Dangers of excess coffee
- Coffee and Hydrochloric Acid
Drinking coffee on an empty stomach, such as first thing in the morning, stimulates hydrochloric acid production. This can be a problem because HCl should only be produced to digest meals. If your body has to make HCl more often in response to regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to deal with a large meal. Once you eat protein and HCL is used up this may lead to bloating
Love it or hate it
- Ulcers, IBS and Acidity
Many of the compounds in coffee like caffeine and the various acids found in coffee beans can irritate your stomach and the lining of your small intestine. It’s known to be a problem for those suffering from ulcers, gastritis, IBS and Crohn’s disease and doctors generally advise patients with these conditions to avoid coffee completely.
Drinking coffee can also irritate the lining of the small intestine, potentially leading to abdominal spasms, cramps and elimination problems, often alternating between constipation and diarrhea. This condition is known as irritable bowel syndrome and more and more people are being diagnosed with it in recent years.
- Heartburn Problems
Acid reflux and heartburn can be caused by coffee due to the way it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This small muscle should remain tightly closed once you’ve eaten to prevent the contents of your stomach from coming back into the esophagus and burning its delicate lining with hydrochloric acid.
Even decaf regularly causes heartburn problems for some people and researchers think other compounds in coffee can also contribute to acid reflux problems.
- Coffee as a Laxative
Drinking coffee can stimulate peristalsis, the process in the digestive tract that makes us head for the bathroom. Some people use it deliberately as a laxative, but there’s a problem with appears to promote increased gastric emptying, whereby the stomach’s contents are quickly passed into the small intestines, often before the digesting food has been properly broken down.
In this partially digested state, it makes it much more difficult for nutrients to be absorbed from your food. It also increases the chances of irritation and inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract.
- Mineral Absorption, Your Kidneys and Coffee
Heavy coffee drinkers may have difficulty getting enough minerals in their diet, even if they eat mineral rich foods or take supplements. This is due to the way coffee affects iron absorption in your stomach and particularly your kidneys ability to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.
While all of these minerals are vital for good health, from a digestive standpoint, any interference with magnesium absorption is particularly worrying as it is necessary to maintain bowel regularity and so many of us are already deficient in it.
- Acrylamide in Coffee
Acrylamide is a potentially carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substance that forms when coffee beans are roasted at high temperatures. The darker the roast, the higher the levels of acrylamide are likely to be. In fact, coffee has been shown to be one of the major sources of this dangerous chemical in American diets.
- Coffee, Stress and Tension
Drinking lots of coffee will promote the release of the stress hormones cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These chemicals increase your body’s heart rate, blood pressure and tension levels – the old ‘fight or flight’ response.
Your mood and your digestive system are surprisingly interrelated. Unfortunately, when you drink a lot of coffee the high levels of caffeine in it can negatively affect both of them.
Many people are very protective of their coffee and probably won’t like to hear all of these health problems associated with it. But if you’ve made it reading this far, perhaps you have a feeling that there could be some value in cutting down a bit or even replacing it altogether.
pressure. If you are one of these adults, drinking coffee will only make the problem worse.
Essentially, it will force your heart to work double-time just to pump oxygen and nutrients through your body. For those with high blood pressure, perhaps it’s time to cut back on the Java.