Coffee is a world-wide common drink and gets more popular nowadays. However, like everything else having pros and cons, coffee is beneficial for health as well as it can cause health issues if the consumption is high. If taken in moderate amount, coffee is good for our health. It is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, fats, carbs and plant-compounds. It is said that coffee helps to protect the human brain from degenerative diseases. On the other hand, coffee has several side effects such as insomnia, nervousness, stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, headache, etc. Some people who have suffered from digestive issues due to intake of coffee wonder “Does coffee cause gas?” Let’s throw some light on it.
Does Coffee Cause Gas?
The answer to this question is ‘Yes’. Coffee contains high amounts of caffeine which can cause a high level of acid in the intestines. Increased acidity level stimulates digestive tract and leads to abdominal bloating and gas issues. Therefore, researches show that coffee causes Dyspepsia or indigestion which involves discomfort, bloating and gas after drinking.
It is a misconception that drinking decaffeinated coffee would not cause any issues but the fact is that caffeine is still present in it though in less amount. A cup of decaf coffee contains 3 to 5 milligrams of caffeine, whereas, a cup of regular coffee contains 40 to 180 milligrams of caffeine. If you drink several cups of decaf coffee, it may also cause bloating and gas especially to those who are sensitive to caffeine.
Are there any reasons beside the caffeine that may contribute to your question “does coffee cause gas?” Several people suffer from lactose intolerance which causes gastric issues due to intake of dairy products such as milk and cream. Dairy products contain sugar ‘lactose’ which is not digested by lactose-intolerant people due to lack of an enzyme that helps to digest it. However, many coffee beverages contain dairy products like milk or cream, which make the digestion process difficult. Therefore, coffee can lead to indigestion problem in people who are lactose-intolerant. Moreover, using sugar substitutes, such as sorbitol, can also cause gas. Coffee or something added in it can make health issues worse for people who suffer from medical problems such as irritable medical syndrome.
People who undergo the problem of bloating or gas should try to avoid having coffee especially if you have a digestive disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome. If it seems hard to avoid coffee, reducing the amount of coffee consumption or changing the drinking routine might decrease the health issues or symptoms. Moreover, lactose-intolerant people should avoid using dairy products in coffee to reduce indigestion and switch to black coffee which may help. Moreover, for some people, using decaf coffee may help relief if you can control your consumption. Beyond that, switching to an herbal alternative, such as chicory, may also help. However, if the indigestion problem including gas and bloating continues, then it is advised that you visit your doctor.
Other Negative Health Effects of Coffee
Coffee is responsible for relaxing the esophageal sphincter muscle and causing acid reflux. This leads to heartburn at the start of coffee digestion. Although caffeine is commonly considered to have an impact on this muscle, this problem exists with decaffeinated coffee too. In fact, decaf coffee doesn’t work much better than regular coffee. It has lots of the same acids and compounds, irritating oils, etc. In some cases, decaffeinated coffee causes more acidity in the gastrointestinal tract than regular coffee.
Exacerbating Ulcers and IBS
Coffee is considered to exacerbate health issues such as gastritis, IBS, colitis ulcers and Crohn’s disease. Usually doctors recommend patients who suffer from such diseases to avoid coffee. Regular and decaf coffee, both of them have harmful effects on ulcers. The acidic affect of coffee gives boost to stomach ulcers and gives easy access to bacteria to reach the stomach lining.
Coffee stimulates peristalsis and makes us feel a need to go to the bathroom quickly. Sometimes, many people deliberately use coffee as a laxative. However, it stimulates early gastric emptying of the stomach without a complete digestion of the food. Hence, the acidic food in stomach is dumped into the intestine too early, which causes inflammation or injury to the place where most nutrients are absorbed.
Dehydration and Lack of Mineral Absorption
Caffeine is a strong diuretic and when consumed in large quantity, it increases the fluid flow though kidneys, triggering the need to pass urine frequently and causing the loss of minerals, such as iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Dehydration is also caused by the diuretic effect of caffeine. What is even worse, dehydration may cause a gain of weight. When we need to supply water strongly, our brain will mistake the singal for being hungry. That is why we will eat more when we actually want to drink.
Coffee stimulates stress hormones which increase the blood pressure, heart rate and body’s ‘fight or flight’ response.