2

votes

Countering the effects of Coffee pH on the Stomach?

Commented on January 16, 2015
Created March 01, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I intermittent fast around 16-18 hours per day, i.e. no food in the morning. However I do drink coffee, black, no sugar from a nespresso machine (damn good coffee). Originally I was having a spoonful of cream apart, but that's not really fasting, so I've stopped that. However, my stomach feels pretty rough on just black coffee, has anyone else experienced this, or could suggest to neutralize the effect of coffee on the stomach pH without breaking the fast?

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

There are some good coffee and chicory blends from New Orleans you can buy at the store. Check out French Market coffee, or you can order the PJ's stuff online and Community coffee as well.

3ff1d99d7cdd1e55ac424da91cbc1ea0

(255)

on March 07, 2011
at 05:22 PM

I used to know a guy that did constant fasting, tragic story.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 07, 2011
at 04:04 PM

This. Tannins cause the discomfort. The "Gentle" blends you can buy are lower tannin, and I can personally attest, are much smoother black.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:55 PM

the only reason I didn't mention it was because I haven't personally tried it yet. It looks tasty!!!

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:10 PM

I feel like I should get a commission from these guys, but also check out the Aeropress. Very smooth: http://www.amazon.com/Aerobie-AeroPress-Coffee-Espresso-Maker/dp/B0047BIWSK

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on March 02, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I also find cold brew coffee to be very mellow on my stomach compared to hot-brew forms. The Toddy is very easy to use, but if you can't find it or don't want to spend money on a few pieces of plastic, you can DIY using google.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 02, 2011
at 09:36 AM

I am in France - sorry, I was not sure about the availability of chicory in the U.S. Glad to see it is widely available over there!

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:37 PM

UK folks: Chicory is available in most grocery stores.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:17 PM

We've found espresso to be much easier on our stomach than drip or french press coffee. For whatever reason, "normal" coffee tears us up.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 07:45 PM

well that would say it was the acidity of the coffee, you are both adding a bleach to reduce the acidity, I will look into where I can find something similar here. thanks

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I actually bought some 100% pure cacao powder that I tried mixing into the coffee, it didn't really work, perhaps mixing it with cream first would work - totally different drink though.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on March 01, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I like the Green and Black's or Endangered Species brands of chocolate.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Yeah I'm up for experimenting, seeing what works best - maybe I'll give it another week and use cream again if I'm still not feeling good. thanks again

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:19 PM

ok, black coffee on an empty stomach doesn't feel good to me. I presumed it was the acidity, you are probably right.

Cf5c9ba3c06cf300ae23c52778dfd317

(545)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:16 PM

I love my Nespresso machine!

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:58 PM

It's still protein cycling so who cares if it's a couple calories.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:54 PM

Oops..hehe. I meant "mostly fat" not "mostly fast".

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

I personally think it's about what's working over what's technically correct. If you add heavy cream (mostly fast) and you're still leaning out and feeling good, what's the issue? I've heard a dash of cinnamon dampens insulin response, so maybe adding both neutralizes impact(?).

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:34 PM

maybe I'll try going without coffee at some point. I think I'm getting the right results regardless anyway, so I am happy to stay with it; I'd just like it not to cause my stomach to burn.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:32 PM

what about a spoonful of cream, that kills the fast surely?

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I'm in Spain, seeing as chicory seems to be cultivated here, I'll have to look out for it, I'd never heard of it, thanks for the suggestion

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:28 PM

IFing to reduce body fat %. Coconut related products are pretty much impossible to get hold of in Spain unfortunately. So it's OK to have some fat as well? hm, the truth is that I was doing better when I had a spoonful of cream with the coffee in the morning. But I am trying to be strict. Occasionally I've done 24 hour fasts. Thanks for the advice.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I only just bought the machine last week, very happy with it - better than getting coffee in a bar and a 1/3 the price. With it I bought two tubes of Volluto and Rosbayo, not lungo, although I tend to let it half fill the cup. I might get a cinnamon stick, try that. I have order more tubes now, so I'll try Cosi like you say, along with some other varieties.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:55 PM

Agree with Jason on this one.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1217)

on March 01, 2011
at 11:51 AM

I drink tea / black coffee during my 'fasts' as well as I believe the caloric content of such things is too minimal to make any impact. If a cup of coffee has say, seven calories, I probably burn that off in minutes - and then aren't I in a fasted state again?

