Ah, coffee. For millions of people, starting the day is impossible without a cup of their favorite beverage. It’s also a good thing that coffee comes with a plethora of health benefits like antioxidants that are shown to be effective in reducing the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
For many, these are reasons enough to continue drinking coffee for as long as possible. However, if you already have a delicate stomach, drinking coffee might exacerbate your symptoms. Don’t you hate that you have to say goodbye to coffee? Well, it might not be your only option. In this post, The Skinny shares some tips on how you can make your beloved coffee more gut-friendly:
Search for Low-Acid Options
Coffee beans are naturally acidic. The chemical reactions that occur when the coffee beans are heated lead to the production of more acids. This happens during the roasting and brewing stages. Beans from lower altitudes like Brazilian, Guatemalan, Indonesian, Mexican, Peruvian, Sumatran, and Venezuelan are naturally lower in acidity. You might want to consider switching to these beans or, better yet, check for the “low acid” label.
Go for Half-Decaf
Coffee has various ingredients that are potential culprits to the digestive irritation you experience when you drink too much. Caffeine is among those ingredients. Caffeine is known to increase stomach acid production, which is crucial for optimal digestion and ensuring that the stomach is protected from pathogens. However, those with LES muscles will find this problematic. Why not try decaf coffee and see if that’s something your stomach can tolerate. That said, you should still remember that decaf can still contain traces of caffeine, so moderation is still crucial to preventing an upset stomach. You can also try blending regular with decaf coffee. Since lighter roast will have more caffeine for the same volume as dark roast, opt for a dark roast.
Switch to Cold Brew
Did you know that cold-brew has about 65% less acidity compared to hot-brewed coffee? That’s because cold brewing extracts less acid and bitter compounds from the coffee beans, making cold-brew easier to tolerate. Here’s what might surprise you: you don’t need to drink it cold. You can reheat cold-brew in a small pot if you prefer your coffee hot.
Skip the Sweeteners
Bad gut microbes love sugar. If you suffer from dysbiosis or have more bad bugs and not enough good bacteria, you should avoid sugary drinks. Sugar is not the only problem, though. You should also avoid artificial sweeteners like xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, and others. These cannot be digested, and gut bacteria will just ferment them. When you use such sweeteners, you could experience such symptoms as cramping, bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Another artificial sweetener called sucralose disrupts the intestine’s natural pH balance and even contributes to the overgrowth of yeast.
When you’ve been drinking coffee for many years, it might be hard to stop cold turkey. However, if it’s causing your gut problems, you might want to consider cutting back or following the tips shared by The Skinny on this post. By searching for low-acid coffee beans, switching to decaf or cold-brew, and skipping the sweeteners, you may still be able to enjoy a cup or two of coffee a day without suffering from hyperacidity.
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