You’ve just enjoyed your delicious daily cup of coffee, but now you have to deal with the discomfort of an upset stomach or heartburn. It may be enough for you to stop drinking coffee altogether. Before you do that, here’s more information about why coffee gives you heartburn and some ways to avoid that heartburn.
I cherish my daily cup of coffee, don’t you? But, I was having such a hard time with stomach distress while I was drinking that I almost gave up coffee for good. Luckily, I found something different that is not only delicious, but it will also help you avoid coffee heartburn. It’s important to understand why coffee may be causing your heartburn.
Read to the end to discover some great alternatives.
Caffeine is a major cause of heartburn because it causes the stomach to produce large amounts of stomach acid, much more than the body requires to aid digestion. This excess acid leaks into the lower esophageal sphincter causing that irritation and burning sensation.
According to a recent study, heartburn is the most frequently reported symptom after coffee drinking.
It is demonstrated that coffee promotes gastro-oesophageal reflux. Coffee stimulates gastrin release and gastric acid secretion, but studies on the effect on lower oesophageal sphincter pressure yield conflicting results. Coffee also prolongs the adaptive relaxation of the proximal stomach, suggesting that it might slow gastric emptying. However, other studies indicate that coffee does not affect gastric emptying or small bowel transit.
So, do you need to quit drinking coffee or switch to something a little easier to swallow?
Here’s how to Avoid Coffee Heartburn
- Switch to a lower acid coffee
- Dark coffee is easier on your stomach
- Try coffee with less caffeine, like Nitro Brew
- Consider what you are eating with your coffee and maybe add more fruits and veggies to your diet.
- Try Smart Coffee, it’s gentler than regular coffee and has so many extra benefits.
Coffee can trigger heartburn, and unless you are a heartburn sufferer there’s no way you can understand the pain and discomfort. It’s possible to avoid coffee heartburn without having to give up your daily cup of happiness.
Does the acid in your coffee cause heartburn? Should you switch to a low acid coffee or quit altogether? Ugh, it’s so frustrating when your delicious cup of happiness turns against you. It happened to me and I thought I had to stop drinking coffee, at first.
In a world where coffee has become part of our culture, and everybody seems to be constantly drinking the brew, it can be hard to remove it completely from your diet. The tempting aroma from the office coffee machine can be enough to convince us that one cup won’t do any harm.
Cause of Heartburn
Heartburn itself is caused largely by stomach acid finding its way back up into the esophagus. This causes irritation of the esophagus lining causing the well-known burning sensation, often accompanied by an acidic taste in the mouth.
There have been so many studies over the last twenty-five years about the effects of coffee that many people are confused about the real results.
For a few decades, we were told that coffee drinking was unhealthy, and now more recent studies tell us that it is not true. Over 400 million cups of coffee are consumed per day in the world, so of course, this is an important issue.
Health Benefits of Coffee
But moderate levels of coffee drinking may actually be good for us. We know that it helps keep us alert. It has been discovered that wine contains certain antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and some cancers by removing free radicals from the blood system.
The same may be true of coffee. Studies have shown that the concentration of antioxidants in coffee is greater than in cranberries, apples or tomatoes. Of course, those other fruits and vegetables also give us many other benefits such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Chinese studies have shown that coffee consumption reduces the effects of Parkinson’s disease. To add to the confusion, recent students have shown that it may not be true.
Some studies in both America and Scandanavia indicate that coffee may reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes. And there is growing evidence that coffee can reduce the incidence of kidney stones and gallstones.
Benefits have been noted in the digestive system, since caffeine stimulates the production of stomach acid, aiding indigestion. In moderation, the consumption of coffee has been shown to reduce the constriction of the airways in asthma sufferers. A bronchodilator called theophylline contained in coffee helps this effect.
Coffee’s Negative Side Effects
But, of course, there are always negatives. Excess coffee consumption has been linked with infertility or reduced fertility. Higher blood levels of homocysteine and LDL cholesterol have been associated with coffee drinking; these are both factors in coronary heart disease.
Since coffee contains cafestol, which raises blood cholesterol, this is one of the main reasons it has been indicted in the heart disease debate. However, the European method of making coffee, which is to boil the ground beans, is the real culprit in cafestol; the American method of percolating or filtering coffee removes it.
Another issue that has been raised regarding coffee drinking is that coffee contributes to loss of bone density among women. In addition, women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day are prone to incontinence.
The bottom line? As always, moderation. The many benefits of drinking coffee are available, and the risks avoided if coffee is drunk moderately. Get a one cup coffee maker and enjoy one good cup a day, or splurge on your cappuccino instead of endless cups from the coffee vending machine.
Why Does Coffee Cause Stomach Issues?
If you are a regular coffee drinker, you already know that coffee acts as a diuretic. But for many, it acts as a laxative.
What is in coffee that is causing your heartburn? In a study that compared the relationship of acidity and osmolality (a measure of the number of dissolved particles in a fluid) to popular beverages, coffee was one of the biggest offenders.
According to a study by Gastroenterology:
Coffee has a pH > 5, has virtually no titratable acid, and is a potent stimulant of gastric acid secretion. However, coffee is no more potent in stimulating gastric acid secretion than milk or soft drinks, whereas coffee produces more reported heartburn. Because coffee actually increases LES pressure, 1~ the pathogenesis of coffee-induced heartburn is uncertain.
Coffee extracts may contain a substance that irritates the esophagus. When coffee is infused directly into the esophagus of subjects with chest pain and positive acid-perfusion (Bernstein) tests, coffee reproduces heartburn symptoms in virtually all subjects, even when the coffee is pre-adjusted to pH 7.0 before esophageal infusion.
Although we did not distinguish on our survey regular coffee from decaffeinated coffee, the caffeine content of coffee has no effect on gastric acid secretion or LES pressure.
Another study discovered that many complaints of heartburn were caused by the products added after brewing as well as diet and smoking habits of the individuals with heartburn.
Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by coffee due to the way it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This small muscle should remain tightly closed once you’ve eaten to prevent the contents of your stomach from coming back into the esophagus and burning its delicate lining with hydrochloric acid.
Contrary to what you may think, it’s not the amount of caffeine in your coffee. According to Health Ambition:
Caffeine is known to relax the esophageal sphincter so Coke and high caffeine ‘energy drinks’ can also contribute to heartburn, but coffee is particularly problematic for this.
Even decaf regularly causes heartburn problems for some people and researchers to think other compounds in coffee can also contribute to acid reflux problems.
Most of us need our regular cup of coffee to make it through the morning. But, if it’s causing you to have coffee heartburn, it may not seem like it’s worth it. The great news is that you can try these different options and feel better. Plus, if you give smart coffee a try, you’ll have so many additional benefits.