Types of Coffee that Won’t Upset Your Stomach

For a lot of people, coffee is already a part of their morning routine. You might start your day with a fresh cup of coffee or maybe have another cup in the afternoon to get you through the day.

Drinking coffee, whether hot or iced, is definitely enjoyable but not if it gives you an upset stomach. If that happens often, you don’t have to throw away your coffee maker just yet.

In this article, I will be talking about some stomach-friendly coffee options if you get an upset stomach when drinking coffee.

In this article:

  • Why Do You Get an Upset Stomach When Drinking Coffee

  • Types of Coffee that Won’t Upset Your Stomach

Why Do You Get an Upset Stomach When Drinking Coffee

Have you ever wondered why coffee gives you an upset stomach? This is because coffee is an acidic drink.

Your coffee’s acidity depends on several factors like how it is brewed or how the beans are roasted. Coffee beans contain chlorogenic acids (CGAs) and these are broken down when the beans are roasted.

When broken down, the CGAs contribute to the aroma and acidity of the coffee. Drinking coffee can increase the acidity that is already in your stomach, called stomach acid

This can lead to poor digestion and gastritis, and you might even experience heartburn. You might feel these side effects strongly if you drink coffee on an empty stomach.

Caffeine can also be one of the reasons why you get an upset stomach after drinking coffee. The caffeine content in coffee can cause your digestive tract to contract which causes an upset stomach.

Another reason could be because of the additional ingredients you put in your coffee. Milk can also make the stomach produce more acid so it could also be the culprit for your sensitive stomach.

Types of Coffee that Won’t Upset Your Stomach

As I mentioned earlier, you don’t have to throw away your coffee maker and give up coffee. There are different types of coffee that you can drink to avoid having an upset stomach every time you drink a cup.

Go for Darker Roasts

Stok Cold Brew Coffee

When looking for stomach-friendly coffee, go for dark roasts as they tend to be less acidic than light roasts. Dark-roasted coffee beans are roasted for longer periods of time and break down the acid longer resulting in less acidity.

Go for Low-Acid Coffee

Low-acid coffees have a pH level of 5 and above, especially if you experience acid reflux, have GERD, or other stomach issues. If you are looking for coffee beans, go for those that are grown at a lower altitude since these are less acidic.

Since higher altitudes have cooler temperatures, coffee growth tends to be slower. This allows the beans to develop more flavor and become more acidic.

Coffee from Guatemala, Brazil, Mexico, and Sumatra is great if you are looking for coffee with low acidity.

Drink Decaf

Since caffeine is one of the culprits in giving you an upset stomach when drinking coffee, why not eliminate it altogether? This might not be the best option if you are relying on caffeine to get through the day.

However, drinking decaf can help fix your problem if you are sensitive to caffeine. If you drink too much coffee with a lot of caffeine content, you can try switching to decaf once in a while and see if stops giving you an upset stomach.

If drinking decaf still gives you stomach issues, it might not be because of the caffeine. In this case, you can switch to a darker roast or low-acid coffee.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Decaf Espresso

Drink Cold Brew

If trying decaf does not work, you can also try drinking cold brew coffee. Cold brew is the process of steeping coffee at room temperature for about 12 to 24 hours. Some even steep the coffee in the refrigerator.

The room temperature or cold water extracts less acid in the coffee making it less acidic. Cold brew coffee is also less bitter which is great if you don’t like bitter coffee.

Related: The Best Coffee Roast for Cold Brew

Use Chicory Coffee

If caffeine is your problem and using dark roasted beans does not work, chicory coffee might be good as an alternative. Chicory coffee does not have caffeine in it but it will still give you a strong coffee flavor reminiscent of regular coffee.

However, keep in mind that chicory coffee can cause bloating, diarrhea, and even gut pain if you already have digestive disorders or are intolerant to FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols).

If you are not sure if you are allergic to chicory, make sure to check with your healthcare provider first before switching to chicory coffee.

Use Dairy Alternatives

This is really not a type of coffee but it can help if you think milk in your coffee upsets your stomach. 

If you like adding milk to your coffee and you find that it makes your stomach upset, you can choose to use milk alternatives. If you are lactose-intolerant, adding milk could definitely upset your stomach.

Switching to lactose-free or plant-based milk can help neutralize the coffee’s acidity if you are sensitive to milk.

Tips for a Happy Stomach When Drinking Coffee

If you find that coffee gives you an upset stomach, make sure to drink coffee with food. You will feel the acidity more if you drink coffee on an empty stomach.

Also, consider drinking small portions of coffee to help keep your caffeine intake at bay. Aside from limiting your coffee intake, drink more water alongside your coffee to lessen the risk of acid reflux. Make sure to also hydrate with water throughout the day to help with your digestion.

Final Thoughts

Now you know that you don’t have to avoid coffee if it gives you stomach problems. There are alternatives to regular coffee if you are experiencing an upset stomach after drinking one.

From choosing dark roasts to drinking cold brew, you have other options if you can’t live without coffee. The most important thing is to consult with your doctor if you keep experiencing stomach issues when you are drinking coffee. 


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