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:41 AM

well, ok, "intermittent" might be misuse of the word, but I didn't start the trend. I miss meals here and there.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:41 AM

I am a zombie without coffee. It doesn't fell like I am breaking the fast if it's black with no sugar. Cream on the other hand does feel like I am breaking the rules. OK; maybe I should ask at the Nespresso shop what bean/roast they recommend

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:39 AM

I am slightly hesitant about adding milk, for the insulin response it may provoke? actually regardless of fasting or not I prefer black coffee. I might try getting magnesium, see if that works, thanks David

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:11 AM

Technically fasting is drinking water only so coffee kills the fast. Sorry I don't have an answer though, coffee is certainly rough on empty stomaches. Try a different coffee bean/roast?

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11 Answers

5
Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 01, 2011
at 12:33 PM

Drink Chicory with your coffee - so easy to add it whilst making up regular coffee in a filter or by adding a spoonful of powdered chicory after instant coffee is made, or you can buy it ready mixed 60/40 coffee/chicory (make as instant coffee).

Chicory neutralizes the effects coffee/caffeine have on the stomach, the liver and spleen.....

Amazon link for coffee/chicory here and link for pure ground chicory (for filters) here.

p.s. Chicory is high in magnesium......

Medium avatar

(7073)

on March 02, 2011
at 09:36 AM

I am in France - sorry, I was not sure about the availability of chicory in the U.S. Glad to see it is widely available over there!

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:31 PM

I'm in Spain, seeing as chicory seems to be cultivated here, I'll have to look out for it, I'd never heard of it, thanks for the suggestion

B124653b19ee9dd438710a38954ed4a3

(1634)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:37 PM

UK folks: Chicory is available in most grocery stores.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

There are some good coffee and chicory blends from New Orleans you can buy at the store. Check out French Market coffee, or you can order the PJ's stuff online and Community coffee as well.

4
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:53 PM

Can I ask what's the big deal about having coffee in your stomach in terms of pH when your stomach produces hydrochloric acid that is so strong you have to rinse your mouth out after vomiting for fear the stomach acid will eat the enamel on your teeth?

I'm betting it's the tannins that irritate the stomach, not the acid.

7325d69384c8e939551650e808253ce1

(0)

on January 16, 2015
at 01:10 PM

Chemistry is dead without biology.

7325d69384c8e939551650e808253ce1

(0)

on January 16, 2015
at 01:09 PM

There's a big thing your missing. The esophogus cannot be exposed to acid without causing problems... If she is fasting, than her lower esophageal sphincter isn't closing and the acid is moving backwards and corroding the lower part of the esophogus known as the duodenum. This is the mechanism of ulcers which often occur with acidic things such as Aspirin. 

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:19 PM

ok, black coffee on an empty stomach doesn't feel good to me. I presumed it was the acidity, you are probably right.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on March 07, 2011
at 04:04 PM

This. Tannins cause the discomfort. The "Gentle" blends you can buy are lower tannin, and I can personally attest, are much smoother black.

2
Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 01, 2011
at 01:21 PM

I assume you're IF-ing for metabolic rather than dogmatic reasons. I follow the same protocol 5 days a week and drink coffee every morning. I sometimes drop a dollop of concentrated coconut cream or oil in my espresso. My feeling is that, sure, technically it's not a "fast", but the insulin response to the coconut would be small and short-lived. Calorically, I don't care, and it's not protein, so the benefits of autophagy might still apply.

At the end of the day (actually...the beginning), I've consumed close to nothing for 16 - 18 hours, am leaning out, feel great, and enjoy a cup or two of amazing coffee.

I'll save the technicalities of fasting for Ramadan (which I've followed more than once, I should add).

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:28 PM

IFing to reduce body fat %. Coconut related products are pretty much impossible to get hold of in Spain unfortunately. So it's OK to have some fat as well? hm, the truth is that I was doing better when I had a spoonful of cream with the coffee in the morning. But I am trying to be strict. Occasionally I've done 24 hour fasts. Thanks for the advice.

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:45 PM

I personally think it's about what's working over what's technically correct. If you add heavy cream (mostly fast) and you're still leaning out and feeling good, what's the issue? I've heard a dash of cinnamon dampens insulin response, so maybe adding both neutralizes impact(?).

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 04:22 PM

Yeah I'm up for experimenting, seeing what works best - maybe I'll give it another week and use cream again if I'm still not feeling good. thanks again

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:54 PM

Oops..hehe. I meant "mostly fat" not "mostly fast".

