If you’re a coffee lover, then this article may shock and disturb you. But know that we have disclosed in this article are insights that are crucial for the prosperity and safety of your health, especially your gut.
Anyone who is a java fanatic knows all too well what a cup of freshly brewed coffee is capable of. Apart from fighting off sleepiness, numerous scientific studies have revealed a number of other health benefits to both the mind and body.
In fact, caffeine can also be beneficial for digestion as it relieves us of constipation and reduces sugar absorption. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows because caffeine can be just as bad to our digestive tract. Some of the negative effects include an increase in fluid loss, worsening stomach aches and forces food to move faster in our digestive tract.
Here are some other factors as to how coffee negatively impacts our digestion:
Increases Your Need To Use The Loo
One of the most unpleasant urges that caffeine consumption results in are our need to use the loo more often than we need to. This is caffeine activates peristalsis or contractions in our colon and intestinal muscles that enable the fluids in our bodies to be digested faster.
Other than caffeine, it may also be the chlorogenic acids and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine (a chemical that may be related to neurotransmitter serotonin) that forces us to use the bathroom often since they stimulate stomach acid. As a result, this causes food to move faster in the digestive tract.
On the plus side, however, if you have constipation, an increase of peristalsis can help you have a bowel movement. But if that isn’t an issue then an increase in the movement of intestines can result in loose stools or mild diarrhea. Though this only happens if you drink too much coffee.
Ulcers, IBS and Acidity
The compounds in caffeine, as well as numerous acids that are found in coffee beans, can irritate your stomach. This is especially a problem for those who suffer from IBS, ulcers, gastritis and Crohn’s disease, which is why doctors discourage patients to avoid coffee completely.
Coffee can also irritate the lining of our small intestine, which may lead to cramps, abnormal spasms, and elimination problems, causing either diarrhea or constipation. These symptoms are what make up the irritable bowel syndrome and more people are recently being diagnosed this way.
It Affects The Hydrochloric Acid In Your Stomach
Hydrochloric Acid is a chemical that should only be produced for the purpose of digesting food. However, drinking coffee on an empty stomach, especially if it’s the first thing you take early in the morning, stimulates the production of HCI.
If your body produces more HCI just by drinking coffee, there may not be enough to digest a large meal later on. Without sufficient HCI in the stomach, protein digestion will be affected and any protein-based foods will pass through your small intestine without being broken down. This can potentially lead to a series of health issues such as bloating, diverticulitis, gas, IBS and even colon cancer.
Reduces Mineral Absorption
Consuming coffee can make it difficult to absorb minerals, especially for those who are heavy drinkers. This is true even if we were to eat foods rich in minerals to take supplements. The reason for this is because coffee affects our stomach’s iron absorption as well as our kidney’s ability to retain zinc, magnesium, calcium and other crucial minerals.
Though many of these minerals are important, a deficiency in the absorption of magnesium is especially bad since it helps maintain bowel regularity and the sad part is that many of us are already lacking in it.
Coffee dorks beware, for you may invite the cancer-causing substance known as acrylamide in your stomachs, that is if you roast your coffee beans at high temperatures. The darker your roast your coffee beans, the higher the levels of acrylamide you’re going to get. As a matter of fact, coffee is one of the major sources of this abdominal chemical in American diets.
Between ulcers and cancer-causing substances, we can’t really tell what’s worse for our digestion. But what we do know, however, is that we have to limit our intake of the caffeinated beverages to avoid the atrocious side-effects mentioned in the body of this post.