Why does my stomach hurt when I drink coffee?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “why does my stomach hurt when I drink coffee” with an in-depth analysis of why your stomach hurts after drinking coffee Moreover, we are going to discuss how you can make coffee that won’t hurt your stomach.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Why does my stomach hurt when I drink coffee?

Coffee increases the production of cortisol that is our emergency hormone and it puts the body in “fight or flight” mode by increasing our blood sugar level, increasing the blood flow rate, and increasing the mobility of the gut. All of these symptoms are also the same for the stress conditions. Therefore we recommend you cut down the number of coffee cups you consume daily.

Moreover, coffee can play a significant role when it comes to bloating owing to its effect on the stress hormone (cortisol) and how it impacts the secretion of gastric juices in our stomach. It increases the movements of the colon, stimulates the production of gastric juices, and increases the chances of heartburn and indigestion a lot.

If you are already suffering from some gut health issues, coffee can escalate the symptoms to a great extent like gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Therefore we do not recommend people with gastrointestinal health problems to consume a lot of coffee.

Moreover, the caffeine content of coffee is also responsible for the bloating and stomach ache you face after drinking coffee. 

A study conducted in 2017 pointed out that there is an interrelationship between the caffeine content of the coffee and the stomach issues owing to the bitter flavor of the coffee. Moreover, the caffeine molecule itself is as of now viewed as a stomach irritant. It had a laxative effect and because of that, it directs your digestive system to work at a faster pace. 

Therefore if you want to have the surge of your morning coffee, we recommend you to go a little bit easy on the number of ground coffee beans you add to your coffee.

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How can I brew a coffee that won’t hurt my stomach?

  1. You should aim to drink a coffee with lower acidity which means that it has a higher pH. The process of roasting coffee beans produces coffee that is lower in acidity and cold brew coffee additionally bestows this impact because a lot fewer compounds are conferred into the coffee when it is cold brewed. So you can just go for a cup of cold-brewed coffee instead of your regular coffee without thinking much about the irritability of the stomach.
  1. The substance compound N-methyl pyridinium (NMP) may offer some information on how to make a coffee that doesn’t welcome stomach upset or irritability. A few studies that were carried out in 2014 pointed towards the fact that the coffee that contains a higher concentration of NMP controls the amount of stomach acid discharged, thereby decreasing it. This implies that there are fewer gastric juices thus there are fewer chances of irritable stomach or heartburn
  1. As opposed to what would appear to be valid, the fact is that the dark roasted varieties of the coffee are the ones that go easy on the stomach and do not cause symptoms of stomach upset. 
  1. A few of the studies demonstrated that the dark roast varieties of the coffee beans have enhanced NMP content and diminished chlorogenic acid substance as compared to the medium roasted coffee beans. The lower quantity of chlorogenic acid also points towards keeping the gut health a lot better. So try to consume a coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans.
  1. So if your stomach is irritated by caffeine, we recommend you to consume decaffeinated coffee for the time being and the good news is that even some of the decaffeinated coffee variants taste as good as their caffeinated counterparts. 

Regular coffee contains some acids like citric acid, cholinergic acid, quinic acid, and malic acid. These acids play their role in lowering the pH of the coffee, thereby making it acidic. But it is worth mentioning here that no doubt the decaf coffee is less acidic than regular coffee but it also has fewer antioxidants as compared to regular coffee. 

  1. If you want something that won’t upset your stomach but at the same time gives you the surge of a coffee with a more palatable taste then we recommend you to consume double fermented coffee. The process of double fermentation decreases the amount of the cholinergic acid present in the coffee which is mostly responsible for the characteristic bitter taste of the coffee. 


In this brief guide, we answered the question “why does my stomach hurt when I drink coffee” with an in-depth analysis of why your stomach hurts after drinking coffee Moreover, we discussed how can you make coffee that won’t hurt your stomach.