Most people tend to neglect the side effects of coffee and focus only on the energy-boosting benefits this drink gives them.
Coffee is a staple for giving us the jumpstart we need for our busy mornings, stressful office jobs and poor health. No, you didn’t read that wrong because numerous studies have confirmed that coffee is full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, fats, carbs and so on – in small amounts, of course. But what about its side effects?
Ladies and gentlemen of the coffee-loving community, what we are about to share with you are cold-hard facts that may shock and scar you for the remainder of the time.
So if you don’t wish to continue at this point, you’re more than welcomed to leave. But if you value your gut’s health, then it is for your own good that we advise you out to read on and learn more about the side effects coffee has.
Coffee is highly acidic and because of this, your gut may be a victim of a number of side effects, such as the ones described below:
1. Acid Reflux
Now’s get the acidity part of coffee out of the way first. If you go above your standard daily dose of coffee, you may acid reflux or heartburn. That’s because coffee contains different kinds of oils, acids, and compounds that seek to do harm to your stomach and intestines by irritating their linings.
By drinking too much coffee, your stomach produces an abundance of hydrochloric acid (HCI). The effects of HCI are more severe if or when you drink coffee on an empty stomach. This makes it much worse for those who take their cup first in the morning, especially if they have sensitive stomach problems.
2. Heartburn, Stomach Pain & Indigestion
Coffee relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which causes stomach pain and heartburn (acid reflux). This is an important muscle because it keeps your sensitive esophagus separate from your stomach, especially when it’s high on HCI.
The muscle is what prevents gastric secretions from being pushed up into the esophagus, thereby, causing acid reflux, otherwise known as indigestion or upset stomach.
3. Bad Gas
If there is a shortage of hydrochloric acid for digestion, it can cause serious problems in your stomach such as breaking down food and acquiring essential proteins. And if you’re an avid coffee drinker, then it would be very disconcerting for others around you as it causes bad gas.
This is due to the undigested protein that is fuel for intestinal bacteria, which then creates hydrogen sulfide producing a pungent smell that resembles rotten eggs.
If you eat a meal and drink coffee along with it, it can cause the contents within your stomach to go into your small intestine before the gastric processes are done, eventually leading to intestinal cramps and bloating.
4. Laxative Effects
If you feel like you’ve eaten too much but haven’t had proper digestion, then coffee can help you out with that by stimulating the process of peristalsis. In fact, the laxative effect after drinking coffee is so strong, that the effects can kick in at about four minutes.
The only problem with this is that coffee also appears to enhance gastric emptying in our stomach, even before our food has been properly broken down. As a result, the acidic stomach contents are dumped into the small intestine very early, which then causes injury and inflammation in the place that is supposed to absorb all the nutrients to keep us alive and healthy.
It’s even worse for sensitive people because drinking coffee can cause diarrhea if the gastric emptying process occurs at the wrong time. Drinking milk with coffee will further aggravate the risk of diarrhea as it is digestive irritant lactose.
5. Diuretic Effects
Caffeine produces strong diuretic effects in the human body. In other words, it accelerates your need to pee more often. Though it might be a good thing if that was the only thing, it also leads to a loss of minerals and other nutrients, as well as dehydration.
What’s even weird is that in an ironic twist of fate, dehydration may lead to weight gain. This is rather unusual because normally when we’re dehydrated, we often drink water for replenishment, but drinking coffee actually tricks our brain into thinking we’re hungry.
6. IBS and Ulcers
Most doctors advise against drinking coffee because it serves as an irritant for those who suffer from gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcers.
Coffee is also described as an intestinal irritant for anyone with gastrointestinal problems. This is not necessarily because of the caffeine, but rather because of certain enzymes in the coffee beans. That’s why switching over to decaf works for those suffering from ulcers and IBS, but just barely.
7. Affects Mineral Absorption
Consuming coffee also hinders our kidney’s ability to retain important minerals including calcium, magnesium, and zinc among others.
Also, if we drink coffee at the same time as when we eat a meal rich in iron, our stomach’s iron-absorption abilities can also be hindered. All of these minerals are vital for the digestion process at some point.
Does all this mean that you should stop drinking coffee?
No, we are not saying that with the above side effects of coffee, you should stop drinking it once and for all. However, you should always make sure you drink coffee in moderation. Remember, moderation is the key to good health.