We are so lucky in our modern area to be able to identify the causes for many of our physical afflictions.
Conditions like gluten and lactose intolerance, or nut allergies, in previous times these would have been put down to ‘ill humor’ or just as unknown ailments.
One occurrence which is more annoying than debilitating is the bloated feeling that many of us get after drinking our favorite beverage, coffee.
- Why does coffee cause bloating?
- How long does coffee bloat last?
- How to relieve bloating fast
- How to avoid bloating from coffee
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final thoughts on coffee causing bloat
Why does coffee cause bloating?
The good news is that coffee does not cause bloating in every coffee drinker, and even then not all the time. If that were actually the case it would probably not be as popular a drink as it is now.
There are quite a variety of ways in which coffee causes that bloated feeling.
Firstly, the acids in coffee increase the acidity level of the gastric juices in the stomach, causing gassy swelling. It is the same reaction that can cause heartburn.
Secondly, coffee can be a trigger for IBS – Irritable Bowel Symptom, an unpleasant disorder that makes the stomach feel full and bloated.
Caffeine is also a culprit, with its known laxative effect, pushing the stomach to work harder, and increasing gastric acids.
For those who may be a little lactose intolerant but are not too aware of the fact, adding milk or cream will do it.
There is some research that also says artificial sweeteners together with coffee can trigger bloating.
It is a wonder then what people will put up with to get their daily coffee fix.
How long does coffee bloat last?
That bloating feeling after drinking coffee can start within a few minutes of the drink hitting your stomach as it starts to metabolize in your system.
Fortunately, although it can be uncomfortable, it is only temporary.
Depending on what has caused it in the first place, it can last for around five minutes or so, or in severe cases, it can last several hours.
As always with any condition, if it lasts too long, you should seek medical advice.
How to relieve bloating fast
The most common type of bloating in the stomach is the over-production of gastric acids in the stomach, which causes an excess of gas.
One of the best ways to alleviate this is exercise.
Going for a brisk walk, or even a run if you are feeling fit. Maybe some on-the-spot cardio exercises, or just stretching exercises.
Anything is better than just lying down and waiting for it to go away.
Drinking water helps, too. Water can help to dilute and flush out the excess stomach acids, and warm water, in particular, seems to be better for this
How to avoid bloating from coffee
The most obvious way to avoid coffee bloat is not to drink coffee. That sounds a bit extreme, especially when there are other things you can do to avoid the bloated feeling.
Drinking plenty of water is a good start. If you are subject to bloating, try talking sips of water between sips of coffee. That will soften the acidic effects in the stomach.
If the bloating is caused by undiscovered lactose intolerance, you can use a milk substitute like almond milk.
Bloating commonly occurs on an empty stomach. Eating a regular diet helps, but if you are in a rush and don’t have time for lunch when you grab a coffee to stave off the hunger pangs, take a cookie or something light to go with it.
Hey, isn’t that why donuts were invented?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can drinking coffee on an empty stomach cause bloating?
Yes, for many people it is a common cause of bloating.
This can make the stomach feel full, so you are not hungry enough to eat, but you should try drinking your coffee after a meal rather than before.
Does decaf coffee make you bloated?
It is not so much the caffeine that is the problem, it is the acids and chemical reactions that are the main cause.
Decaf still has most of the same acids and other ingredients in its make-up as regular coffee, so the answer is yes.
Does black coffee cause bloating?
If you are already bloated, drinking black coffee can help – its diuretic and laxative effects can get the stomach moving and start to get rid of the gas.
However, it can also be the cause of bloating. Coffee in any form can be the cause, whether black, or with milk, or cream.
Final thoughts on coffee causing bloat
If you really enjoy your coffee, take a few steps to avoid bloating.
Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, and if you are already bloated, drinking more will help.
If you suspect you may be lactose intolerant, try out alternatives like almond milk, which is dairy-free.
And drink coffee after a meal not before.
Coffee doesn’t always cause bloating, but when it does you can usually treat it pretty easily.
If you can’t, maybe you just have to accept it as part of the price of a good cup of coffee.