Can coffee cause diarrhea on an empty stomach? (+5 ways to prevent it)

In this article, we will answer if coffee causes diarrhea on an empty stomach or not, and what other health risks it may cause along with its prevention.

Can coffee cause diarrhea on an empty stomach?

Yes, coffee may cause diarrhea on an empty stomach in some people. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases the acid production in the stomach which may lead to the loose stool in some people. Other digestive issues associated with coffee on an empty stomach include cramps, stomach aches, and bloating.

Digestive problems

The astringency of coffee causes the stomach to release acids to help neutralize the effect. When you drink coffee on an empty stomach, the released stomach can damage the inner lining of the stomach along with symptoms of stomach unease like heartburn, indigestion, ulcer, and diarrhea. 

These effects are more pronounced in people with Gastrointestinal issues like Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS) and Irritable Bowel Disease(IBD). Drinking coffee on an empty stomach might not be pleasant for some people, however, it does not cause any problem for others.

Raised stress hormone levels

Kidneys produce a stress hormone, cortisol, to maintain metabolism and control blood sugar and blood pressure. Drinking coffee on empty stomach triggers the production of cortisol in excessive amounts. This spike in cortisol over a long period of time might result in chronic health-related problems including osteoporosis, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.


Drinking excessive coffee over a long period of time leads to malnutrition because coffee has been found to stimulate ‘Gastric emptying’ or ‘Gut motility’. This makes the food move faster through the gut not giving it enough time to reap all the nutrients from food.


Coffee has an antagonistic effect on the Anti-diuretic hormone(ADH). While the ADH works to increase the water reabsorption by the kidneys, coffee does the opposite and reduces the water uptake by the kidneys resulting in an increase in the urine volume. This can lead to dehydration.

Decreased appetite

The phenolic acids called the chlorogenic acids present in coffee to reduce hunger and food cravings. While this may sound beneficial for weight loss but drinking too much coffee might stop you from having a balanced meal.

Other health risks

The psychoactive compound, caffeine, present in considerable amounts in coffee stimulates the production of dopamine. Due to this, coffee can be addictive.

Coffee enhances wakefulness, therefore, disturbs the sleep cycle if taken before bed.

Drinking uncontrolled amounts of coffee over a long period of time leads to anxiety, migraines, hypertension, and aggravated panic attacks in some people.

Other FAQs about Coffee which you may be interested in.

Does cappuccino have coffee in it?

Preventing stomach unease from coffee on an empty stomach

  • If coffee makes you have acid reflux then try using coffee with low acidity levels. Besides this, cold brewing your coffee also cuts down the acidity levels.
  • Drink decaffeinated coffee to avoid the unpleasant effects of caffeine.
  • Eat a banana after taking coffee. Banana has an alkaline ph and helps neutralize the stomach acidity that results from drinking coffee.
  • Avoid drinking coffee on empty stomach. Experiment taking different things in breakfast with your coffee and see how it works out for you.
  • Drink coffee in moderation. According to the FDA, drinking 4-5 cups of coffee having a caffeine level of about 400mg will not have negative health effects.

Does coffee provide any health benefits?

The ultimate energy booster

Caffeine present in coffee makes you more alert, uplifts your mood by enhancing dopamine production, and helps better cognitive functions.

Burns calories

Coffee helps reduce weight. Studies have shown that coffee increases the metabolic rate by 3-11%.

Improves exercise performance

Coffee increases the adrenaline production that helps you focus and stay active during exercise. It also reduces post-workout muscle discomfort.

Full of vitamins and minerals

Only a cup of coffee provides 11% of RDI of Vitamin B2, 6% of the RDI of vitamin B5, and also provides a fair amount of minerals like magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

Fights diseases

People who drink coffee are at lower risk of getting diabetes type 2, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. Coffee has been found to possess anti-cancerous properties.

The ultimate feel-good beverage

Coffee is the ultimate mood lifter. It stimulates the release of the feel-good hormone, making you feel happy and satisfied, thereby, decreasing the chances of depression.

Rich source of anti-oxidants

Coffee is a rich source of anti-oxidants. Coffee contains an average of 200-550mg of antioxidants per cup. Anti-oxidants like hydrocinnamic acid and polyphenols present in coffee are the body’s defense against oxidative stress. They promote cardiovascular health.


In this article, we answered if coffee causes diarrhea on an empty stomach or not, and what other health risks it may cause along with its prevention.