Many people have the habit of taking a Cup of coffee in the morning, even before eating. That means this coffee goes straight to the empty stomach. Some argue this is bad, but is it true?
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The fact is, coffee is considered a stomach irritant, as are alcohol and antiinflammatories like ibuprofen and Advil. But according to Kim Barrett, a professor of membrane physiology and biology at the University of California, the stomach can withstand all kinds of irritants.
What happens if you drink coffee on an empty stomach?
According to the professor, the stomach ejects a layer of mucus that forms a protective shield between the stomach lining and what you’re ingesting. By doing so, this shield also protects you from your own natural acidity, which is needed to grind food.
That is, for the habit of drinking coffee on an empty stomach to be harmful to you, you would have to consume a very large amount, so that the stomach’s defenses are broken. It’s worth noting that some substances can make the stomach more prone to acid and ulcer formation, but that’s not the case with coffee.
A 2013 survey in Japan found no significant link between coffee and the formation of ulcers in the stomach or intestines. Because of this, some respondents drank three or more cups a day.
However, it’s worth noting that coffee has an effect on the gut: it can speed up the colon and stimulate a bowel movement, in addition to increasing acid production in the stomach.
What to do when you feel bad
While there’s no evidence, if you consistently notice a burning sensation in your chest or a sour taste in your mouth after drinking coffee, consider reducing it. Adding milk or something to eat with coffee can also help.
Keep in mind that caffeine can increase heart rate and blood pressure. And if you drink coffee too close to bedtime, it can disrupt your sleep. However, these changes are temporary.