffeine

Similar to the fruits, its beans are high in caffeine. It stimulates your central nervous system and increases your alertness. You will feel energetic and less tired. That’s why people drink it in the morning. 

By irritating parts of it, caffeine also stimulates your digestive system to work harder. The sudden boost of caffeine helps things flow. It makes your body digest everything hard and fast. But it is too sudden that it comes with an unpleasant feeling for your tummy. 

You Are Sensitive To Acids

Undoubtedly, this is an acidic drink. Yet, it is not even as acidic as tap water. So, rest assured that the acids found in this beverage are not the culprit.

The key is, it makes your body produce more acids. These are the result of the caffeine boosting the digestive system that helps you digest.

Although caffeine is responsible for more acid, it is still harmless to your stomach. If you still have such symptoms, it might be because you have an acid sensitivity. If so, the sudden increase in acids is quite annoying for your tummy. 

Drinking Coffee On An Empty Stomach

Starting your day with a cup of Joe seems like a great idea. Most of us prefer drinking it in the morning to wake ourselves up before doing anything. Still, it is not so great if you drink it before putting anything in your system. 

This drink comes with a lot of things: oils, aroma, acids, caffeine. It is such an intense one to put on an empty stomach.

As mentioned, caffeine forces your digestive system to work harder and increases acid levels. If there is no substance inside for you to digest, the acids, along with other included components, will probably have you suffer. 

You Brewed The Coffee Wrong

Besides having the coffee and your stomach sensitivity blamed, the reason for this case might come from your recipe. 

Of course, we are not talking about a perfect brew. Yet, sometimes the liquid is too strong, or you might over-extracted it. Strong ones can sit heavily on your stomach, weaken some of your digestive parts, and cause a bellyache as a result. 

What Are The Solutions?

Certainly that this drink is too amazing to give up. If you want to enjoy it to the fullest, here is what you should do: 

Don’t Drink On An Empty Stomach

As mentioned above, it is a bad idea to drink it while there is nothing in your stomach. It will give anyone a bad experience even if the caffeine has never impacted them before. 

To avoid this situation, get something in your body first. It is best to eat alkaline food to neutralize the acids. You can eat vegetables, fruits, especially bananas to cancel out the acids.

Also, you can have other substances added to your body to prevent this scenario, like eggs, oatmeal, or proteins. Just eat your breakfast beforehand so that your body will have something to digest. 

Drink Slowly

Some people drink it quickly so that they can wake up as soon as possible. Or even when they are in a hurry for work. Nevertheless, it is the worst thing to consume all the coffee within a few minutes. 

Just simply drink your morning cup of Joe slowly. At least your body will be aware so that it can adjust to the caffeine and everything else.

If you usually drink it while eating breakfast, sipping while eating can help you here. The key is to spread the liquid out among the foods and avoid consuming it all at once. That way, it won’t hurt your belly. 

Try Cold Brew Coffee

Those brewed with hot water can be too harsh for your body. If so, just give cold brew ones a go. It may take longer to make, but it is much easier on your stomach.

Brewing this beverage with cold water extracts fewer acids that naturally occur in the beans. Also, the chemicals which cause stomach-irritating are reduced, giving you a smoother and sweeter cup of Joe.

As a result, cold brew ones don’t taste as bitter and strong as hot brew, but it surely contains less caffeine and acids. Some people may not like the lighter taste, but still, it is worth trying. 

Tips

Let’s take a few more suggestions to prevent you from an upset stomach when drinking this addictive drink: 

  • Touch up your recipe for a less strong cup of Joe, or try not to over-extract it. 
  • Milk and sugar might be too much for your body to process, so just cut down on the amount. 
  • Don’t drink too much of it. Seriously, you don’t need that much to stay awake. 
  • There are several levels of roasted beans. Choosing them may also decide whether it is harsh or easy on your stomach. Experience different roast levels of beans to find out which one is suitable for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Coffee Is Easiest On Your Stomach?

Research shows that a dark-roasted one is easier on your belly than a light, mild-roasted one. 

It takes longer to make a dark roast cup, so it metabolizes more of the raw substances in the beans and helps your body process them easier.  

Moreover, the longer roasting period helps lower the number of acids. Drinking it can help us avoid bellyaches, especially if you have an acid sensitivity. 

For instance, Arabica beans are lower in acids than Robusta beans. So, having dark-roasted Arabica beans, in theory, will allow you to cut down on the acidity contained.  

When Should You Avoid Consuming Coffee?

Again, don’t drink it if you haven’t put anything in your system. When you have an empty stomach, get something on it first before a cup of coffee. Or else it will make your tummy experience a churning feeling. 

Also, caffeine disrupts your sleep up to 6 hours after consumption. It is best to stop drinking it after 3 p.m. to make sure it won’t disturb your sleep. 

If it is evening time and you still need a boost, try black tea instead. It is lower in caffeine, allowing you to go to bed at 10 p.m. 

How Much Coffee Should You Consume Per Day?

This should translate to “How much caffeine should you consume per day?”. Not all kinds of coffee have the same amount of caffeine. For example, a shot of espresso contains about 70mg of caffeine, while a serving of drip coffee has 200mg of it. 

Many sources suggest 400mg of caffeine per day, which is about 4 cups (945ml) of Joe. It is perfectly safe if you drink more, but not so much that it causes insomnia.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have reached the end of this article, can coffee upset your stomach? Indeed it is a great drink for an energetic day. Still, please make sure to consume it right so that it won’t harm your health. Find out the most suitable method for your body, and then you can fully enjoy the drink.

Rate this post

Almost 20 years already spent committed to coffee and more than 3 years of experience as a barista at Starbucks. Madelyn Doyle graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutritional Science from the University of California and finished the Coffee Skills Program at the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).