Why is Your Coffee Upsetting Stomach: Discover Reasons & Solutions

Do you love your morning cup of coffee but find that it Coffee Upsetting Stomach? You’re not alone. Many people experience digestive issues after drinking coffee, and it can be frustrating to have to give up something you love because of discomfort. The good news is, there are solutions to this problem.

Key Takeaways

  • Coffee can upset your stomach due to its acidity, caffeine content, and potential irritants.
  • Lifestyle factors such as stress and an empty stomach can also play a role in coffee-related stomach upset.
  • Adjusting your coffee choice, brewing methods, and dietary habits can alleviate stomach discomfort caused by coffee.

Understanding the Impact of Coffee on Your Stomach

coffee upsetting stomach

Coffee is a popular beverage around the world, but it’s not without its drawbacks. One of the most common complaints about coffee is its impact on the digestive system, particularly the stomach. In this section, we’ll explore how coffee affects the stomach and what you can do to alleviate any discomfort.

How Coffee Affects Digestion

Coffee is acidic, which can stimulate the production of gastric acid in the stomach. This increase in acidity can cause irritation and inflammation, resulting in a burning sensation and discomfort. Additionally, coffee contains compounds that can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn.

Coffee Acidity Chart PH Level
Low-acid coffee 5.0-5.5
Regular coffee 4.8-5.5
Acidic coffee 4.0-4.8

It’s important to note that not all coffee is the same. Some types of coffee are less acidic than others, which can make them easier on the stomach. Low-acid coffee, for example, has a pH level of 5.0-5.5, while acidic coffee can have a pH level as low as 4.0.

How Caffeine Affects Digestion

Caffeine, the main active ingredient in coffee, can also have an impact on the digestive system. It can stimulate the muscles in the digestive tract, leading to an increase in bowel movements and potentially causing diarrhea. Caffeine can also cause the muscles in the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to travel up the esophagus and cause heartburn or acid reflux.

Why You May Be Sensitive to Coffee

Some people may be more sensitive to coffee than others. If you experience stomach upset or other digestive issues after drinking coffee, you may have a caffeine sensitivity or an underlying condition such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If you suspect you have a caffeine sensitivity or an underlying condition, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider. They can help you determine the cause of your symptoms and recommend a course of treatment.

Caffeine Sensitivity and Digestive Issues

For those struggling with a sensitive stomach or acid reflux, caffeine can exacerbate symptoms and cause discomfort. Caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid, which can lead to heartburn and acid reflux. In addition, caffeine can also disrupt the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that closes off the stomach from the esophagus.

Individuals with caffeine sensitivity may experience a range of symptoms, including stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea. If you suspect that caffeine is contributing to your digestive discomfort, consider cutting back on your coffee intake or switching to decaf. It’s also worth noting that other caffeinated beverages, such as tea and soda, may also impact your stomach health.

Coffee and Gastric Acid Production

Coffee is notorious for increasing gastric acid production. This can lead to discomfort and pain, especially for those who suffer from stomach ulcers. While coffee itself does not cause ulcers, its acidity can irritate preexisting ulcers and cause them to worsen.

The acidity of coffee varies depending on factors such as bean type, roast level, and brewing method. Darker roasts and espresso-based drinks tend to be more acidic than lighter roasts and drip coffee.

While some coffee drinkers can handle the increased acid production, others may need to take steps to reduce their discomfort. Switching to low-acid coffee or organic coffee can be a helpful solution for some. These options have less acidity than traditional coffees and are often easier on the stomach.

Coffee Type Acidity Level
Dark Roast More acidic
Light Roast Less acidic
Low-Acid Coffee Low acidity
Organic Coffee Low acidity

In addition to switching to a stomach-friendly coffee option, adjusting brewing methods can also be beneficial. Cold brew coffee has been shown to have lower acidity and can be easier on the stomach than hot brewed coffee. However, keep in mind that cold brew coffee tends to have a higher caffeine content, so it may not be suitable for those with caffeine sensitivity.

Overall, finding the right coffee for your stomach can involve a bit of trial and error. However, by switching to a lower acidity coffee, adjusting your brewing method, or incorporating other digestive aids and supplements, coffee lovers can continue to enjoy their favorite beverage without discomfort.

