If you suffer from an irritable, sensitive stomach, sadly coffee can cause you problems, (although this differs from person to person). However, coffee lovers don’t panic! All is not lost, you can still enjoy a cup of your favourite brew, with clever management and an understanding of what to avoid. We took a deep dive into coffee for those with sensitivities, and discovered there are many ways to continue enjoying your daily coffee ritual without having to suffer.
Your regular cup of coffee can cause stomach upset as coffee causes an increase in stomach acid and activates your bowels. As you know, caffeine is a stimulant, and it revs up your digestive system. It’s a natural laxative, forcing your digestive system to work really hard and fast. A sensation we’ve all felt!
Does super strong coffee upset your stomach in particular?
Most studies show that caffeine isn’t an issue when considering coffee’s effects on the stomach, so you can sup your GymBrew at leisure and enjoy the boost of caffeine to your day. It’s thought that the bioactive compounds found in coffee that increase or decrease digestive juices in the stomach may interact with each other no matter how much caffeine is in the coffee. So if you suffer, it is not down to the strength or caffeine content, but how you consume it.
How to tailor your coffee to any sensitivities:
Don’t drink your coffee on an empty stomach
Whilst it may be tempting to skip the odd breakfast from time to time, we highly recommend that you don’t. If you are in a hurry, bananas are alkaline and can cancel out some of the coffee’s acids, porridge or eggs also help with this. The goal is to spread the caffeine out among other foods so that you’re not digesting it all within a few minutes, causing a strain on your stomach.
Opt for a less acidic brew
Roasting coffee beans produces coffee that’s lower in acidity, a darker roast often has a rich nutty, chocolatey taste. Some people might enjoy the taste of coffee with a lower acid content, as it tends to be smoother and milder than coffee with a higher acidity. Look for the flavour and roast notes on your beans. A key note to remember is to always start with freshly roasted, specialty-grade coffee beans.
Choose dark roasted beans
Dark roast varieties that may be the coffee that's easiest on the stomach. For those looking for a coffee easier on the stomach, a dark roast, which may have fewer of the compounds that increase stomach acid and more of the chemicals that decrease stomach acid, is going to offer the greatest chance of a coffee that doesn’t cause symptoms.
Try cold brewing
If you have never tried cold brewing before, give it a go. It tastes smoother, sweeter, and more aromatic. Not everyone likes that it doesn’t have the same acidic bite or bitter caffeine notes, but it’s absolutely worth trying.
Adding milk to coffee may also help it to become more stomach-friendly, at least for those who are able to have milk. This is because the proteins bind to the coffee allowing for it to be digested easily.