Why Does Coffee Make my Stomach Hurt

Oct 27, 2021
Why does Coffee Make my Stomach Hurt?


The aroma and smell of coffee in the morning, the quiet moments or cups shared with friends. Coffee is a tradition in many American homes.


Do you love drinking coffee too, but after the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th cup, your stomach starts to hurt? I used to be a coffee lover, too, until my body said that’s enough, and I had to start cutting back. It wasn’t fun, but it was so worth it in the end, and today I have a few tips on making it less painful.

In our post on coffee and acid, I detailed a bit more about my story. Today though, we will focus on the stomach and making tasty drinks like a dirty chai latte that will help tame the stomach issues without giving up the flavor.

Before we start:

This herbal information is just that, information. This blog post and I DO NOT INTEND to treat, cure, or diagnose any disease or illness. This is for informational, educational, and entertainment purposes only. Please consult a physician before using herbs medicinally.


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Stomach Issues

While many love their daily coffee rituals, coffee can also cause stomach aches or an upset stomach. This may happen after 1 cup, or it may take a few cups of coffee before the upset stomach arrives. Let’s dive into that a bit and see what is causing the upset stomach.


Coffee can generally increase the amount of stomach acid. A roasted cup of coffee contains quinic acid, which is created during the chemical process of roasting. Quinic acid breaks down chlorogenic acids in the coffee beans, making bitterness in the flavor. The natural chlorogenic acid is already bitter, so by roasting them, the coffee beans become twice as bitter as they would have been. Coffee acidity has the most significant effect on the ability of the stomach to handle coffee.

It’s recommended not to drink coffee on an empty stomach as the acidity in the coffee without anything in your digestive tract to buffer it can cause damage to your intestinal system. Not only is there an impact on your overall digestive system, but your nervous system takes a hit as well. The acid in coffee can cause the stomach to produce even more acid and increase anxiety, nervousness, moodiness, jitter’s, and shakes. This could, in turn, lead to insomnia, fatigue, heart issues (like palpitations), and addiction.



While many drink coffee to help move their digestive system, the constant addition of coffee as a stimulant can make the digestive process weak. The weak digestive system is then prone to constipation. Coffee is an irritant in this way and causes inflammation in the gut. Chronic constipation makes it difficult for the body to remove toxins and will, in turn, clog up the lymphatic system.

If you are looking to calm the stomach aches and still keep your friend coffee around, there are some great ways to deal with the acidic effects that are still equally tasty.



Different Roasting & Brewing Methods

Those who roast coffee will understand that the acidity of coffee is greatly determined by the type of roast used on the coffee beans. With less acid, there are more health benefits to your daily cuppa joe.


Lighter roasted beans will naturally have less bitterness and less acid because they will have less quinic acid due to less roasting. A dark roast will have more acid.

Green coffee beans have much fewer quinic acids and, as such, are easier on the digestive system. One study even shows that the chlorogenic acids (not quinic) found in the green coffee extract were beneficial for their antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.



While it has less acid due to the decaffeination process, decaf coffee still poses potential health risks. The process to decaffeinate coffee beans is filled with many chemicals. When decaffeinated coffee is processed, they first inflate the green coffee beans with water or steam to remove the caffeine. Once the beans are inflated, either a solvent, water, or activated carbon is used, usually a solvent. The other methods, while better, are not commonly used. It is difficult to find a company producing decaf coffee in this way.

Cold-brew coffee makes the coffee grounds less bitter than the hot water process. Less bitter means less acidity and fewer tummy troubles. Cold brewing is done similarly to an overnight tea infusion in that the coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for 12-24 hours before adding more water or cream when going to enjoy. This sweeter and smoother version can be made hot by adding boiling water to the cold brew once done. It is also a great way to save on waste because it can be used as a concentrate and kept. Then just pour the number of cups you need as you need them.



Tasty Coffee Alternatives

Suppose you have tried some of the above methods and still find that you have tummy troubles. Or maybe the caffeine levels are causing heart palpitations and difficulty sleeping. There are still some other tasty alternatives.


Having been a coffee addict myself and not finding anything I enjoyed to replace that nice hot cup of steaming goodness, I decided to make my own. Years later, this turned into what is now Farmhouse Teas and our family business. I couldn’t take the medicinal grassy tasting teas that were on the market. Did everything have to taste like grass and weeds?! What a far cry that was from coffee.



When I met a coffee drinker struggling with their health and looking for something tasty, rich, and thick to replace some of their daily coffee with, these are the most popular and common items I recommend:



Well, my coffee-loving friend, I hope that you found something new and tasty to try so that you can beat the stomach ache blues. If you would like to read up more on coffee and health, make sure to download our free guide here. I’d love to know your favorite way to drink your coffee and what way you plan to try to cut down on the acid in coffee. Leave me a comment below. I can’t wait to chat with you!


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