Five Side Effects Of Drinking Coffee
Why a switch is in your best interest
- Hydrochloric Acid
- Drinking coffee can be hard on digestion at any time of day, but drinking it on an empty stomach, especially first thing in the morning is possibly the worst. Coffee stimulates the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. Your stomach can only produce so much hydrochloric acid and may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal if having to produce it already a few times that day. It is estimated that over 50% of the population have below normal stomach acid levels.
The digestion of protein in particular is affected by a lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, allowing proteins within foods to pass into the small intestine before being properly broken down. The breakdown gases from undigested proteins are associated with a variety of health problems from food allergies, bloating and gas to IBS, diverticulitis and colon cancer.
The side effects of not digesting your food properly due to low hydrochloric acid in the stomach could be implicated in dozens of other health issues as the video “The Journey Through the Digestive System” video on this website explains. Some experts go so far as to say almost all disease begins in the gut. Given this, you can see why it’s important to limit anything that interferes with its proper functioning.
- Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria
- H. Pylori is a bacteria that establishes itself in the inner wall of the stomach. There are many symptoms including acid reflux and bloating, but it is estimated that roughly 90% of people who have ulcers have detectable organisms of H. Pylori. Many of the compounds in coffee like caffeine and the various acids found in coffee beans can irritate both your stomach and the lining of your small intestine. Ulcers are one of the symptoms believed to be caused by the H. Pylori bacteria. However, the acidic effect coffee has on the stomach may contribute to providing the weakened stomach lining necessary for H. pylori to take hold initially.
- Acid Reflux
- Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by caffeine due to the way it not only causes the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid but also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This small muscle should be tightly closed once you’ve eaten to prevent the contents of your stomach from backing up into the esophagus and burning its delicate lining with hydrochloric acid.
All forms of caffeine including colas, chocolate, coffee, and even decaffeinated coffee can cause heartburn problems for people. There have been reports that there are other compounds in coffee that can also contribute to acid reflux problems.
- Vitamin & Mineral Absorption and Loss
- Coffee drinkers can experience difficulty in absorbing sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals in their diet, even if they eat mineral rich foods or take supplements. A study in the Colorado State University Extension stated that when caffeine is ingested with food containing iron or with iron supplements that absorption will be reduced by 50%. Also, the acidic foods and beverages in our diet cause our body to take calcium (which is alkaline) from bones to balance out acidity. According to Columbia University Health Services, for every 150 mg of caffeine, the human body will lose 5 mg of calcium. Studies have also found that caffeine intake can deplete zinc, magnesium and other important minerals from the body. Bruising easily and osteoporosis are just two of many conditions that can develop from malabsorption and mineral loss.
- Anxiety & Depression
- Depression is a condition in which a person feels discouraged, sad, hopeless, unmotivated, or disinterested in life in general. When these feelings last for a short period of time, it may be a case of “the blues.”
Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety. They don’t know how to stop the worry cycle and feel it is beyond their control, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants.
Both anxiety and depression can become very serious and can be very complex. Research studies have found, especially in cases where people experience symptoms of the blues, anxiety, depression and even panic attacks to be significantly worse and more common when consuming caffeine. One report found that the combination of sugar and caffeine together to be worse than either substance consumed alone. Caffeine worsens blood sugar control and when combined with sugar can increase stress.