If you experience diarrhea after drinking coffee, there are various measures you can take to help avoid it. These include drinking coffee on an empty stomach, eating foods containing spicy ingredients, taking probiotic supplements, and drinking less caffeine.
Caffeine can cause stomach ache and cramping, making it unsuitable for people living with IBS. Because of this, doctors do not advise patients taking caffeine products for treatment purposes.
Avoid Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach
Coffee is a beloved morning ritual for many. It provides energy boost and keeps us focused, as well as many health benefits like reducing blood sugar levels and the risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
But drinking coffee on an empty stomach may be harmful for some individuals and cause digestive issues such as bloating, nausea and increased stress levels.
One major reason to avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach is because it may raise cortisol levels, a hormone produced by your adrenal glands that helps regulate metabolism and maintain blood pressure and sugar levels. Excessive cortisol levels may be dangerous to your health, leading to bone loss, hypertension, diabetes and various heart conditions.
An empty stomach should avoid drinking coffee because caffeine stimulates production of acid that damages esophageal lining and increases reflux symptoms.
Heartburn, acid indigestion, and ulcers may result from this. Additionally, your risk for esophageal cancer – one of the primary causes of death among Americans – increases.
To reduce irritation of the esophagus, The Nutrition Twins suggest drinking coffee two hours after awakening – this will allow cortisol levels to return to their usual levels before becoming elevated again during the morning hours.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, drinking coffee on an empty stomach should also be avoided as this could pose health issues to both you and your baby. Excessive caffeine intake could increase blood pressure which could be harmful to an unborn child.
However, stomach acids can also lead to Barrett’s Esophagus – a condition in which cells that line the esophagus become damaged due to prolonged exposure. This increases your risk for Esophageal Carcinoma which is one of the most prevalent types of cancer found within its walls.
Avoid Drinking Coffee with Spicy Foods
If you find yourself experiencing diarrhea after eating spicy food, there are a few steps you can take to minimize its severity. First and foremost, avoid pairing coffee with such dishes, which may irritate your digestive tract.
Avoid reacting to capsaicin in spicy foods by drinking non-polar liquids like milk. This will displace it from TRPV1 receptors and lower pain.
Water, however, is a polar substance and can help spread capsaicin throughout your mouth – which explains why some people experience their mouth burning even without actually eating something spicy! This may explain why some may experience their mouth stinging after even just thinking about eating something spicy!
Capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory molecule, helping regulate blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol levels and fight off infections among other benefits.
Harvard Medical School YouTube channel recently posted a video in which a doctor explained how capsaicin works. When you consume spicy foods, capsaicin binds with TRPV1 receptors in your tongue and mouth causing pain; your body then speeds up digestion in order to eliminate capsaicin quickly.
But if you find that spicy foods cause diarrhea after you eat them, this could be a telltale sign that capsaicin is seeping through to your stomach lining and irritating water-absorbing receptors in the gut, leading to diarrhea as a result.
Good news is that most cases of diarrhea caused by spicy food usually resolve within a day or two; if symptoms don’t improve or worsen however, it may be wise to visit your physician.
If you suspect an allergy or intolerance to spicy foods, it would be prudent to seek professional assistance from either a registered dietitian or gastroenterologist in implementing an elimination diet plan. They will be able to identify what’s triggering your symptoms and treat accordingly.
Avoiding spicy foods altogether should be the key to preventing diarrhea from them in the first place, making this relatively straightforward if you avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages, hydrate properly, eat balanced meals and refrain from drinking alcohol or caffeinated drinks before bedtime.
Take a Probiotic Supplement
One effective way to combat coffee-induced diarrhea is taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements contain various strains of bacteria that may help alleviate digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
However, which probiotic you choose depends on your specific needs. For instance, lactobacillus rhamnosus GG can help soothe diarrhea symptoms, while Bifidobacteria could provide greater support against IBS symptoms.
Health food stores and grocery stores stock an assortment of probiotic supplements. When selecting one for yourself, always consult with a healthcare provider or pharmacist about which strain(s) would work best for you.
Before or during taking probiotics, it’s also beneficial to consume a glass of filtered water to dilute stomach acids and give these beneficial bacteria the best chance at reaching your intestines alive, according to David Perlmutter, M.D.
Consider including a probiotic in your morning meal to increase the amount of good bacteria. Your stomach won’t be as acidic when you wake up, making it more receptive to receiving an additional dose of probiotics.
Experts advise setting a reminder for taking probiotics on a certain day each week so you’ll always remember when and the recommended dosage, which can vary between bottles. This way, it will become part of your weekly routine and you won’t forget when or why to take your probiotics!
Take your probiotics at the right time of day; experts advise taking them before bedtime when your gut is less active to give the beneficial bacteria plenty of opportunity to flourish and multiply.
Keep your diet high in fiber to help support the good bacteria in your gut. Fiber acts as a prebiotic, feeding good bacteria with sustenance for their survival.
Studies on probiotics’ effects for healthy people are limited, though probiotics have been shown to aid with certain digestive conditions like diarrhea and acid reflux. You should never rely solely on supplements as your source of health since they’re not subject to FDA regulation.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can help combat coffee-induced diarrhea by keeping yourself hydrated and speeding up how quickly caffeine leaves your system.
Apart from drinking plenty of water, it’s also essential to limit foods that could aggravate your digestive tract such as spicy ingredients that could potentially upset the stomach and worsen diarrhea symptoms. These foods could potentially irritate or provoke upset in your system which could contribute to diarrhea attacks.
As a rule of thumb, bland foods tend to present the lowest risk of inducing diarrhea, such as plain white rice, pasta noodles and chicken soup.
Food should also help, so try to limit how much sugar you eat. Many people with diarrhea have difficulty digesting sugary foods that make their symptoms worse.
As caffeine and alcohol can exacerbate your GI symptoms, it’s best to stay away from beverages like coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate that contain these substances. This includes coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolate products.
Avoid sodas that contain high amounts of fructose as these may further irritate the intestines.
Some individuals are lactose intolerant, meaning that they cannot digest the sugar found in milk and dairy creamer. Furthermore, dairy can irritate intestines and cause diarrhea in these individuals.
If you are lactose intolerant, it may be beneficial to temporarily avoid these products until your diarrhea clears up. Also, drinking coffee without adding dairy creamers can help identify what’s triggering rapid symptoms.
As part of your efforts to stay hydrated during an episode of diarrhea, it’s wise to consume lots of fluids that contain electrolytes such as water and electrolyte-balanced fluids such as fruit juices, broths, sports drinks (such as Gatorade) or caffeine-free sodas. Passing at least one cup of water after every loose bowel movement will also help flush toxins out and avoid dehydration.
Your digestive health could benefit from taking probiotic supplements. Probiotics can improve digestion and help protect against gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea. They’re available both online and at local pharmacies.