Gut health is my priority this month (and the next two as well!) and I wanted to explain the link to drinking coffee and gut health. Now before you think I'm getting all on my 'high horse' about drinking coffee, I'm not... promise! I love to drink coffee and feel that it does give me some perks and health benefits. Just read my post here all about the pro's of drinking the lovely stuff.
However, the importance of gut health is almost infinite! Seriously! Regular coffee drinking can have quite an impact on our gut too. Have a read below to see how it affects those tummies of ours...
COFFEE INCREASE YOUR STOMACH ACID
Coffee increases our stomach acid, but if you are a regular at drinking coffee without any food you could run into some problems. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach (especially first thing in the morning) can actually put you at risk of stomach ulcers due to the damage coffee causes to the stomach's protective barrier.
IT CAN CAUSE HEARTBURN
Mainly from the reason above unfortunately. When you increase your stomach acid, this will in turn increase your risk of acid reflux and heartburn. If you find that you have an issue with indigestion and reflux, it might be best avoiding coffee altogether - if this isn't an option? Well, at least try not to drink it on an empty stomach
COFFEE CAN AGGRAVATE YOUR IBS
If you have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) then coffee can actually inflame it as it causes inflammation in your gut and also bloating.
Coffee actually speeds up digestion in the stomach. This can then lead to foods being poorly processed and ending up in the gut at the wrong time. This leads to further inflammation as the food can begin to rot in the gut... eeeeew!
COFFEE IS A DIURETIC
As it's a diuretic, it makes you wee more. This can lead to dehydration and poor absorption of valuable minerals in the body. Need a coffee? Make sure you drink plenty of water afterwards to keep your body hydrated.
IT STOPS YOUR SUPPLEMENTS FROM BEING ABSORBED
It is always recommended not to have any coffee (or caffeinated beverages) and hour before or after taking your vitamin supplements. Coffee stops the body absorbing vital vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C needed for collagen production!). Make sure you take your vitamins at a different time to your coffee otherwise it could be a complete waste of time (and money!)
IT CAN STOP YOUR BODY GETTING NUTRIENTS FROM FOODS
In the same way your body can't absorb the vitamins and minerals as well from your supplements when you have coffee, it is also the same with food. If you treat yourself to a healthy meal with lots of fresh fruit and veggies, if you have a coffee, you might not absorb all the fresh vitamins from the food as well.
COFFEE INCREASES YOUR STRESS HORMONE CORTISOL
When we're stressed we tend to drink coffee right? It's like the daytime version of a glass of vino. The problem with this, is that coffee actually increases the production of cortisol in the body... which leads to more stress rather counterintuitively. Instead, maybe opt for a chamomile tea (or any calming blend) to reduce the stress in your body and rebalance your mind.
In short, it doesn't mean you have to cut your coffee altogether. However, it's good to know the con's so that if you are struggling with any of the issues I've mentioned above, you can be more aware of when you have your coffee.
Thanks so much for reading,