Why Does Coffee Make Me Nauseous? Most Common Causes & How to Fix Them

A busy, wonderful day can get ruined if you’re not careful about your morning caffeine consumption. One of the most common side effects of coffee is nausea. But why does coffee make me nauseous? What are the possible causes here?

Does that mean you have to now stop drinking your favorite hot beverage first thing in the morning? A morning without caffeine means having to struggle with focus, alertness, sleepiness, etc. After all, caffeine does offer its own set of health and mental benefits. And who wants that when you have a long, busy day ahead of you!

In that case, your brain function may receive a boost with caffeine, but then maybe your tummy becomes the problem. And let’s not forget that coffee can also make you feel nauseous. What to do at such times? Time to find out!

Nausea Because Of Coffee – Most Common Causes and How to Fix Them?

1. Coffee Is A Stimulant for the GI Tract

Surprisingly, not many daily coffee drinkers know that coffee stimulates the digestive or gastrointestinal tract. What happens is its laxative properties activate your peristaltic, which explains the bowel movements after drinking a cup of coffee.

So when the bowels start to move, it’s only common to experience nausea, cramping, pain, or weakness. The solution, however, is that you may want to stay close to the loo during this time. Because after you’ve answered the call of nature, you’re most likely to feel better.

But if you already have constipation issues, then downing coffee is inevitably going to give rise to nausea and more dehydration. In that case, avoid it completely or choose decaf.

2. Coffee Causes Dehydration

When too much coffee goes into your system, it causes dehydration. And that, in turn, makes you feel nauseated. So if you think coffee can replace water when it comes to hydrating your body, it’s time to change the way you think then.

Drinking 2 glasses of water on an empty tummy for flushing out toxins from the body is the right way to go. This means you can’t pour coffee into your empty system and expect the same results.

The only solution here for caffeine lovers is increasing their daily water consumption in order to boost hydration levels in the body.

3. Coffee Increases Stomach Acid Production

How much coffee is too much coffee? Well, it’s alright to consume 3-4 cups of coffee a day. But anything more than that and you’re just welcoming unpleasant concerns like nausea into your daily life. And that’s because excessive caffeine boosts the production of stomach acid.

The level of stomach acid should be within the normal range, which is between 20 ml and 100 ml. In terms of pH value, it’s between 1.5 and 3.5 (acidic). So when these levels increase and go beyond the normal capacity, discomfort in the form of nausea and sickness is unavoidable.

On top of that, there are the laxative properties of caffeine that can cause a lot of irritability if you consume more than 3-4 cups of coffee a day. So caffeine does indeed do more than just keep you alert and awake! Keeping your daily consumption in check is the best solution here.

4. Light Roast Coffee Has Higher Acidity

When the acidity of the coffee is higher than normal, it’s only natural for gastric acid in your stomach to not appreciate that. Acid reflux is what happens when your tummy’s gastric acid and your favorite light roast coffee’s acids don’t get along. The most common symptoms include nausea, bloating, belching, sickness, and the like.

And the solution? It’s simple – go for a darker roast next time. It’s got lower acidity levels, no doubt about that.

Another option is to prepare a cold brew instead of using hot water. Because the latter elevates acid levels.  On the other hand, cold brewing brings them down by around 34-percent.

5. Coffee Aggravates Morning Sickness Among Pregnant Women

If you’re pregnant, then we don’t need to give you a lesson on what morning sickness is, right? But then we can point out that coffee consumption during your first trimester (first 12 weeks) of pregnancy is most likely to worsen your nausea and stomach sensitivity.

So the only way out is eliminating caffeine from your daily diet, at least during the length of the first trimester. But if you feel nauseated or the vomiting continues even after that, then get in touch with your doctor for professional medical guidance.

6. Coffee Doesn’t Agree With Cortisol Levels Early In the Morning

Did you know that your cortisol levels are at their peak level right after you wake up in the morning? So, at such times, if you drink coffee, it can lead to nausea, lethargy, and stress.

