Does Drinking Coffee Upset Your Stomach?

Does Drinking Coffee Upset Your StomachDoes drinking coffee upset your stomach? Do you get pains, nausea, or do you just feel bloated and a little sick?

Even though most people don’t experience these problems it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It’s common for people to have problems with coffee and experience stomach upset symptoms after drinking coffee. There’s plenty of medical reasoning for these issues to arise.

Why Does Coffee Irritate My Belly?

To understand why your stomach bothers you you should understand the most common causes of stomach upset. It may very well be that simple changes to the way you drink coffee can make a big difference in stopping stomach pains or the indigestion you feel after a bit of coffee.

First of all answer this question to yourself truthfully. Do you regularly buy cheap generic brand ground coffee for the lowest price you can find? Or do you buy quality whole beans from a local coffee roaster in your neighborhood?

Chances are you buy the cheap stuff. People who feel bad after drinking coffee don’t tend to want to spend a lot on their coffee. No only do they buy the cheap stuff but they let it sit for a while between brews leading to even more stale coffee.

Many times these people only get coffee from gas stations along the highway at midnight or in diners or cheap restaurants which only serve up cheap burnt coffee that has been sitting on hot plates for who knows how long. The point being if you get stomach upset from coffee you are more likely than other people to be drinking bad coffee which will exacerbate the problem.

Cheap generic coffee is processed with less care and is almost always more harsh. Sensitive stomachs should avoid bottom shelf, mass produced coffees.

Dealing With Irritated Coffee Belly

I’m currently in the draft stages of producing my first ebook on coffee. The topic of this ebook is dealing with and preventing the upset that commonly occurs with coffee drinkers. There are a number of primary causes for upset coffee stomach and in most cases (other than the most serious medical problems that only a doctor can advise you on) you can take simple steps to minimize your chances of feeling bad after a cup.

When my book first goes on sale it will be available for an initial “first-mover” price of $0.99. At some point not long after publication the book will be available for free for promotional purposes.

If you’d like to be notified when the book is available and when the book is available for free then please drop your email in the box provided below. You will get updates from the blog and when the book goes live you will be notified as well.

I’ve also included a link here and in the navigational bar above to my book(s). You can look for that page to be updated as the publication processes wraps up.

In the mean time consider this: N-methylpyridium (NMP) is a substance that is most commonly found in dark roasted coffees – via WebMD. Researchers said:

NMP, seemed to block the ability of stomach cells to produce hydrochloric acid and could offer a way to reduce or avoid stomach irritation.

If you’ve been experiencing mild stomach upset from your coffee make sure you’re drinking a dark roast and not just a strong cup of light roast. The dark roast also contains less caffeine on average which can also help in minimizing your discomfort.


Can coffee upset your stomach?

I have been drinking coffee for more than two decades now. I never missed a day. In fact, most of the time, I drink more than one cup. My maximum is three cups in a day. I never experienced an upset stomach or that “heartburn” feeling as described by others.

My husband also loves drinking coffee and for some time, he would enjoy up to 5 cups per day. The one time he mentioned about feeling queasy after drinking coffee was when he drank instant, 3-in-1 coffee. If I remembered right, he had more 3 or 4 instant coffee on that day.

It got me thinking, is it really coffee that caused the upset stomach or there’s another culprit?

Let’s look at what experts say about this matter.

Upset stomach – causes, signs and symptoms

Upset stomach occurs when a person feels like the stomach is churning, creating gassy, bubbling sounds. It is an uneasy feeling that can even cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If these persist, a person with an upset stomach can experience dehydration. But what could be the cause of an upset stomach?

  1. Food and drink.

Since the stomach is a digestive organ, naturally, an upset stomach can be related to something that one ate or drank.

  • Food poisoning – when food is contaminated with bacteria and parasites, the food becomes stale and bad. If one is a victim of food poisoning, symptoms like nausea, vomiting and fever will occur.
  • Overeating and overdrinking – Too much eating and drinking can lead to indigestion and result to upset stomach.
  • Eating certain food types – Greasy, spicy and fatty foods can cause indigestion and upset stomach
  1. Lifestyle matters.

What you do with your body and your lifestyle can affect your digestion.

  • Eating on a rush
  • Skipping breakfast often
  • Emotional eating
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol and caffeine
  • Travel or motion sickness

Did you catch that? Excessive caffeine can cause upset stomach. It’s not coffee that causes an upset stomach. Too much intake of caffeine can lead to upset stomach. Tea, soda and some energy drinks all contain caffeine. If one drinks too much of these caffeine-based beverages, an upset stomach is likely to happen.

  1. Medical condition

Often, upset stomach comes and goes. It is a mild problem that can be easily relieved. But for some people with medical conditions like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), ulcers, lactose intolerance, intestinal infection and some form of cancer, an upset stomach is a common sign.

Since caffeine is the number one concern, many health experts look into the amount of caffeine in popular coffee-based drinks. The Mayo Clinic compared different types of 8-ounce coffee and measured an approximate caffeine content:

  • Black coffee 95 to 200 mg
  • Instant black coffee 27 to 173 mg
  • Latte 63 to 175 mg
  • Decaf coffee 2 to 12 mg

In black brewed coffee, the darker the roast is believed to have lower caffeine. Opt for freshly brewed coffee instead of instant mix or gourmet coffee which has too much cream and sugar.

Is coffee acidity causing upset stomach?

Many people would often have a negative connotation when they hear or read about coffee acidity. They begin to imagine coffee as acidic liquid that destroys the lining of the stomach and lead to upset stomach and heartburn.

However, according to research, coffee has a pH level of 5. Orange and lemon juice are more acidic at pH level 3 and 4. But you will not consider orange and lemon as acidic in a negative way. In fact, coffee has an acidic state due to the rich antioxidants present in the green coffee beans. These antioxidants start to lose its strength when coffee is roasted. Heat cooks up the antioxidants.

Experts noted that one of the culprits for an upset stomach when drinking coffee is not the coffee, it’s the creamer and sugar added to the coffee that could trigger upset stomach for many people.

On its own, brewed coffee is healthy and beneficial for you.

If you are really bothered by the acidic state of coffee, there are ways to reduce it.

  • Dark roast

As coffee roast becomes darker, the acidity decreases. Exposure to heat reduces the amount of acidity but it also reduces the aroma inherent to great tasting coffee.

  • Arabica coffee beans

Arabica has a milder and sweeter undertone than robusta. In effect, it gives and milder, less acidic after taste.

  • Cold brew

Slow steeped, cold brew coffee yields a low acid coffee. But this may not always be a practical option if you love your coffee hot or you want to make a quick cup of Joe in the morning.

Health benefits of drinking coffee

Drinking coffee has a lot of benefits. Consider some of these:

  1. Coffee helps boost metabolism. Research shows that drinking coffee an hour before going to the gym prepares the body for workout and helps speed up one’s metabolism rate.
  2. Coffee improves cognitive skills. As natural stimulant, the caffeine in coffee helps stimulate the nervous system and gives your neurons a boost.
  3. Coffee is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In various journal studies they have been reported to possess antioxidant, antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-platelet, anti-inflammatory, and antitumor activities.

There are good benefits of drinking coffee. It’s not coffee itself that can trigger an upset stomach. Excessive drinking of caffeine, which can also found in sodas, tea and energy drink is one of the culprits.


Head blogger at "Top Off My Coffee Please" and lover of great coffee.

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