Drinking coffee on an empty stomach: risks and consequences

It is quite usual that in many houses and homes in many countries of the world the same situation is repeated: we get out of bed in the morning after having woken up, we wash our faces, we prepare ourselves and we make a well-charged coffee, which then we drink alone or with milk.

In fact, you probably remember expressions like ... If I do not drink a coffee in the morning I'm not a person. But we usually make a serious mistake: we drink coffee very early and also on an empty stomach.

First of all, something we usually never tend to fall into, we usually do not think what is the best time of day to have coffee. And it is probably surprising to know that, in fact, breakfast is not exactly the most appropriate time because coffee would not have the same stimulating effect.

Guilty? The hormone cortisol that we found at higher levels between 8 and 9 in the morning, and then also increases at certain times of the day, producing peaks between 12 and 13 o'clock in the afternoon and between 5:30 and 18 o'clock : 30 hours in the afternoon.

But this is not just the mistake we tend to make in a very habitual way. We also usually drink coffee on an empty stomach before having eaten practically nothing, in order that the coffee "awakens" us and stimulates us to start the morning better and with more energy. It is a real risk to the health of our stomach. And we reveal why.

Why do we always drink coffee in the morning, on an empty stomach and on an empty stomach?

Coffee is a recognized stimulating drink, known precisely because helps us to reduce drowsiness and it activates us thanks to its high caffeine content, an alkaloid of the group of xanthines that acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system, increasing our alertness.

Yes, depending on the type of coffee we prepare and the way we choose to make their contribution in caffeine will be higher or lower. Here we indicate the approximate amounts:

  • 1 espresso coffee, approximately 30 ml: it contributes between 40 and 75 mg. of caffeine.
  • 1 large cup of American type coffee, approximately 240 ml: it contributes between 100 and 200 mg. of caffeine.
  • 1 coffee of envelope: contributes between 25 and 175 mg. of caffeine.
  • 1 decaffeinated espresso coffee machine: between 0 and 15 mg. of caffeine.

The truth is that there is a habit of drinking coffee always in the morning, at breakfast, in the belief that it will help us to stimulate us and it will be useful to awaken us better. But as we already mentioned, not only is it a mistake due to the action of the hormone cortisol, but also It is a habit that can put our digestive health at risk.

The risks of drinking coffee on an empty stomach

Irritation of the stomach

Did you know coffee is an irritating drink? Thus It is not appropriate to drink coffee on an empty stomach, since it is a stimulant that contains large amounts of chlorogenic acid, an acid that on an empty stomach can cause irritation of the walls of the stomach, and become a cause of appearance of gastritis.

Gastritis is basically inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which occurs with heartburn, stomach pains or abdominal pain, constant hiccups, vomiting and dizziness. When gastritis is not treated it can cause peptic ulcers, causing greater pain and increasing the risk of gastric cancer.

In fact, coffee can cause our stomach to produce stomach acids in excess, especially when we have an empty stomach, which can also contribute to the appearance of gastritis or ulcers, as well as other conditions such as irritation of the intestines, burning in the stomach and reflux.

Decreases certain hormones

Although this is a consequence actually less known as the previous one, If we drink coffee on an empty stomach we will be preventing the production of serotonin, which comes from a neurotransmitter responsible for causing us pleasure, well-being and happiness.

Several studies have found that people who avoid drinking coffee on an empty stomach in a few days improve their mood, even feeling better about themselves.

Mayo Clinic Minute: Health Benefits of Coffee (December 2021)