On top of that, let’s not forget that coffee also upsets your GI tract if you already have a sensitive gut. This is why so many people struggling with tummy problems consume their first cup of coffee either later in the morning or during the early afternoon time. It’s the most effective remedy for preventing the onset of caffeine-induced nausea and sickness.

7. Coffee Causes Discomfort On An Empty Stomach

Certainly one of the things about coffee you probably have heard or read a thousand times by now. Just to be clear, this is NOT A MYTH. Coffee contains chemicals, acids, flavors, and intensities that just simply don’t bode well with an empty stomach.

In fact, the acids present in coffee tend to thin out your stomach lining. Thus, leading to gastritis, acid reflux, etc. when there’s no amount of food in there for absorbing the acidity. So think again when it comes to skipping your breakfast and beginning your day with coffee instead.

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, nervousness, and an increased heart rate are all warning signs for you to drink your morning coffee either after or with your breakfast. Or maybe just have a banana on an empty stomach before any type of caffeine consumption.

8. Coffee with Artificial, Low-Fat, Non-Dairy Sweeteners and Creamers

Low-fat, non-dairy creamers and zero-calorie, artificial sweeteners are just fancy terms. These types of creamers and sweeteners are no healthier. They also stir up gut bacteria and mess with bodily functions. All because of the ingredients used, such as thickeners, hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, and other harmful and artificial components.

And these, no doubt, have been linked to causing nausea, diarrhea, and more. Even though some of them, like dipotassium phosphate, are added for breaking down the acidity of coffee.

So how about you keep your coffee the smoothest-tasting and healthy for your short-term and long-term health by using only all-natural creamers or milk? Then there’s also the option of having your coffee black. That way, you’re most likely to savor the actual flavors of your coffee roast that often get obscured because of added ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get rid of coffee-induced nausea?

Let’s assume that you downed more than 3-4 cups in a day and now you’re feeling sick, dehydrated, and nauseous. So what can you do to feel better at the moment?

  • First things first, don’t consume any more caffeine for the rest of the day.
  • Make sure to keep yourself well hydrated. So drink extra glasses of water in order to avoid the accumulation of more dehydration.
  • Have you experienced diarrhea apart from just nausea? If yes, then drink electrolyte water.
  • All that caffeine is certainly making you feel restless or agitated, right? Then go for a walk.
  • Practice meditation or just plain simple deep breathing at home or wherever you are. An increased heart rate or fast, shallow breathing is a very common side effect of too much coffee consumption. So mindfully take deep, slow, deliberate breaths for normalizing your heart rate and reducing anxiety.

Why Do I Feel Drunk After Drinking Coffee?

Generally speaking, caffeine elevates your heartbeat. And if you happen to focus on that, more adrenaline is released into your brain, which is bound to bring about feelings of anxiety, dizziness, and the like. Much the same as you might feel after having a few shots.

What Does a Coffee Crash Feel Like?

A caffeine crash, more often than not, is marked by signs like excessive irritability, tiredness, headache, and lack of attention or focus.

Can You Flush out Caffeine From Your System?

The effects of caffeine remain in your body for a few hours after consumption, correct? So, unfortunately, once caffeine enters the system, flushing it out is not possible. You have to let caffeine take its natural course.

How Long Does Caffeine Stay in the Body?

Caffeine remains in your system for 10-12 hours. But half of the caffeine levels and side effects leave or subside in half the time, which is 6 hours. However, the complete flushing out of caffeine from the bloodstream takes 10-12 hours.

Now You Know What Happens When You Drink Too Much Coffee!

There’s no underestimating the side effects of excessive caffeine consumption. It can elevate your heart rate, breathing, anxiety levels, restlessness, and even make you feel nauseated. But you know you can avoid all of this and more only if you don’t go overboard, that is only if you don’t drink more than 3-4 cups a day.

Normally, those with a sensitive gut and other such health conditions limit their daily intake to just 100 milligrams of caffeine per day. But then if you’re not struggling with such issues and irritability, it’s okay to devour 3-4 cups (max. 400 milligrams) of caffeine during the day.

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