6 Ways To Make Your Morning Coffee Easier On Your Stomach

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Jun. 10 2024, Published 8:00 a.m. ET

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If you’re like many working women, you begin your day with a cup of coffee. The thought of that initial jolt of caffeine may be the only sip of comfort you have when there’s no time for breakfast. However, it isn’t long before your tummy starts doing gymnastics, causing considerable discomfort. What you wouldn’t give for some pain-free java.

What lurks behind the gurgles and sudden urges? More importantly, how can you stop the uncomfortable symptoms so you can get back to work? Here are six possibilities and how to address them to make your morning coffee easier on your stomach.

1. Check the quality of the beans.

Several factors may explain why your beans make your morning coffee hard on your stomach. Various molds can develop during harvest or transport, spurring symptoms. Avoiding it is tricky, but you can decrease the contamination risk. 

A high price tag doesn’t always indicate quality, but other symbols on the label might. Beans labeled Fair Trade certified ensure farmers use sustainable processes and receive suitable wages for their efforts, implying a higher standard of care throughout the production process. 

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Although coffee does not cause stomach ulcers, it may exacerbate the symptoms of those who already have the condition. Only your doctor can identify this cause by ordering an endoscopy to examine your stomach lining for damage. However, you might also try reducing the acidity of your brew. 

Pay attention to your beans’ origin. Shade-grown beans are often less acidic, as diluting the sun’s rays slows the maturation process. Conversely, beans grown on high mountain peaks are typically more acidic, as the soil drains more quickly, concentrating the brew. 

2. Reduce the caffeine punch.

As much as you may crave caffeine, your body treats it as a foreign toxin. The same jitters affecting your fingers and toes increase stomach motility. Hence, you may feel a sudden urge to go as your body attempts to expel the intruder. 

Try switching to decaf. You might be surprised — your body may crave warmth in the morning, not the go-juice. Another idea is to alternate each cup with green tea, which contains far less caffeine than coffee.

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3. Eat a simple meal to coat your stomach.

You don’t have to rustle up a full English breakfast, but coating your stomach could eliminate the discomfort your morning coffee causes. Simple meals you can prepare the night before, such as overnight oats, protect your delicate stomach lining from that initial jolt of go-juice. As a bonus, putting something in your belly when your day begins keeps you from raiding the office vending machine for far less healthy snacks by 10 a.m. 

4. Reconsider your milk intake.

Here’s where it gets a little tricky, and you need to experiment. If you’re among the millions of Americans with lactose intolerance, no matter how mild, adding cream to your morning coffee could explain why it’s hard on your stomach. Try an alternative, such as golden milk, an exotic blend of turmeric and other herbs that adds a light chai flavor while providing an anti-inflammatory boost.

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However, others find that milk tempers their brew’s acidity. If you can’t stop drinking your java on an empty stomach, try adding cream and mindfully observe the results. 

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5. Experiment with alternatives. 

Coffee isn’t the only way to get a morning energy boost. You might have better options. For example, starting your day with a maca chia matcha drink provides oodles of protein to fill you up until lunch if you are among the no-time-for-breakfast crowd. A green smoothie is another fiber-full alternative — add matcha powder for a mild caffeine boost.

6. Consider cold brew.

Cold-brew coffee is less acidic because it involves soaking beans instead of using heat extraction. If you make it at home, follow proper sanitation practices to avoid contamination, which may worsen stomach upset. 

Make Your Morning Coffee Easier On Your Stomach

Your daybreak cup of coffee is a joy you should celebrate free from tummy trouble. Try these tricks to enjoy your morning brew without stomach upset and start your day brighter.

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By: Mia Barnes

Mia Barnes is a health journalist with over 3+ years of experience specializing in workplace wellness. Mia believes knowledge is power. As the Editor-in-Chief of Body+Mind Magazine, Mia's goal is to cover relevant topics to empower women through information.

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