Why Does Coffee Make Me Nauseous? And How to Prevent It

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Many of us can’t start our day without a morning coffee. Yet, for some, it brings on nausea, anxiety, and stomach upset. Ever wonder why coffee doesn’t sit well with everyone?

Caffeine boosts hormones and digestion, making more stomach acid. This might irritate inside, causing feelings like acid reflux, including nausea.

Discover why coffee sometimes makes you feel sick and learn easy ways to enjoy your brew without the nausea.

Why Does Coffee Make Me Nauseous?

You might have guessed this already, but caffeine is to blame.

Caffeine is a stimulant

Caffeine wakes you up by boosting your brain and nerves. It also increases chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline, making you feel more alert and energetic.

A little caffeine can boost your energy and help you concentrate. But, too much might make you anxious and mess with your sleep. Keep in mind, you can get used to caffeine, so what feels like “too much” can change as you drink more. Learn more about caffeine tolerance.

Caffeine has a laxative and diuretic effect

Drinking too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks can lead to diarrhea, says the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). Coffee boosts bile production and encourages bowel movements, which might be why.

Adding sugary sweeteners to your coffee can make its effects stronger. And if milk bothers your stomach, coffee creamers won’t help. If coffee alone is a challenge, consider trying a healthier sweetener or enjoying it black to make it easier on your body.

How to Prevent Nausea from Coffee

1. Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach

Sipping black coffee first thing in the morning can really affect how your body handles blood sugar. Plus, it might hit you with a strong wave of acidity, leading to heartburn and a queasy feeling.

Enjoy your coffee just after breakfast, not right when you wake up, to make your mornings smoother. If you’re okay with lactose, choosing a milk-based coffee such as a latte, mocha, or cappuccino can be gentler than going for black coffee.

2. Drink a lot of water after coffee

Drinking too much coffee can lead to acid reflux and anxiety. But, don’t worry, drinking plenty of water can help lessen these effects. Water is great for cleansing your body.

Drinking water not only keeps coffee stains off your teeth but also reduces nausea. So, you get a brighter smile and feel better too—a double win!

3. Brew low-caffeine coffee beans

Decaf coffee is unfairly judged. It’s perfect for those who can’t handle caffeine.

If you think decaf coffee is boring, think again! You can enjoy all the delicious flavors of your favorite coffee without the caffeine buzz. Just search for beans labeled as Swiss Water decaf. This unique method strips away more than 98% of the caffeine but keeps all the yummy oils and sugars that make coffee taste great.

Try Kicking Horse decaf, a top pick for beginners.

4. Try cold brew coffee

Cold brew coffee is made with cold water, not hot, and it’s steeped for a long time, sometimes over 24 hours, to bring out its unique flavors.

Explore the world of cold-brew coffee, known for being gentler on your stomach than traditional drip coffee. While experts debate its lower acidity, many agree that cold brew’s smooth taste is easier to digest. So, if you’re looking for a coffee that’s kind on your tummy, cold brew might just be your perfect match.

What’s Next?

Coffee brewing is a personal adventure! Each bean and coffee lover is unique, offering a world of brewing styles and tasty coffee drinks to explore. If your current cup makes you feel queasy, don’t worry. You don’t have to quit coffee—there’s a perfect brew out there for you!

Feeling sick isn’t the only downside of drinking coffee or consuming caffeine. Caffeine sticks around in our system for a while, leading to shaky feelings or jitters in those who are more sensitive to it. Trying out decaf or low-acid coffee might solve most of these issues.

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