A cup of coffee in the morning gets many people's metabolism going. Why is that actually? And why is that not the case with everyone?
Many cannot do without the morning cup of coffee. Not only morning grouches swear by the invigorating effect - many people appreciate the hot drink mainly because of its digestive effect.
Coffee is said to have a lot of health benefits. Regular coffee consumption is said to reduce the risk of heart attacks, protect the body from oxidative stress and increase concentration. However, it is now quite well proven that coffee has a laxative effect on some people. But what exactly does the favorite drink do to the digestive tract?
What does coffee do to your stomach?
Within 30 minutes of drinking coffee, the caffeine is absorbed through the stomach and small intestine and then distributed throughout the body. A coffee or an espresso after a meal does not help to empty the stomach, but accelerates the digestive processes that follow.
Sensitive people can react to coffee with an excessive release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, they do not "tolerate" it so well and often or completely have to do without it. Nutritionists say that caffeine stimulates the production of gastric acid. This breaks down the chyme before it can slip into the intestinal tract.
A trigger for acid production is the body's own hormone gastrin, which is additionally stimulated by the caffeine. Gastrin is released as soon as food reaches the stomach, where, among other things, it helps break down food proteins and stimulates the digestive muscle contraction of the stomach wall.
What does this mean?
Basically, coffee ensures that food is broken down more quickly in the stomach and released into the intestines. Once the chyme gets from the stomach into the intestinal tract, it has to make its way about five meters to the exit. This is done with the help of bowel contraction.
Coffee also stimulates these wave-like muscle contractions in the colon wall. The stimulating effect is also used by medicine: doctors use coffee as a mild stimulant in patients after a colon removal to stimulate bowel activity and prevent intestinal obstruction.
Effects on the gallbladder
The chlorogenic acid also contained in coffee is said to have a digestive effect. Among other things, it stimulates the flow of bile. Bile is a liquid produced in the liver and released into the duodenum after eating. There it mainly ensures that fat is digested.
Another effect that stimulates the gallbladder after drinking coffee: the digestive hormone cholecystokinin. It causes the gallbladder to contract, which promotes bile production. Cholecystokinin is also responsible for the release of important digestive enzymes. Coffee, in turn, ensures that even more of this hormone is produced.
While not all people can report a laxative effect of coffee, a full bladder after coffee consumption is practically guaranteed. Because caffeine temporarily increases the filter function of the kidneys, so that more urine is formed. But this effect quickly subsides again.
The claim that coffee removes water from the body has meanwhile been refuted: calculated over the course of the day, we excrete 84 percent of the liquid in coffee. If we drink pure water, it is 81 percent. A difference that hardly matters. However, coffee is not recommended as a thirst quencher.
If coffee is laxative, does it make you slim?
Black coffee is practically calorie-free and increases the basal metabolic rate slightly by stimulating the metabolism. However, whether that is enough to lose weight is not so clear.
The chlorogenic acids already mentioned should also be responsible for a slimming effect through various mechanisms. There are some promising studies on this that have shown, among other things, an antidiabetic effect of chlorogenic acids in animal models. In addition, the chlorogenic acids are said to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood after a meal. But further research still needs to be done on this.
Why doesn't coffee work the same for everyone?
According to Warnecke, genetics play an important role in the effects of coffee. On the one hand, people are equipped differently when it comes to adenosine receptors. The caffeine attaches to these receptors in order to develop its effect.
On the other hand, our genes also dictate whether we belong to the so-called fast or slow caffeine breakdowns. This, in turn, would be due to the different features of different enzyme systems in the liver.
Can I drink coffee on an empty stomach?
A recent study has shown that drinking coffee on an empty stomach increases the production of stomach acid. But a normal person should be able to drink it on an empty stomach without any adverse effects. Just make sure to notice your body’s reaction to drinking coffee on an empty stomach and you’ll know if it’s ok for you to do so.
How long does coffee take to kick in?
Many people wonder how long it take for caffeine to kick in. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question as each person has a different body chemistry. Most people start feeling the effects in about 20 minutes, but some people take a little longer and some can feel it right away. Coffee is also absorbed through the stomach after half an hour of consumption.
Many people swear by the consumption of coffee for digestive problems. In fact, luxury food is said to have a digestive effect. Although we still don’t know everything about the interaction between bitter substances and the digestive system, connections between drinking coffee and digestion can be observed in more recent studies.
What’s an important takeaway here is that each individual body reacts differently to coffee consumption. Observe your body after you drink coffee and it will be sure to tell you if you are doing something wrong or not. And remember, it’s not only a matter of how often you are drinking coffee, it’s also a matter of what you put in your coffee.
I hope this article has helped answer what happens to our stomach after coffee consumption, however, if you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to reach out!