Coffee Effects on Stomach: How to Make Your Cup O’ Joe Gut-Friendly for IBS

If you are a coffee lover, chances are that you will never want to part with your morning cuppa of joe. But while coffee has many legitimate benefits, it can mess with your gut if you have a delicate stomach. Coffee can aggravate acid reflux and heartburn and soon, you may find yourself in a love-hate relationship with this morning brew. So if you suffer from digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome, try making these little tweaks in your coffee to avoid those side effects like flare-ups and cramping.

Switch To Decaffeinated Coffee

Coffee contains several ingredients that may irritate your gut and caffeine is definitely one of them as it increases the production of stomach acid. Try decaffeinated coffee and see if you can tolerate it. If decaf coffee sounds unappealing, you may want to try a blend of decaf and regular coffee. Just don’t go overboard with decaf coffee as it still contains caffeine and can irritate your gut. People addicted to coffee are more sensitive to odour. 

Try Cold-Brewing

Cold-brewed coffee can be less acidic than regular hot-brewed coffee making coffee easier to tolerate. But don’t get confused, cold-brewed coffee does not mean that you must drink your coffee cold. You can, in fact, reheat cold-brewed coffee in a kettle or a microwave. To prepare cold-brewed coffee, mix coarsely ground coffee beans with cold water. Let it steep in the fridge for two hours and shake the mixture occasionally to ensure that it combines well. When done with steeping, filter the coffee with a fine sieve. Cold-brewed coffee will be concentrated so you may want to just add some water or milk to it. Hot coffee has higher levels of antioxidants than cold coffee. 

Roast Your Beans

Coffee beans contain a lot of acids, so it can be a good idea to look for beans that are labelled ‘low acid’. Surprisingly enough, the longer the beans are roasted, the less acidic they are. Roasting coffee releases a compound NMP which blocks the production of hydrochloric acid from stomach cells. So, roasted coffee can be a better choice when you have acidity or heartburn. Did you know you can also change the pH of your coffee by brewing it with alkaline water?

Give Sugar a Miss

It is no secret that sugar feeds the bad bacteria in the gut. So, avoid using any artificial sweeteners in your coffee. Sucralose, an artificial sweetener, disrupts the natural pH balance in the intestine, potentially contributing to yeast overgrowth. So start training yourself to enjoy your coffee without sugar. If this seems too much of a task, slowly cut down on sugar eventually write it off. And if you often buy sweetened coffee drinks, make a conscious decision to cut back.

Use Dairy Alternatives

Sometimes it is the milk that causes all the irritation, so if you are lactose-intolerant switch to plant-based or nut-based dairy alternatives. Just make sure that the alternatives you choose are free of sweeteners.