Is Coffee Bad for Your Stomach?

cup of coffee on a table

QUESTION: – Is coffee bad for your stomach? I have a sensitive stomach and my mom keeps telling me to stop drinking coffee because that’s what is behind it, but coffee doesn’t bother my stomach. – Renee P. 

ANSWER: – Coffee is not necessarily bad for your stomach if consumed in moderation. However, it does contain compounds that can cause stomach irritation if consumed in large quantities or put onto an empty stomach. Don’t worry, if your coffee is causing you stomach distress, we have outlined all of the ways you can avoid it without having to give up your coffee. Considering coffee has many beneficial qualities as well, it’s an important part of many diets, and to most coffee drinkers, it’s an essential morning ritual. 

But no matter how much you enjoy your morning coffee pick-me-up, your stomach may not enjoy it as much as the rest of your system. If you are experiencing stomach pain from consuming coffee, there are a lot of different factors to consider, and different ways that you can avoid that pain in the future. Let’s brew it over. 

The most important action you can take is to never drink coffee on an empty stomach, no matter how much you want to do it when you are tired and groggy first in the morning. Don’t feel like eating breakfast before your coffee? A simple solution is to drink a glass of water first to get something on your stomach and help dilute the coffee before it hits your digestive system. Contrary to what you might think, this isn’t common knowledge, and many people suffer unknowingly with unnecessary pain from drinking coffee when there’s nothing else in their gut. 

If you aren’t drinking coffee on an empty stomach and it’s still causing you grief, there are a few other ways that you can try to fix the problem. One way is to purchase dark roasts which are typically less acidic, or look for low acid coffee beans. Coffee beans that are grown in low altitude conditions are typically less acidic than coffee beans that are grown high in the mountains. A simple google search for low acid coffee will bring up a bunch of options for purchase. 

Another readily available low-acid coffee is cold brew. Cold brew is extracted using coffee grounds and cool, or room temperature water instead of nearly boiling water, and the brewing process takes considerably longer than high temperature brewing techniques. The result is a fantastic tasting coffee that can be up to 60 percent lower in acids that cause stomach irritation. Cold brew can be purchased at the grocery store, but it’s very simple to make at home for yourself as well, and for much less. If the acidity of your joe is causing you woe, give cold brew coffee a try and see if it doesn’t help. 

Acidity is not the only thing about coffee that might be causing you stomach issues. Caffeine is a stomach irritant as well, and for those consuming large quantities of coffee, this is more than likely your culprit. If you think that caffeine might be the issue, there are a couple of options for you to choose from. Most decaf coffees are terrible for you in a multitude of ways, but if you do a little extra digging, you can find specialty-grade decaf that is completely safe to drink and much lower in caffeine content. If

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