5 Coffee Indigestion Related Basic Questions Solved

Coffee becomes our body’s necessity after a particular time in our life. Regularly, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the globe.

Coffee is not only known for its rich and robust taste but also because of its immense health benefits. It is a regular beverage we have almost every day to keep us going.  Unfortunately, some people don’t get to enjoy raw black coffee because of coffee indigestion.

The term as sounds is associated with indigestion and stomach-related problems. Maybe unfamiliar to many, but some people experience this problem too after consuming coffee. The term as sounds is associated with indigestion and stomach-related problems. Hence, drinking coffee becomes a problem for them.

Well, this is the place where you get to know every bit of the problem and how to deal with coffee indigestion.

1. What Is Coffee Indigestion?

Some people experience a mild burning sensation in their mid-chest area after having spicy food or citrus fruits like oranges or orange juice. But few people also experience this feeling even after having coffee. Coffee usually tends to secrete gastric acid1. Coffee makes the lower esophageal sphincter relax, which causes acid reflux.

Acid reflux is basically a thing where the food or drink comes back up into the food pipe. Often some people secrete more gastric acid than normal, which causes bloating and belching.

Our body’s pH level is 7.4, which is neutral. Coffee has a pH level of 4.3 – 5 normally. Which means the coffee is mildly acidic. The pH level of coffee usually depends on two major factors: the elevation of coffee and the way the coffee has been roasted. Usually, when the food’s pH level is more than our body’s pH, it causes acid reflux.

But coffee, due to its chemical components and caffeine, can also trigger indigestion, generally termed as coffee indigestion2.

People with Gastroesophageal reflux disease 3(GERD) may fear whether they should consume coffee or not. A study clearly showed that coffee didn’t have any effect on people suffering from GERD. But if people frequently feel heartburn after consuming coffee, then they should reduce their coffee intake. Preferring other less acidic coffee recipes can also help to get some relief from coffee indigestion.

3 Reasons Coffee Upsets Your Stomach (And How To Fix It)

2. What Are the Possible Reasons for Coffee Indigestion?

There is no accurate way to find out the main reason for your upset stomach after having coffee. But here are some possible things that may trigger indigestion. Here are some reasons which may be the culprit –

2.1 Having Coffee on An Empty Stomach

Many people usually have their usual cup of warm coffee in the early morning. Some people deal with empty stomach coffee consumption easily and never face any problems, but people with gastric acid may go through nasty aftereffects.

Consumption of coffee on an empty stomach can cause some severe problems to some people. Coffee’s power to secrete gastric acid is quite heavy. When you don’t eat anything before coffee consumption, there is nothing to protect the stomach lining. This can eventually cause harm to the lining and cause bloating, vomiting, and indigestion.

Maybe, next time try having a banana or a slice of bread before your regular daily espresso to avoid this problem.

2.2 Body Not Accustomed to Caffeine May Trigger Coffee Indigestion

caffeine is the main constituent of coffee. This may be a big reason behind your heartburn and indigestion problem. It causes high gastric acid secretion that can upset the stomach. Many people find it a bit problematic to digest other caffeine-related products too. Thus, some people may get indigestion problems after consuming highly sugared soft drinks.

People trying to avoid caffeine can always opt for decaffeinated coffee4. It is removing caffeine from coffee beans, made for people who can’t digest caffeinated drinks properly.

3. How To Deal with Coffee Indigestion?

Well, obviously, one cannot just cut out coffee because coffee has immense health benefits. So there are some ways to control the whole acidic situation without really giving up caffeine. Some possible measures are:

3.1 Adding Milk

milk coffee indigestion
By: Matthias Oberholzer/Unsplash

For people who are not lactose intolerant, this is the best measure to enjoy your daily dose of coffee. Milk is full of proteins like α-casein, β-casein, and κ-casein, mixed with chlorogenic acid. This makes the coffee less acidic, which helps to solve coffee indigestion problems to some extent.

But coffee lovers should always try to avoid sugar and cream in their coffee. It is harmful to your body, but cream and sugar can add more problems to indigestion issues.

3.2 Dark-Roasted Coffee

Dark roasted coffee is the most suitable type of roast for people having gastric problems and is the easiest for the stomach to intake. Medium roasted coffee is high on chlorogenic acid, whereas dark roasted coffee is relatively low on chlorogenic acid. Many studies showed that this roast is best for people suffering from gastric problems, reducing the secretion of stomach acid.

3.3 Cold Brewed Coffee

cold brewed coffee indigestion
By: Roman Odintsov/Pexels

Normal hot brewed coffee can additionally be a reason for coffee indigestion problems. You can easily prevent this phenomenon by the cold brewing method. The acid levels of coffee can go down up to 65%, which won’t cause many problems. If you prefer hot coffee, then we’ve got you covered. After cold-brewing your coffee, simply heat the coffee before consuming it.

