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squidcake's avatar

Why am I getting stomach aches from coffee?

Asked by squidcake (2636points) April 16th, 2010

I’ve always drank a lot of coffee. But more recently I’ve had to give up my morning cup for tea because sometimes drinking coffee on an empty stomach would make me feel a little nauseous. I still usually drink a cup in the evenings.

Now, though, it seems like I can’t drink coffee at all without feeling nauseous, and also getting bad stomach aches.

Could I have developed an allergy? Or an intolerance?

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19 Answers

Ponderer983's avatar

maybe you have an ulcer that it is irritating, or maybe you have just developed a sensitivity to coffee. It is a diuretic after all so cramps to go #2 could be the problem ;-)

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t know the answer, but I can say that I had to stop drinking coffee after having been a coffee fetishist for many, many years. I bought green estate beans, and roasted them myself, just to give you an idea how involved I was in my coffee. I really miss it. I hope whatever is bothering you is temporary.

Buttonstc's avatar

Coffee is quite acidic, so that may be the culprit here.

Some people use a cold brew method for their coffee and this eliminates about 70% of the acid.

You could give that a try and see if it works better for you.

There was a previous thread here several days ago on cold water brewing for more info.

lilikoi's avatar

I always feel sick after drinking coffee, and I think it is the caffeine content. I get the same upset stomach feeling after drinking energy drinks with extraordinary caffeine content. Tea has less caffeine. It is the only thing I can think of because I can drink soda and be fine so it can’t be the acid. Coffee is not as acidic as soda.

squidcake's avatar

Yeah, I didn’t really think about how acidic it was.

It’s not the caffeine with me. I drink a lot of other caffeinated things.

Cruiser's avatar

Do you drink cream or creamer with your coffee?? That can easily turn a stomach!?

squidcake's avatar

Yeah, creamer. Why?

nimarka1's avatar

I have acid reflux and take medication for it everyday. the first few things the Dr. told me were 1) you can’t eat anything 4 hours before bed and 2) stop drinking coffee, if you must only in the mornings, not at night. Coffee irritates the lining of the stomach.
I hope this helps!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I found that when I drink highly processed coffee, like Folgers or anything that comes from the grocery, I have the same problem. I do much better with microroasted blends that I grind myself. I think it’s the chemicals on an empty stomach.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’ve never been able to drink coffee. It makes me really sick. I’m a tea totaller.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

That happens to at times too. I believe it’s probably the acididy of the coffee.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

I feel like I should say something clever.

dpworkin's avatar

We’re all waiting. I think it’s mandated by that name.

netgrrl's avatar

The acid in black coffee van upset my stomach. I have to use a little half & half. The cold brew mentioned above reduces the acid too.

thriftymaid's avatar

My guess is that it’s not the coffee at all.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Coffee makes me sick too. It’s definitely the acid. I realized it because when I drank some milk afterward, I felt fine. So I started mixing mine with half milk. I can drink the same amount of coffee in the same amount of time and not feel sick at all when I do it that way.

I’m intrigued by this cold brew method, though! Do you just pour cold water over ground coffee, or is there more to it than that?

Cruiser's avatar

@squidcake Perhaps the creamer or cream is not sitting well in your belly and is the main reason I don’t regularly use cream in my coffee. Try cutting it out and see if your symptoms disappear.

justn's avatar

The darker the roast, the less acidic the coffee. You may want to try a nice French roast, those have been my favorite as of late.

eyokes's avatar

@squidcake, have you considered that coffee is a food product? And just like any other food product coffee has a definite shelf life for freshness. If you’ve ever seen those oils sitting on the outside of the bean that is a bad sign unless roasted within the last few days (not weeks or months). This is a sign of either an over-roasted, poorly roasted, poor quality, or un-fresh bean. Those oils are what hold all the flavor, proteins, and carbohydrates. When these oils are exposed to the elements (heat, air, moister, sunlight) the turn rancid. Just like any other food product, coffee oils will oxidize and become stale. I can nearly guarantee that any beans you are buying off the grocery store shelves, unless from a local roaster or have a roast date on them, are well beyond their reasonable shelf life. Now I don’t know what you have been drinking so I can’t insult your selections but anytime you are shopping for coffee you should ask for a roast date. I have never been given a straight answer from any of the “Big Companies” because they want to burn it and put an infinite shelf life on their stuff…
I own and run a top rated coffee shop and have this conversation a lot and have found that many of our guest find that it is not the “acidity” but the “rancidity” that is not sitting well in their stomachs.

So where do you go from here? Look for local roasters where you can get your beans freshly roasted. Look for a roast date on the packaging and try to drink your coffee within 2 weeks of that roast date for optimal freshness and flavor. Don’t just go straight for the “bold” or “dark roasted” coffee as dark roast was really just invented to burn impurities out of the beans and unless done very well can just destroy your coffee.

You can also shop online with some of the best roasters in the nation who will ship it out to you the day of or the day after they roast.

Here’s a good place to start.

…and an article to read about shelf life of coffee so you know I’m not just making this stuff up…

Happy Coffee Drinking!!

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