Can I drink coffee after a meal?

In this text we will answer the question: “Can I drink coffee after a meal?”. In addition, we will discuss whether drinking coffee after lunch is bad for your health, what are the benefits of drinking coffee and what is the best time to have coffee.

Can I drink coffee after a meal?

No, you can not drink coffee immediately after a meal. Ideally, it should be consumed up to two hours before main meals and with an interval of 40 minutes after eating. It is not necessary to cut coffee from the diet. The correct thing is to drink coffee at strategic times, when you will not eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C, such as at lunch and dinner.

One option to keep the break after meals is to adopt green or black tea. Both are stimulant drinks that contain a lower concentration of caffeine and therefore can be consumed approximately 15 to 30 minutes after lunch or dinner.

Do I have to stop having coffee after lunch forever?

You have stopped having coffee after lunch forever. However, if the person has a good diet throughout the day, with lots of vegetables and fruits and nutritionally complete, it will not be a cup of coffee that will compromise health.

But in the case of those who follow a strict vegan or vegetarian diet (without any meat, egg or dairy products), this information needs to be taken more seriously, as the consumption of plant iron and calcium can suffer considerable interference. 

In this case, the ideal would be to eat only two hours after consuming coffee and not drink it immediately after the meal.

Is coffee after lunch bad for your health?

Yes, coffee after lunch is bad for your health. When taken after a meal, it can affect the body in different ways – all of which are bad for the functioning of the body.

In addition, caffeine can interfere with the absorption of calcium, a very important mineral for bone health. But the good news is this: if you consume adequate amounts of calcium daily, coffee after lunch won’t bother you that much!

Drinking coffee after meals can also interfere with the absorption of iron, a nutrient that works in the synthesis of red blood cells and in the transport of oxygen to the cells. 

A cup of coffee can reduce iron absorption by up to 40%, but, as with calcium, if you are a healthy person, the drink will not interfere with your health that much. 

Those who should avoid drinking coffee after meals are people who already suffer from iron deficiency anemia.

Coffee taken right after a meal has some problems, such as:

  • It compromises gastric emptying and makes food stay in the stomach longer
  • As a consequence of the above effect, coffee after lunch will give you gas
  • Relaxes the muscles that prevent food from passing from the stomach to the esophagus
  • Under the effects of caffeine, food from the stomach can easily return to the throat
  • With this process back in the throat, you will have a burning sensation and a heavy stomach
  • Coffee has components that will decrease the absorption of minerals you consumed at lunch, such as calcium and iron
  • Without adequate calcium absorption, you may increase your chances of getting osteoporosis in the future.

How many coffees can I have a day?

You have approximately 4 cups of coffee excluding consumption of other caffeinated beverages on the same day, corresponding to the recommended maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day. 

This amount, in general terms, is not associated with negative and dangerous effects. The US agency’s website, however, warns: this “limit” varies from person to person. Each of us has an individual tolerance for caffeine based on age, hormone levels and other factors.

One of these factors is motherhood. Pregnant women metabolize caffeine more slowly than other people, meaning the half-life mentioned above does not apply to them. Another reason to avoid coffee during pregnancy and lactation is not to stimulate the baby, who eats the mother’s food.

The timing of caffeine intake also matters as we have already mentioned here. So how about limiting the amount and timing of that special espresso? Drinking coffee before bed is asking to have a bad night.

What is the best time to have coffee?

The best time to have coffee is until three o’clock in the afternoon. People who metabolize the substance very slowly can have caffeine ingested in the morning for up to 14 hours in their circulation.

Therefore, consumption even in the morning or afternoon can interfere with sleep or influence its quality, causing the person to wake up several times during the night.


In this text we answer the question: “Can I drink coffee after a meal?”. In addition, we discussed whether drinking coffee after lunch is bad for your health, what are the benefits of drinking coffee, and what is the best time to have coffee.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.