In moderation, caffeine has many health benefits and can give you that kick of energy that you need to get up and get going in the morning. But maybe you are just a little bit more addicted to coffee than you want to admit. It can be possible to develop a caffeine addiction, and the fact that coffee tastes so good does not help, either. However, while caffeine can be beneficial to your health in moderation, getting too much of it can be hard on your body. Consuming too much caffeine can lead to stomach problems in particular. Keep reading to find out more about why caffeine can upset your stomach, what you can do to feel better after having too much caffeine, and how you can prevent it from happening again.
Why Does Coffee Cause an Upset Stomach?
You may have heard stories from people who say that 5 hour energy made me sick or have abdominal pain after drinking too much coffee. While we all know that alcohol stomach ache is not unusual, especially the morning after drinking a little too much, you might be surprised to hear about abdominal pain from drinking coffee or too many caffeinated beverages.
Many people can drink coffee without experiencing any serious issues, however, some people are more sensitive to either the caffeine or the oils in coffee. You may experience abdominal pain after drinking water from the tap if you have a sensitive stomach due to the minerals it contains or find that alcohol makes my stomach hurt and not just because you are hungover. If you deal with these other issues that are the result of a sensitive stomach, then you should also be careful with coffee and other caffeinated drinks. This is because drinking a little bit too much can lead to unwanted symptoms like stomach aches.
However, even if you’re not sensitive to caffeine, having too much can make anybody feel sick. This is because coffee contains caffeine, which may cause your stomach to produce excess stomach acids, leading to an imbalance due to the acid production and the way that the natural oils in the coffee interact with the stomach. As a result of this, you may experience symptoms like heartburn and inflammation. Alcohol is another beverage that can cause your stomach to produce more acid, which is why it’s important to be careful with alcohol for sensitive stomachs.
How to Feel Better
If you have drunk too much coffee and feel sick or are feeling the 5 hour energy side effects like stomach pain, the good news is that there are several things that you can do to reduce the nauseous feeling and feel better again. Some of the best methods to feel better if you have overdone it with caffeine include:
Coffee will make you dehydrated, so it’s important to drink plenty of water to counteract this. Being dehydrated itself can lead to stomach aches and headaches, so it might not be that you drank too much, but just that you are not getting enough water. Drinking water is also useful for helping to flush out anything that is irritating your system, which will help to reduce stomach pains or discomfort.
Drink Herbal Tea
Tea can sometimes have caffeine, however, there is no caffeine content in herbal teas. There are several types of herbal tea that can help you feel better after your stomach has been irritated by too much caffeine. Ginger tea in particular is a good option to reduce inflammation, relieve symptoms of heartburn and help you feel less sick, so it’s worth trying a tea that includes ginger such as lemon ginger or turmeric ginger tea. Licorice and chamomile teas can also have similar soothing effects on your system. It’s best to avoid minty teas like spearmint or peppermint tea because as tasty as they are, they can worsen stomach acid issues.
Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera is loaded with vitamins and minerals and has many anti-inflammatory properties, making it a calming remedy to try. When you consume aloe vera juice, you will feel much better thanks to the detoxifying effect that it can have on your body.
Eat a Healthy Snack
Eating something before or with your cup of coffee can help you avoid getting a stomach ache from the caffeine. Similar principles apply with coffee as they do to alcohol; consuming food will help to slow the effect of the caffeine down. Along with this, it will help to break down the oils in the coffee to make them easier to absorb. Some foods are more effective at counteracting the unwanted effects of caffeine than others. If you are dealing with a caffeine-induced stomach upset, try eating yogurt, bananas, green vegetables, or melons as these can all help with stomach acid issues.
How to Prevent Stomach Upset When You Drink Coffee
Once you have recovered from the effects of drinking too much caffeine on your stomach, it’s a good idea to know what you can do to avoid this from happening again in the future. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to enjoy your coffee without any unpleasant side effects.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Drinking fewer caffeinated beverages is the best way to avoid stomach aches and upset brought on by too much caffeine. While this might not be much fun for somebody who really enjoys coffee, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your caffeine intake. Decaf coffee is always an option if you don’t want to give up drinking coffee completely. Ideally, you should consume no more than 200-300mg of caffeine per day to keep any unwanted symptoms at bay. On average, a standard cup of coffee contains around 120-200mg of caffeine depending on the roast and the size of the cup.
While some people are more sensitive to the effects of caffeine compared to others, most of the time, stomach problems will result after drinking more than 500mg of caffeine per day.
Drink Coffee That is Low Acid
Low-acid coffee might be a better choice for you if you enjoy drinking a lot of coffee but are experiencing stomach issues as a result. These beans have a more balanced pH, which makes them less likely to cause stomach upset.
Try Decaf Coffee
Switching to decaf after you have had one or two cups of regular coffee can be another great way to reduce your caffeine intake. Although many coffee fans are not very sure about decaf, the good news is that there are plenty of high-quality gourmet decaf brands available these days from specialty brands. These brands put in a lot of hard work to produce decaf beans that taste just as good as regular coffee without the high caffeine content. As a result, this can be an ideal way to reduce your caffeine intake without missing out on your favorite coffee.
Drink Dark Roast
Sticking to dark roast coffees is another option to consider if you want to consume less caffeine. Although there is no difference in the amount of caffeine that they contain compared to lighter roast, dark roast coffees can limit stomach acid production, which ultimately allows you to drink more coffee without the risk of stomach upset looming.
Try Cold Brew
Some people swear by cold brew as a way to drink more coffee while avoiding the stomach issues that you can experience from drinking too much coffee. This is because the unique brewing process of cold brew coffee means that it has a very low acidity. Cold brew is a smooth, mellow option and contains much fewer acids, as it is never heated. However, since cold brew has a more concentrated caffeine amount, it won’t limit your caffeine intake, so it’s still important to be mindful about the amount that you drink.
Other Effects of Drinking Too Much Caffeine
Along with causing stomach upsets, you might know that you have drunk too much coffee or other beverages that contain caffeine if you experience some common symptoms. Some symptoms that may be associated with too much caffeine include:
Confusion: Caffeine can stimulate your brain, but too much caffeine will overstimulate it, which can leave you feeling confused
Insomnia: When you drink too much caffeine, chances are that you are going to be drinking it until later in the day. While this might give you more energy throughout the day, it can also cause your sleep to be affected and lead to trouble sleeping or insomnia.
Fast Heartbeat: Since caffeine is a stimulant, too much of it can cause your heart to race.
Nervousness and anxiety: Caffeine can cause the ‘jitters’, which is nervousness and anxiety that can be caused by having too much of it. This is why it is important to be careful of caffeine intake for people who suffer from anxiety, panic, or sleep disorders.
While some caffeine consumption has various health benefits and will provide you with an energy boost, it’s important to be aware of the unwanted side effects of having too much caffeine and how to deal with them.