Potential Irritants in Coffee

While coffee itself is not harmful, certain additives or molds can trigger stomach discomfort. If you’re experiencing digestive issues after drinking coffee, it could be due to one of the following:

  • Sugar: Added sugars found in flavored syrups or creamers can increase the acidity of your coffee and cause stomach irritation.
  • Artificial Sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose may cause bloating or diarrhea.
  • Milk or Cream: While dairy can add flavor and creaminess, it contains lactose, a sugar that can be difficult to digest for some people.
  • Mold: Coffee beans can be susceptible to mold, which may cause allergic reactions or worsen symptoms for those with a sensitive stomach.

To avoid these irritants, try drinking your coffee black or with plant-based milk alternatives. Additionally, opt for organic coffee to reduce the risk of mold exposure.

While coffee itself can be a culprit of stomach discomfort, several lifestyle factors can exacerbate the problem. Stress, for example, can increase the production of stomach acid and cause inflammation in the digestive tract. So, if you’re already sensitive to coffee, consuming it in a stressful environment might make things worse.

Another factor is an empty stomach. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can increase acidity levels and irritate the lining of the stomach. To avoid this, try having a small snack before your morning cup of coffee.

Coffee and Medications

It’s also important to be aware of any medications you may be taking that can interact with coffee. Certain antibiotics, for example, can increase the effects of caffeine and cause stomach upset.

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to see if any of your medications can interact with coffee.

Finding the Right Coffee for Your Stomach

Choosing the right coffee can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding stomach upset. If you find that traditional coffee tends to bother your stomach, consider trying low acid coffee, which is less likely to cause irritation. Organic coffee is also a good option, as it is grown without the use of harmful chemicals that can contribute to digestive issues.

coffee upsetting stomach

When selecting coffee, pay close attention to any additives or flavorings that may be included. These can include artificial sweeteners, syrups, and dairy products, all of which have the potential to upset your stomach. Additionally, many coffee beans contain mold, which can be a potential irritant.

If you are unsure about which coffee to choose, consider speaking with a coffee expert or your healthcare provider for guidance.

Adjusting Coffee Preparation Methods

If you love coffee but suffer from stomach upset, it may be time to adjust your brewing method. Certain brewing methods, like espresso, French press, and drip coffee, can produce coffee with higher acidity levels, which can irritate the stomach. However, there are ways to enjoy your coffee without the discomfort.

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brew coffee has grown in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: it’s a tasty and stomach-friendly alternative to traditional hot brewed coffee. The brewing process involves steeping coffee grounds in cold water for several hours, resulting in a coffee concentrate that is significantly less acidic. Plus, you can drink it hot or cold!

Lower Temperature and Longer Brew Time

Another way to reduce the acidity of your coffee is to brew it at a lower temperature and for a longer time. This method allows for a smoother and less bitter taste, as well as a lower acidity level. Try experimenting with a French press or pour-over method, adjusting the temperature and steep time to find what works best for your taste buds and stomach.

Aside from caffeine and acidity, various lifestyle factors can contribute to coffee-related stomach upset. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors:

Coffee and Stress

Stress can exacerbate digestive problems, and coffee can increase stress levels. If you’re prone to stomach issues, try limiting your coffee intake during stressful situations or consider switching to low-caffeine alternatives like herbal tea.

Coffee on an Empty Stomach

Coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which can cause discomfort when consumed on an empty stomach. If you’re sensitive to coffee, try having it with breakfast or after a meal instead of first thing in the morning.

Coffee Additives

Additives like cream and sugar can contribute to stomach upset. If you’re experiencing discomfort after your morning coffee, try drinking it black or using non-dairy creamer and natural sweeteners like honey or stevia.

Coffee Molds

Coffee beans can be susceptible to molds and fungi, and some individuals may be sensitive to these. Try purchasing freshly roasted beans or organic coffee to limit your exposure to molds.

Stomach-Friendly Snacks

Pairing your coffee with a stomach-friendly snack can help alleviate discomfort. Some good options include bananas, oatmeal, or whole-grain toast with almond butter.

Incorporating Digestive Aids and Supplements

If you still experience stomach upset despite making modifications to your coffee and diet, incorporating digestive aids and supplements can help alleviate your discomfort. Here are some options to consider:

Option Description
Probiotics Adding probiotics to your diet can help improve gut health and aid digestion. Look for supplements containing the Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis strains.
Enzyme supplements Enzyme supplements such as lactase, which helps break down lactose in dairy products, can aid in digesting coffee and other trigger foods.
Apple cider vinegar Drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with water before meals can help improve digestion and reduce acid reflux symptoms.

