Does Your Coffee Cause Heartburn? The Truth About Your Cup of Brew Inside

According to The National Coffee Association Americans are drinking more coffee than ever before, with the average coffee drinker having at least three cups per day. Is that a good thing, a bad thing, maybe neither, we’re going to break it down inside this article.

If you’re a regular coffee drinker who also experiences some discomfort in your chest after a cup or two, that may not be from the energy or jolt of caffeine that the cup of Joe provides (however the caffein could still be to blame) Can coffee cause indigestion and heartburn?

According to the research some people are more likely to experience heartburn than others, and if you do experience the occasional heartburn, identifying your triggers is a great place to start in your quest to avoid future issues.

Researchers tend to argue about whether or not coffee is actually one of those triggers, but as more studies emerge, it’s suggesting that coffee can be the culprit.

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Coffee is most commonly a reaction to acid reflux (there’s a chronic version, gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known to you as GERD). It’s commonly a pain or burning sensation in the center of the chest, which occurs when acid travels back up from your stomach into your esophagus as you eat.

“There is a muscle between the esophagus and the stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter,” explains Dr. Neel Choksi, MD, a gastroenterologist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. “It relaxes when we swallow to allow food to pass through to the stomach and closes tightly to prevent food and acid from regurgitating back into the esophagus. This muscle can spontaneously relax without swallowing in response to a number of different foods and drinks, including caffeinated beverages such as coffee.”

There are a few studies that specifically look at coffee and its’ relation to heartburn. Most focus on the impact that coffee can have on GERD, which is, again, a chronic condition (and more problematic than the occasional I need a tums moment).

Some studies in 2014 suggest no significance between coffee intake and GERD symptoms. However a more recent study in 2019 does find a correlation between coffee and GERD symptoms, however the study was only performed on women.

“Coffee itself is acidic and may make it more challenging for the body to naturally neutralize acid,” notes Dr. Malchuk. “[Also], very often folks drink coffee in the morning, on an empty stomach.”

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Leslie
Leslie
1 month ago

I drink Nespresso coffee first thing in the am. Never get heartburn. It might have something to do with the quality of the coffee.

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