Why do I feel nauseous after drinking coffee?

In this text, we are going to answer the question “why do I feel sick after drinking coffee”. In addition, we are going to discuss a little about the harm that excessive coffee intake can bring to your body.

Why do I feel nauseous after drinking coffee?

Coffee stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, irritating the organ and causing pain, nausea, discomfort and even heartburn.

The discomfort is mainly perceived by those who suffer from gastritis, a condition characterized by the presence of superficial lesions in the stomach mucosa. If taken on an empty stomach, coffee can worsen the burning sensation in the stomach.

Another point that should be noted is the amount consumed. For those who already have some gastric dysfunction, the less coffee is ingested, the less discomfort the person will feel. But generally speaking, a “safe” amount for coffee to be considered a harmless beverage is on average up to four cups a day.

Coffee, like other substances, is a psychoactive stimulant drug. As any stimulant drug can cause restlessness, insomnia if the amount ingested is greater than the recommended daily amount. Caffeine can also cause well being and energy if the amount of caffeine is less or compatible with your body.

Is excessive coffee consumption dangerous?

There is a phrase that says “the dose makes the poison”. Coffee is no different. Although there are some benefits proven by science, a drink when not consumed in moderation can be harmful to your health.

Among the consequences of excessive consumption are insomnia, headaches and gastrointestinal problems such as reflux and heartburn. Listed below are the main effects of excessive caffeine consumption:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomachache

There is no reason to panic because the consumption of coffee considered to be safe is quite high. Coffee is not scientifically proven to cause diseases, but excessive consumption is associated with uncomfortable effects and some illnesses.

What is the relationship between coffee acidity and nausea after drinking coffee?

Most coffee varieties are considered acidic, with an average pH value of 4.85 to 5.10 generated by the preparation’s fermentation process and it causes nausea in some people.

Therefore, every drink registered from 0 to 7 in this pH scale is considered acidic, while a solution that goes from 7 to 14 is considered basic.

So this means that the lower the value within the scale, the more acidic the substance will be considered, and the higher the more basic.

Some actions can be taken to reduce the acidity of the coffee, but it is not possible to completely eliminate it.

  1. Ideal coffee roast choice

Roasting time and temperature are factors that directly influence the acidity. Coffees with darker roasts have less acidity compared to lighter roasts.  Therefore, people who have stomach problems should opt for darker roasts

  1. Coffee grinding

Studies carried out by the National Biotechnology Center of the United States (NCBI) showed that coarser-ground coffees had lower levels of acidity.

  1. Coffee preparation

The way the coffee is prepared can make it more or less acidic. A shorter coffee fermentation time directly influenced the acidity, presenting lower acidity indices.

If you have stomach problems, choose drinks with slower preparation processes such as the French press and the strainer with release valve.

  1. Brew temperature

Another important point is the brew temperature. Coffee made at lower temperatures decreases the final acidity in the coffee.

With this we can conclude that some preparation methods, such as espresso coffee, which is a quick method and with a higher temperature, can present a more acidic coffee. However, the doses of espresso coffee are usually smaller than the doses of brewed or pressed coffee.

In any case, if you have stomach problems and feel nauseated while drinking coffee, it’s best to either drink a little coffee or cut it out of your diet.

How to prevent nausea after drinking coffee?

Here are some tips on how to prevent nausea and upset stomach after drinking a cup of coffee:

  • Eat something before drinking the coffee drink, or with coffee, this will help to improve nausea and stomach pain
  • Another option is to drink it black or switch from cow’s milk to plant-based milk options, as you may have an intolerance to cow’s milk
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day

If none of these tips help with stomach pains and nausea, try to reduce consumption or even discontinue consumption for a while.

Another effect of heavy coffee consumption is increased urination, due to the stimulant effects of the compound on the bladder.

You may have noticed that you need to urinate frequently when you drink more coffee or tea than usual. If this happens, you should reduce consumption until you notice normalization of the urinary frequency.

The bottom line

Through this text we can understand that coffee can be a major cause of stomach pain and nausea, as coffee induces the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach causing irritability.

The best ways to avoid this cause is to cut back on caffeine, stay hydrated, and not drink coffee on an empty stomach.


In this text, we answered the question “why do I feel sick after drinking coffee”. In addition, we discussed a little about the harm that excessive coffee intake can bring to your body.



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