If you want to cold brew the coffee at home, then click here for the recipe. This recipe is not that tough, and you can opt for this one easily.

3.4 Less-Caffeinated Coffee

For people who prefer less strong coffee, this is the ultimate eye-opening solution. There are different coffee blends like chocolate infused or cocoa-flavored in the markets, which makes your coffee a little less acidic. But normally you should pay attention to the ingredients list. Watch out for what kind of coffee you want and how much less caffeinated coffee you are opting for.

3.5 Fermented Coffee

This is by far the less consumed coffee because of its less bitter taste. Whether you have coffee indigestion problems or not, fermented coffee has its own charm. From the rich taste to the extraordinary health benefits, it has everything. No one should ever miss the chance to taste this underrated coffee type.

This is a less preferred option cause few places serve fermented coffee. It is usually made by adding water and sugar to coffee beans to reduce the bitterness and make them more flavorful. To get every detail of fermented coffee, click here.

If you can’t have coffee even after trying these options, there is only one option. Stop consuming coffee and find another beverage to fulfill your coffee need, like green tea or iced tea, which are equally healthy.

4. What Other Foods to Avoid if I Have Coffee Indigestion?

You may also go through weird internal body problems besides indigestion like vomiting, uneasiness, heartburn, or anxiety. If yes, then you should avoid some other foods from your diet too. These foods have a higher pH level than our body. Thus, our body reacts to them strangely. Some suggestions are –

citrus fruits coffee indigestion
By: Glen Carrie/Unsplash
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spicy food
  • Acidic food
  • Oily food
  • Caffeinated soft drinks
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol

If you have the same indigestion problems while having the above-mentioned food, then you may have GERD and consult a doctor as soon as possible. In conclusion, one should not just cut out coffee from their diet because of indigestion fear. Just try to control the problem by referring to the measures mentioned and discussed above.

5. Can You Consume Coffee if You Have GERD?

GERD is the abbreviation of Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Normal acid reflux 5is a phenomenon where the food you consume sometimes comes back up into the esophagus. This can cause a burning sensation. This may occur once or twice a week. But when it happens more than twice a week, this can mean that you have GERD.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Previously, people used to believe that coffee plays a role in this problem. Later on, many kinds of research and studies showed that this was a myth. It depends on the caffeine quantity and the coffee’s roast, obviously; if anyone consumes decaffeinated coffee or dark roasted coffee then, they never have to face coffee indigestion problems and GERD.

Your body may react to citrus fruits or oily fatty foods. But coffee doesn’t also need to show acid reflux. The best way to know if your body reacts the same way or not is just consuming coffee and waiting for it to react accordingly. If it doesn’t cause acid reflux, then congrats, you can consume coffee freely.

But if your body reacts similarly to the other foods, you have to follow other alternatives or the above-mentioned measures. Overall, coffee may be indirectly or directly associated with coffee indigestion. The health benefits of coffee are immense. It would be best if you always looked out for alternatives to keep drinking coffee.

Exercising is also helpful for weight loss, which can reduce acid reflux automatically. Well, it’s great to take notes from the above-mentioned cures. It’s always best to consult a dietitian for better advice and a proper diet to help you get more relief.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Much Coffee Can You Have without Getting Sick?

Depending on the individual, dyspepsia can be caused by varying amounts of coffee. While some people may be able to drink multiple cups of coffee each day without experiencing any negative effects, others might.

2. What Can I Do to Avoid Indigestion Brought on By Coffee?

You can avoid coffee-induced indigestion by avoiding it on an empty stomach, drinking it in moderation, switching to decaf or low-acid coffee, and sipping it slowly rather than gulping it down.

Diluting stomach acid and soothing the digestive tract can be accomplished by drinking water or herbal tea.

  1. Hersey, S. J., and G. Sachs. “Gastric acid secretion.” Physiological reviews 75.1 (1995): 155-189. ↩︎
  2. Shirlow, M. J., and C. D. Mathers. “A study of caffeine consumption and symptoms: indigestion, palpitations, tremor, headache and insomnia.” International Journal of Epidemiology 14.2 (1985): 239-248. ↩︎
  3. Kahrilas, Peter J. “Gastroesophageal reflux disease.” New england journal of medicine 359.16 (2008): 1700-1707. ↩︎
  4. Huxley, Rachel, et al. “Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis.” Archives of internal medicine 169.22 (2009): 2053-2063. ↩︎
  5. Schowengerdt, Carl G. “Standard acid reflux testing revisited.” Digestive diseases and sciences 46 (2001): 603-605. ↩︎

Last Updated on by laibaarif



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