It’s important to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements or making major dietary changes.

Additionally, incorporating stomach-friendly snacks such as bananas, oats, and ginger can also help improve digestion and alleviate stomach discomfort.

Dealing with stomach upset from coffee can be frustrating, but there are solutions available that can help alleviate the discomfort. By understanding the reasons behind coffee-related stomach upset, you can begin to make changes that can improve your overall digestive health and allow you to continue enjoying delicious coffee.

coffee upsetting stomach

Consider Low Acid or Organic Coffee

If you find that coffee acidity is causing your stomach upset, consider switching to low acid or organic coffee. These types of coffee are less likely to cause stomach irritation and can be a great option for those with sensitive stomachs.

Adjust Your Coffee Preparation Methods

The way you brew your coffee can also make a difference in how your stomach reacts to it. Cold brew coffee, for example, is less acidic than hot brewed coffee and may be easier on your stomach. Experiment with different brewing methods to find what works best for you.

Pair Coffee with Stomach-Friendly Snacks

If stomach upset after drinking coffee is a common issue for you, try pairing your coffee with stomach-friendly foods. Some good options include bananas, oatmeal, or toast with almond butter. Avoid pairing coffee with spicy or acidic foods, which can exacerbate the problem.

Consider Digestive Aids or Supplements

If you’re still experiencing stomach upset after making changes to your coffee routine, consider incorporating digestive aids or supplements. Probiotics can be particularly helpful in improving digestive health, while digestive enzymes can help break down food more effectively.

By implementing these tips and tricks, you can enjoy your daily cup of coffee without worrying about stomach upset. Remember, everyone’s digestive system is different, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you.


Q: Why does coffee upset my stomach?

A: There are several reasons why coffee may upset your stomach. It could be due to the acidity of the coffee, caffeine sensitivity, increased gastric acid production, potential irritants in coffee, or lifestyle factors such as stress or consuming coffee on an empty stomach.

Q: How does coffee affect digestion?

A: Coffee can have an impact on digestion. It stimulates the production of gastric acid, which can lead to stomach upset. The acidity of coffee can also cause discomfort for some individuals.

A: Yes, caffeine sensitivity can contribute to digestive issues. It may cause acid reflux or worsen existing conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Q: Does coffee increase gastric acid production?

A: Yes, coffee can increase gastric acid production in the stomach, which can lead to stomach upset or exacerbate conditions like stomach ulcers.

Q: Are there potential irritants in coffee that can upset the stomach?

A: Yes, coffee can contain potential irritants such as additives or molds that may cause stomach discomfort for some individuals.

A: Yes, lifestyle factors like stress or drinking coffee on an empty stomach can contribute to stomach upset when consuming coffee.

Q: Is there a type of coffee that is gentler on the stomach?

A: Yes, low acid coffee or organic coffee may be gentler on the stomach for individuals who experience coffee-related stomach upset.

Q: Are there different coffee preparation methods that can reduce stomach upset?

A: Yes, adjusting the coffee brewing method, such as opting for cold brew coffee or using a coarser grind, may help reduce stomach upset.

A: Yes, pairing coffee with stomach-friendly snacks or adjusting your diet to include foods that are easier to digest can help alleviate stomach upset caused by coffee.

Q: Can digestive aids or supplements be helpful in reducing stomach upset from coffee?

A: Yes, incorporating digestive aids or supplements like probiotics into your routine may provide relief from coffee-related stomach upset.

Q: How can I enjoy coffee without experiencing stomach discomfort?

A: By understanding the potential reasons behind coffee-related stomach upset and making adjustments such as choosing a stomach-friendly coffee, modifying preparation methods, considering dietary modifications, and incorporating digestive aids or supplements, you can enjoy coffee without discomfort.

Jillian Hunt is a talented writer who shares her passion for coffee on coffeegreenbay.com. Her blog is filled with insightful articles about the latest trends and innovations in the world of coffee, as well as tips on how to brew the perfect cup at home. So pour yourself a cup of joe and settle in for some great reads here!

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Coffee Green Bay is a blog that covers various topics related to coffee, including coffee shops, brewing methods, specialty coffee, and origins. The blog aims to provide unbiased reviews and recommendations based solely on the author’s experience with different coffees and brewing methods.