Coffee and Bloat
Many people globally love a nice cup in the morning to get a boost for their day’s activities. But, the question is, does coffee cause bloating? Is that delicious cup of coffee behind the bloat you’ve had every morning?
You may not like this, but yes, coffee causes bloating! It does not affect everyone, and it is temporary. But, for some people, coffee, particularly caffeine, stimulates their gut, leading to spasms that cause bloating.
Does Coffee Cause Bloating?
Drinking coffee has several health benefits, like reducing the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary heart disease. Health experts have also confirmed that caffeine can boost cognitive performance and help with weight loss.
Despite the benefits of drinking coffee, it also causes some undesired side effects for some people. For example, if you usually feel bloated, coffee could be the leading cause.
Coffee is an acidic beverage that improves digestion by encouraging your gut to produce hydrochloric acid. It also diversifies your gut bacteria boosting your general health.
Besides that, coffee causes bloating in some people. Researchers discovered that there is a small number of people that are sensitive to caffeine who experience GI distress.
Therefore, if you are sure that drinking coffee causes your stomach to bloat, you could be sensitive to caffeine. On the other hand, if you normally take your coffee with cream or milk, that can also cause a bloated stomach.
You may be lactose-sensitive or lactose-intolerant. The same is true for artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sorbitol. These artificial sweeteners can cause bloating because your body is slow to digest them.
Why Does Coffee Cause Bloating?
Several reasons could explain why coffee causes bloating. But, here are four notable reasons why coffee causes bloating:
Coffee is Acidic and a Natural Diuretic
Because coffee is acidic, it boosts your digestion by boosting the production of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. It also diversifies the bacteria in your gut and flushes extra water from your body. This boosts your general health and reduces bloating and water weight.
One cup of coffee will not cause bloating. However, the acidity might not suit you if you have a sensitive stomach. Coffee can irritate your digestive tract, causing irritation – specifically, bloating.
Coffee can Over-Stimulate Your Digestive Tract
An over-stimulated digestive tract can cause bloating in a small number of people sensitive to caffeine. You might experience more bloating when you drink coffee if you have digestive issues.
Does coffee bloat you? If it does, you may also experience constipation. But, this does not happen to everyone who drinks coffee regularly, as it stimulates bowel movements.
Coffee and Additives are Troublesome
As mentioned earlier, additives like cream, milk (especially cow milk), sugar, and artificial sweeteners can cause bloating if you use them in your coffee. Studies have shown that nearly 65% of people globally are lactose intolerant.
This intolerance is a leading cause of bloating. Also, the sweeteners your body finds hard to digest can cause bloating. Fortunately, bloating is temporary and if you’re in doubt, drink black coffee.
Coffee and Cortisol Production
When you drink coffee, your body produces the hormone cortisol. It is the same chemical your body produces whenever you’re stressed or terrified. Unfortunately, your body cannot differentiate between danger and caffeine; your stress response is the same.
This increases your blood sugar levels. Your body then turns these sugars into fat and stores them around your middle, which contributes significantly to bloating.
It is also best to enjoy your coffee in moderation. Consider taking 0.014 ounces (400 milligrams) of coffee per day. This translates to around 4 to 5 cups of coffee daily. However, if even this amount causes some bloating and stomach upset, you may have to cut back on your coffee even further.
For example, consider taking a cup or two a day as you monitor your bloating and other signs. As the adage goes – too much of something becomes harmful.
Dehydration can lead to fluid retention, resulting in bloating and water weight. Caffeine usually increases the amount of urine your body produces and the trips to the bathroom.
Coffee might not have the same dehydrating effects as alcohol. But, it can cause some dehydration if you don’t take water regularly.
Does Coffee Cause Gas?
Can coffee give you gas? This may sound surprising, but coffee can cause gas. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach reduces the hydrochloric acid, causing your stomach to have challenges breaking down protein.
The undigested protein eats gut bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide. Consequently, you end up with a gassy stomach.
Milk and dairy products usually cause gas. Therefore, if you normally drink white coffee, milk may cause gas issues. So, you can reduce coffee gas by taking black coffee.
Is Coffee Bad for Your Stomach?
Regrettably, bloating is not the only stomach issue that coffee can cause. For many people, it also causes acid reflux, which we popularly call heartburn. If you’ve ever experienced heartburn, you know it is one of the most annoying feelings in the world.
Why does this happen? Because coffee relaxes your lower esophageal sphincter, a muscular ring opens and closes to allow food into your stomach. Consequently, the acid in your stomach starts making its way to the esophagus.
