Tell us to give up coffee and we’ll raise you an eyebrow. We won’t throw the liquid on you but that’s only because it would be a waste of a perfectly good drink. Still, consider it metaphorically done.
The rush of that first cup of coffee is addicting and wanted first thing in the morning. Experts are, however, warning against having coffee on an empty stomach. It seems that this dark blend creates a number of side effects when it’s drunk on an empty stomach.
On an empty stomach, our brain is less capable of processing serotonin. The latter is the “happy, calm hormone” and when it’s not processed correctly, it can trigger anxiety and depression. Adding a cup of coffee to an empty stomach leads to an increase in cortisol and our adrenaline level which will have us feeling on edge, weak and nervous.
If you suffer from anxiety, you know that this mental health issue doesn’t need another excuse to be triggered to play games on our mind. Anxiety can be eased through a number of behavioral changes such as by meditating, through exercise, by slowing down and with a good diet. Giving it a dose of caffeine on an empty stomach may not be the best way to start your day when you are prone to anxiety.
Did you know that coffee is acidic? The acidity does vary on the brand, the way it is brewed, the roast and other determining factors but it does affect the acid in the stomach. This is especially true when it’s drunk on an empty stomach.
If you are prone to suffer from stomach acid, then you know how painful it can be. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can damage the lining of your stomach and you would be at risk to suffer from heartburn, indigestion and stomach pain. If you are torn between your love for coffee and acid pain, try cold-brewed coffees — these tend to be gentler on the stomach.
When coffee hits our empty stomach, it stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in our system. But besides acid, coffee on an empty stomach can lead to other issues. This includes protein "getting ‘stuck" in the digestive system.
When the protein gets "stuck" it can lead to a number of health problems. These include symptoms such as bloating and irritable bowels. In some cases, coffee on an empty stomach can even cause colon carcinoma.
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases the level of fluid your body passes which can lead to dehydration. This is what Dr. Adam Simon of PushDoctor.co.ukbelieves. What’s worse is that we usually have another cup of coffee when we start to feel dehydrated.
If you must have coffee before food in the morning, try and have a glass of water before the hot blend. You can sip it while the coffee is brewing. If even water sounds unappetizing before coffee, at least drink water once you have had your cup of coffee.
Besides the feelings of anxiety, coffee can also cause mood swings. This depends on our personality and biology, nevertheless, coffee is a stimulant that will affect our cortisol level — the stress hormone. Drinking it on an empty stomach can leave us with drastic mood changes.
Everyone experiences mood swings but having them on an everyday basis can be stressful and tiring. Mood swings can affect our relationships, our work and our mental health. We all experience stressful times and periods of bad moods but we shouldn’t allow our mind to go through unnecessary mood swings if we can prevent them.
This one’s strange. Researchers conducting a study at Durham University in 2009 found that caffeine increases the chance of us experiencing auditory hallucinations. It only takes 315 milligrams of caffeine according to these researchers. Next time you hear voices, blame it on the coffee.
Coffee decreases our appetite. In fact, it’s a key ingredient in helping us to lose weight. It’s much easier to not eat when we drink coffee on an empty stomach as it naturally suppresses our hunger while still satisfying our caffeine cravings. Despite this ostensible advantage, in the long run, skipping breakfast will not help in our weight loss journey. Studies have shown that we are more likely to gain weight if we continue to skip breakfast. Having coffee instead of nibbling on empty calories can help us lose weight but skipping the meal that fuels us for the rest of the day is not recommended.
There you have it; more reasons why coffee can be bad for you. But then, coffee has its benefits too, let’s not forget that. So rather than foregoing coffee for eternity, maybe we can try and change our habits for our cup of coffee to be soothing rather than a trigger for stress, anxiety and physical harm.