Does Coffee Have Side Effects?
Most of What you read about Coffee nowadays is all about the good things. Coffee’s potential protective effect against Diabetes and Parkinson’s was all over the news when that research came out. But as most coffee drinkers know–it is not all just upside.
Many of us cannot get imagine starting the day without coffee. In fact, it’s essential for many to get through the workday. But do you really know the potential power of coffee? It wields its magnificent power, giving us energy and the strength to conquer any obstacle, but run out of coffee and you have let the tiger out of the cage.
Fatigue and irritability take over; you wonder how you can possibly carry on without it. Our coffee is a cruel mistress, and she can turn on you. So perhaps it is time to turn the microscope on coffee and examine the ways it can negatively affect you.
You think, no problem, caffeine won’t be the boss of me; I’ll just switch over to decaf. Hold the phone, like everything else; decaffeinated coffee has its own list of potential side effects. In fact, some people are just allergic to coffee period. Below we examine all the potential ways coffee can affect you.
Coffee Side Effects
A 2010 study found that over half of American’s indulge in coffee every day. Modern life is busy, and sometimes we need a little pick-me-up. Unfortunately, sometimes, that little-pick-me-up may come with a price. From addiction to heartburn, that little cup of Joe can be responsible for some of the following side effects.
1) Digestive Problems
Most of us have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Unfortunately, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can wreak havoc on your digestive system. When you drink coffee on an empty stomach, you jump start the hydrochloric acid production in your stomach.
This is a problem, because the HCI switch should only be switched on during meals, when you need it to help digest food. When you’re switching on the HCI switch, you run the risk of running low and not having enough hydrochloric acid to help digest food, when you really need it.
If you are running low on HCI when digesting a protein-rich meal, the protein can be passed off into the small intestine before it is completely broken down. Undigested protein itself can cause a whole host of problems such as gas, bloating, diverticulitis, IBS, and even colon cancer.
2) Gastrointestinal Issues
The acidity in coffee can cause major problems in your gastrointestinal system. For example, all of the acids encapsulated in coffee beans along with various compounds found in coffee such as caffeine can negatively affect the lining of your small intestine and stomach.
Those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, IBS, gastritis, and ulcers should cut coffee out of their diet completely. Indulging in too many cups of coffee may also lead to stomach cramps, spasms, constipation, and diarrhea.
3) The Laxative Effect
Some of you may be familiar with this unfortunate side effect–coffee’s laxative effect. Although some people do use coffee intentionally to promote bowel movements. Regardless, drinking coffee may jumpstart the process that promotes the bowel movement function—peristalsis.
However, using coffee as a laxative may have a negative effect on your digestive system. For example, coffee’s laxative effect can work so rapidly that it may encourage the stomach to empty its contents and pass it through the small intestine before food is properly broken down, causing inflammation and irritation.
As we read above, this can cause major problems. Another problem with increased gastric emptying is that your body is not able to fully absorb the nutrients of food before it’s passed. Decaffeinated coffee is also known to have a laxative effect, so watch out.
4) Prevents Mineral Absorption
Coffee may not only prevent the proper absorption of nutrients, but of vital minerals as well. Those that drink several cups of coffee a day may especially be affected, even if they are taking such measures as taking mineral supplements and incorporating mineral-rich foods into their diet.
Drinking lots of coffee may block mineral absorption, particularly iron in the stomach. That’s not all; coffee may also affect your kidney’s ability to store zinc, magnesium, calcium, and other vital minerals. Your body needs these minerals to ensure healthy digestion, regularity of bowel movements, among many other health concerns.
Drinking too much coffee can negatively affect your mental health. Excess amounts of coffee encourage the release of the stress hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.
Releasing these hormones causes your heart rate to jump up, blood pressure to skyrocket, and tension levels to go through the roof. This increased level of stress can lead to jitters and may have far reaching effects on your mental health.
The caffeine in coffee is a diuretic, therefore increasing potential for dehydration. Those that live in arid climates or engage in regular strenuous exercise may be especially vulnerable to this affect. While consuming coffee, be sure to drink lots of water and other caffeine-free beverages to help prevent dehydration.
7) Caffeine Withdrawal
Coffee works like an addictive in drug in that, if you regularly drink coffee but decide to skip a cup one day, you may experience withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms may occur anywhere between 12-24 hours after your last cup of coffee.
These withdrawal symptoms may include drowsiness, anxiety, depression, and headaches. These symptoms will either go away on their own after 48 hours or the next time caffeine is ingested.
Decaf Coffee Side Effects
All of the blame can’t be placed on caffeine. Decaffeinated coffee has its own dark secrets and may cause some of the following side effects:
Drinking decaf coffee can increase your levels of LDL cholesterol, which may put your health at risk. By raising your LDL cholesterol, you may be more prone to such heart conditions as heart attacks, increased blood pressure, and even heart failure.
9) Bone Density
The acidic nature of coffee may have a negative effect on bone density. Studies have found that when acidity in the body is high, your body tends to have low levels of calcium. This can make you vulnerable to such bone diseases as osteoporosis.
10) Digestive Problems
Due to the decaffeination process, decaf coffee is even more acidic that regular coffee. This increased acidity can cause major digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel diseases, heartburn, acid re-flux, ulcers, and urinary tract inflammation.
11) Rheumatoid Arthritis
Decaf coffee drinkers may be at a higher risk for developing rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have found that this may be the result of the chemicals used during the manufacturing process of decaf coffee.
Coffee Allergies and Symptoms
If you’re reaction to coffee is severe, it is possible you may be suffering from a coffee allergy. If you’re suffering from a coffee allergy, you may suffer from allergic symptoms from ingesting coffee or even from just touching coffee grounds. If you have a coffee allergy, you may have some of the following symptoms:
13) Gastrointestinal Issues
When you suffer from a food allergy, you may suffer from such symptoms as nausea, diarrhea, watery stools, vomiting, and cramping. These symptoms may appear as soon as you drink a cup of coffee or hours afterward.
14) Irritated Skin
An allergic reaction may occur from just simply touching coffee beans or grounds. For example, touching coffee beans may result in hives, or painful, itching, red skin. Skin issues can also crop up around your mouth after indulging in a hot, steamy cup of coffee.
15) Respiratory Problems
Sometimes a food allergy can affect the respiratory systems, causing such cold-like symptoms as congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and a dry cough. If you are allergic reaction to coffee is severe, breathing may become difficult and wheezing may occur. If this is the case, seek medical treatment immediately.