Frequent heartburns are not just irritating; they can also lead to stomach ulcers. Additionally, coffee can exacerbate irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and other bowel disorders like Crohn’s disease. This is because it activates your immune response and enhances inflammation in the body.
Besides that, most coffee creamers and beverages contain carrageenan. This additive is a red seaweed extract that people have been using in cooking for ages. But, according to studies, carrageenan can cause intestinal inflammation.
It also causes complications with inflammatory bowel diseases like Ulcerative Colitis. Therefore, to be safe, avoid coffee products containing this additive.
How Long Does Coffee Bloat Last?
There is no exact figure of how long coffee bloats last. However, coffee-related bloating usually lasts a few hours. Therefore, it shouldn’t worry you much.
You can also get rid of the coffee bloat by drinking plenty of water between your cups of coffee. Water keeps your body hydrated and prevents your body from retaining too much water, which causes bloating.
You should also try bananas, avocadoes, and yams to provide the much-needed potassium. Additionally, eat plenty of vegetables rich in fiber that improve your digestion.
If you experience a coffee upset stomach, it will help reduce your coffee intake. Additionally, you can seek medical help suppose you experience other symptoms such as frequent heartburn.
How to Prevent Gas and Bloat From Coffee
So, how do you prevent gas from coffee? You can avoid coffee gas by watching your coffee habits. This will allow you to enjoy the benefits of coffee and prevent the side effects that come with poor habits. Here are some tips on how to avoid gas and bloat from coffee:
Moderate Your Coffee Intake
Suppose you used to take over five cups of coffee daily; it is time to cut down on your consumption. It is prudent to take a cup or two daily and know the effects of caffeine and cortisol on your body.
A little coffee is good for your health. But, ensure you don’t take it on an empty stomach as that inspires irritation that leads to bloating.
Get Rid of the Creamer
Creamer can cause bloating. Try taking your coffee without creamer and note how your body reacts. Suppose you make your own creamer; you’ll know the ingredients you are consuming.
Change Your Coffee Additives
It is not a walk in the park to cut back on baked goods such as candy bars and ice cream. But, changing your coffee additives can make a significant difference in reducing bloating. So, reduce or eliminate the additives to keep enjoying your coffee.
Caffeine boosts your mood, but excess caffeine triggers your body’s stress response. Stress triggers stomach bloat. Therefore, it is sensible to find ways to manage your stress if you keep drinking your coffee.
In short, it would help if you learned to relax. Relaxation and meditation will help reset your body’s stress cycle. Consequently, your body’s cortisol levels will go down to normal. In turn, this prevents bloating and fat storage.
Drink Water Between Your Coffee
Let’s face it; it is not easy to cut out coffee completely. Therefore, sip water between coffees to slow bloating and hydrate your body. If you are the forgetful type, use your smartphone to set a water-drinking reminder.
Go for a Walk
Get moving! Walk your dog, perform your favorite yoga moves or clean that stationary bike. Some exercise and movement are an excellent way to relieve belly bloat and boost digestion.
Yes, slow down! Don’t guzzle your coffee; sip it. It is best to give your body time to digest whatever you consume. This change in habit could save you from coffee stomach pain.
Have You Tried Supplements?
A regular digestive enzyme is helpful if you understand your body’s triggers, such as coffee and dairy. Some supplements keep the gas at bay after eating fibrous foods like cabbage and cauliflower. On the other hand, others give you a magnesium boost.
Go for Low – Acid Coffee
There are low-acid coffee alternatives on the market. This is an excellent option if you want a gentler way to start your morning. You’ll find this coffee in different flavors, giving you the caffeine boost you need without upsetting your stomach.
Avoid Chewing Gum and Carbonated Drinks
Gum increases the amount of air you intake, contributing significantly to belly bloat. Also, avoid carbonated drinks such as sparkling water as they increase bloating side effects.
Additionally, avoid processed foods because they contain a lot of sugar, artificial sweeteners, and salt. As you eat, ensure you chew slowly to give the enzymes in your stomach enough time to digest the food. Finally, it would help to avoid alcohol as it also contains a lot of sugar and carbs that can worsen bloating.
That’s a Wrap!
Do you love drinking coffee? But does it continually cause stomach upsets? Cheer up! It is not the end of the world! Bloating and other gut issues coffee causes are just temporary.
After reading this piece, you’ve picked several tips on calming your bloated stomach and getting rid of any pain. Follow the suggestions shared here, and you’ll be feeling better sooner than you expected.
This will allow you to keep enjoying your coffee and its benefits while avoiding any side effects. Remember, everyone reacts differently to coffee intake. Therefore, ensure you know how your body reacts to coffee.
After that, devise a personalized plan of how to enjoy your coffee. Trust me; your belly will be grateful for that!