Table of Contents
Wondering why you get gassy after drinking coffee? There are a couple of reasons for this. The major culprit behind your bloated stomach is that coffee stimulates gastric secretions and encourages a LOT of colon movement. In fact, the bowel movement experienced after drinking one cup of coffee is equivalent to that which you experience after eating a 1,000-calorie meal! Also, the beverage may possibly aggravate acid reflux in your digestive system. And acid reflux can cause gas. BIG TIME.
Most coffees are slightly acidic in nature. In the coffee world, coffee being acidic is actually a desirable quality. This is because coffee acidity is discussed with regards to flavor. Besides, if we’re to look at the acidic content in coffee it’s very low. In fact, its acid content is similar to that which is found in watermelon or tomatoes. It’s certainly not as high when compared to alcoholic beverages or soft drinks. It’s usually a 5 on the pH scale which is generally considered to be pretty safe.
But here’s the bottom line; coffee DOES contain a bit of acid. Some are good and some bad. While other acids are eliminated during the roasting process, some remain. And even the smallest amount of acid content is enough to cause you some discomfort.
So do you stop having coffee entirely if you experience an upset tummy? Not necessarily. Quite frankly it’s not that simple because many people love their coffee. The delicious aroma is hard to resist plus it offers a world of physical and mental health benefits; from optimizing your metabolism to boosting your short term memory.
Today I’ll further expand on the reasons why your favorite beverage might very well be the reason behind your grief. I’ll also give you tips on how to better enjoy this delicious drink. There may be absolutely no need to ditch it just yet!
Given the minute acid content found in coffee, why then should it cause bloating or abdominal discomfort? There can only be one logical explanation for this; you have an extremely sensitive stomach. Even the smallest amount of acid content is enough to cause bloating.
My advice? You have three options which are as follows.
And yes such coffees exist. By stomach-friendly I mean coffee which has a lower acid content. This calls for a lot of research and careful examination of coffee packaging to establish this fact. Generally, coffee with a lower acid content is made up of coffee beans that rank lower on the acidity scale, you’ll find that coffees that are grown at low altitude conditions tend to have a lower acidic content. So, do your research. We have done some for you, so you may want to check out these low acid coffee K Cups.
Not in the mood for conducting a mini-research on coffees with low acid content? Your next best option is to change your brewing method. Try using cold water instead of hot to brew your beverage. Sure, it’ll taste a little different but cold brewing significantly reduces the acid content of the final coffee by as much as 66%! If you want to know more our guide on cold brew coffee may be worth a read.
Your third and final option is a lot more drastic. If the bloating causes you serious discomfort that you’re unable to function effectively, you may very well have to completely cut out foods with any form of acidic content. And that includes coffee.
I mentioned how the acidic levels in coffee are pretty minute and equated to the content found in foods such as watermelon. So here’s a tip: If you eat watermelon, tomatoes, or other foods with low acid content and your stomach doesn’t act up, then chances are the acid in the coffee isn’t the problem. But the caffeine might be.
It could be that your stomach is extremely sensitive to caffeine. Despite the multiple benefits it offers, caffeine in its molecular state is a known stomach irritant. Caffeine makes your digestive system work much faster than normal because it’ll be trying to rid itself of the substance.
As such, caffeine may also increase stomach acid production in the process to levels that surpass your comfort. That’s why you may experience bloating or general discomfort as a result.
If caffeine is your number one enemy, you also have three options you may try out to combat the issue.
Obviously, your first option is to seriously consider decaf options. Which by the way are available in countless brands. Some decaf coffees taste just as good as their caffeinated counterparts, if not better. Most people can confirm this. This is especially true if you pick specialty decaf coffee brands.
You are likely to find the perfect match after considerable trial and error. But best believe that you WILL.
Is your bloating not all THAT bad so much that opting for decaf isn’t an option? Maybe revising the number of cups of coffee you consume on a daily basis is the solution to your problem. If you’ve been having an average of three to five cups of coffee daily, cut down to one or two. Trust me when I say, you’ll notice some major improvements.
Why the improvements? Less coffee in your system means less caffeine. It’s that simple. Have look at this video on the effects of drinking too much coffee.
If you can’t cut down on the amount of coffee you drink daily, try adding a banana to your diet. Bananas are alkaline in nature. It follows that eating them will cancel out or neutralize the acidic content found in coffee. It’s a long shot but it’s certainly worth a try. Besides, bananas generally contain a number of substances that offer soothing properties to your stomach.
In some cases, acids, and caffeine aren’t the issue, but your coffee drinking habits might be. Some people tend to drink this beverage before eating and that could be the problem.
Coffee isn’t your regular drink. On the contrary, it’s a pretty intense beverage. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given how rich and bold it usually is, not to mention its complex chemical make-up. Now, drinking such an intense drink on an empty stomach is inviting problems for yourself. Why? The acids and caffeine molecules found in coffee have literally zero food to work on. The end result? An upset stomach, great discomfort, and possible bloating.
The solution to this problem is pretty straightforward: eat something before drinking your cup of coffee!
Most people love to have their coffee black because they want to experience this delicious flavor in all its glory. But consuming black coffee may very well be the reason behind your upset stomach because it’s more acidic and can irritate your stomach lining or even cause some swelling.
It’s believed that black coffee tends to overexcite your digestive tract. This, in turn, causes mini spasms in your bowl resulting in bloating. and gassing. Sure, both conditions are temporary but still nonetheless uncomfortable. Besides, you’ll have to deal with a distended stomach for that moment. This is something you won’t appreciate if you’re working towards a six-pack!
Adding milk to your coffee might be the solution, provided that it’s dairy-free. Because daily milk on its own may cause bloating. So does creamer by the way.
Some people love their coffee sweet. While this isn’t entirely a bad thing, it could be the reason behind your bloating. As mentioned earlier, sugar causes belly fat which in turn causes bloating. So, you might want to go easy on the sugar.
Another reason why you might feel gassy after having a cup of coffee is that your body simply can’t handle the science of how coffee works. Know this; each time you drink coffee, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This is the same hormone produced when you’re either stressed or scared.
The human body is a marvel but it can’t tell if you’re in danger or simply in need of a caffeine fix. It responds the same. When you’re stressed, your blood sugar levels increase. Excess sugar is turned into fat. Excess fat is in turn stored around your mid-section and bloating is triggered.
And there you have it; all the possible reasons why coffee causes bloating. Many people love the drink but everything in moderation is always a wise move.
Aside from the points mentioned, here, you can also try relaxing while having your drink. Take deep breaths in between your sips to minimize the stress cycle. Also, drink lots of water in between your coffee. Try this and observe if you don’t notice a remarkable improvement.
Just remember that if you feel bloated before taking any action it is always good to consult your doctor and get their opinion.