Should You Drink Coffee on an Empty Stomach?Azia Weisz
For many people, the morning coffee is sacred. Without it, the day just doesn’t seem to go well. They feel sluggish and never really feel like they have woken up. When the aroma of that freshly brewed pot of coffee tantalizes their nostrils, it is as if an invisible force lifts them out of their stupor and gives them a good wake-up smack in the face. The only problem with the first cup is that it is mostly taken on an empty stomach.
Coffee has loads of medical benefits, so you don’t have to worry about kicking the only thing that has the power to wake you up. However, when you have that morning brew, doesn’t matter what the packaging says, if you have it before you have anything to eat, you are damaging your stomach.
The problems associated with coffee on an empty stomach
As soon as you take that first sip, the coffee activates your stomach, and it starts to produce unnecessary acid. Your stomach prepares itself for the promise of a morning meal, but instead, it gets flooded with your favorite brew. Without anything to break down, the acid can start to damage your stomach lining. In the end, you sit with an ulcer or acid indigestion and heartburn.
Another intestinal problem that occurs is a smelly one. When you have coffee on an empty stomach, it sort of puts your stomach’s hydrochloric acid production into overdrive, but without any food to digest. In time, your body realizes its production is useless, so it starts to make less acid.
That is great news for your stomach lining, but not for the digestion of your food. With less acid, your digestion slows down and the bacteria in your gut feats on the undigested food. The result is a buildup of potent hydrogen sulfide which is the stuff that gives rotten egg its pungent odor. The gas then needs to escape, and there is only one way it can go.
Why is it a bad idea to have coffee in the morning?
It might come as a shock to some people but having a cuppa in the morning can be counter-productive. Instead of giving you that desperate kick start, it can slow you down and make you feel more asleep than you did before the cup. For some people, coffee can mess with their circadian rhythm, the rhythm that tells you when you need to sleep and when you need to be awake.
When you wake up, your body releases a hormone, called cortisol. This hormone is responsible for making you feel energized and alert (for some people it takes a while to kick in). However, research has shown that coffee lowers the level of cortisol that is released which could make you feel sleepier than before you had your cup.
One suggestion is that the coffee acts as a replacement for the cortisol and before you know it, you struggle to function without the coffee. So instead of being a life-giving elixir, your coffee kick-start turns in to an energy leach and leaves you drained
It has both mental and physical effects
For some people, the side effects of the morning cup are a bit worse. Dr. Adam Simon, the chief medical officer at a famous UK health magazine, said that having a cup on an empty stomach can give a person the jitters and the shakes. Furthermore, it can also increase a person’s heart rate. The effects don’t stop at the physical, however.
Mentally, it has been recorded that coffee can play around with your mood. Some people even experience increased levels of anxiety and also a lack of concentration. When this happens, they also have a tendency of being more irritable. These symptoms or effects are almost in direct contradiction to what people have believed about coffee for so long.
Dr. Simon also said that having that first cup on an empty stomach increases the amount of fluid that passes through the body. This causes dehydration which could lead to headaches. To add insult to injury, the majority of coffee lovers don’t stick to just the first cup in the morning. It is as if the first cup’s purpose is to act as an alarm and the second one is a cup to enjoy, and so the body becomes even more dehydrated.
When you have a cup of coffee on an empty stomach, it remains empty. No food passed over your lips, yet for many people, they act as if that first cup was like breakfast. Many people don’t go on to have a meal after the coffee. In some cases, they do not have the time to have something after the cup, but in the majority of cases, people experience a loss of appetite.
Coffee has been known to be used as an appetite suppressor, and many people have lost weight by using coffee. Although this method works quite well, breakfast is not the meal that you want to skip in your quest to lose weight.
A good breakfast is the key
Without a healthy breakfast, your digestive system doesn’t get the start it needs to be effective, and you don’t have the energy that you could have. What’s more is that you could end up picking up more weight in the end. Your morning coffee might save you in the morning, but it won’t do any good later in the day when you start to run out of energy.
You might be one of the unlucky souls who nausea when having coffee on an empty stomach. In extreme cases, it goes past nausea to full out vomiting. The reason for this is because of vitamin deficiencies, but more specifically, B3 and B12. When considering that coffee suppresses your appetite, it makes sense that you might then also be in need of some nutrition. A healthy breakfast plays the right role to handle this problem.
These two vitamins and magnesium are key players in the proper nerve responses to stimuli, and when you ingest the morning cup, your stomach might actually interpret your coffee as a foreign substance and do what is needed, get it out as soon as possible.