1
D5ef6397b5e2fd6fe5f093da5e3d403b

(742)

on March 01, 2011
at 06:44 PM

A friend of mine has terrible difficulty drinking coffee at ANY time during the day, it just tears her stomach up. Here's what she does: "I use a PH increaser... its sodium chlorite.. there are different brands with different strengths- what I use is NaCIO2- 5% I use about 4-6 drops in my coffee. works like a charm..there are alot of "do it and do not do it" type of literature out there. but it works for me, and my skin is better!" Hope this helps! She also frequents this site so perhaps she'll chime in with some more info.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 07:45 PM

well that would say it was the acidity of the coffee, you are both adding a bleach to reduce the acidity, I will look into where I can find something similar here. thanks

1
03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on March 01, 2011
at 05:25 PM

It is in my personal experience that eating a small piece of VERY dark chocolate gets rid of any burn. I was fighting similar issues, but I attributed it to the quality of coffee. You may try switching to a lighter roast, or change the extraction method. Espresso is harder on your stomach than, say, a french press or pour-over method due to the variances temperature and grind size has on the final product. Standard drip being the second harshest only to percolating.

Edit:: Cold Pressed coffee is very mellow. It's how the better iced coffee drinks are made. The inventor of the method was looking for a low acid coffee because regular coffee made him uncomfortable. [link text]toddycafe.com1

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 06:15 PM

I actually bought some 100% pure cacao powder that I tried mixing into the coffee, it didn't really work, perhaps mixing it with cream first would work - totally different drink though.

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on March 01, 2011
at 05:27 PM

I like the Green and Black's or Endangered Species brands of chocolate.

Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:17 PM

We've found espresso to be much easier on our stomach than drip or french press coffee. For whatever reason, "normal" coffee tears us up.

9722850c9a1c47b79edf7c4233040248

(1276)

on March 02, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I also find cold brew coffee to be very mellow on my stomach compared to hot-brew forms. The Toddy is very easy to use, but if you can't find it or don't want to spend money on a few pieces of plastic, you can DIY using google.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:10 PM

I feel like I should get a commission from these guys, but also check out the Aeropress. Very smooth: http://www.amazon.com/Aerobie-AeroPress-Coffee-Espresso-Maker/dp/B0047BIWSK

03281912f1cb9e4e771a8a83af302e3a

(1204)

on March 02, 2011
at 08:55 PM

the only reason I didn't mention it was because I haven't personally tried it yet. It looks tasty!!!

1
Da8e709acde269e8b8bfbc09d1737841

(1906)

on March 01, 2011
at 02:16 PM

We also have a daily morning Nespresso (love the machine/pods). Are you drinking lungo coffees, and which varieties are you trying? We typically have a double-espresso, and have found two things.

1) Since using cinnamon as the only sweetener, the coffee is much less upsetting to our stomach. Milk/cream has much the same effect as a stronger sweetener.

2) The less intense Nespresso varieties are easier on our stomach (i.e. using a Cosi rather than a Ristretto). We prefer the flavor of the latter, though.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:22 PM

I only just bought the machine last week, very happy with it - better than getting coffee in a bar and a 1/3 the price. With it I bought two tubes of Volluto and Rosbayo, not lungo, although I tend to let it half fill the cup. I might get a cinnamon stick, try that. I have order more tubes now, so I'll try Cosi like you say, along with some other varieties.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:31 AM

You could neutralise the acid by taking a magnesium supplement, but I suspect that it might well be the tannins that are aggravating the stomach rather than the slight increase in stomach acid. This is why milk is so effective at making coffee/tea/cocoa palatable- because of binding with the tannins. If I take a pro-plus (caffeine pill, no tannins) or an energy drink, then I might (though rarely) experience a slight increase in appetite from increase stomach acid, but typically nothing; whereas strong tea or coffee is obviously somewhat astringent.

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 09:39 AM

I am slightly hesitant about adding milk, for the insulin response it may provoke? actually regardless of fasting or not I prefer black coffee. I might try getting magnesium, see if that works, thanks David

0
7325d69384c8e939551650e808253ce1

on January 16, 2015
at 01:03 PM

The reason you feel this way is likely because your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is likely not able to close when your stomach is empty and you are just drinking coffee. This normally closes after a meal, blocking food from going back up into your esophagus. This is because the esophogus has a much higher ph than the stomach and cannot handle strong acids like the stomach can. This makes you feel nauseous and full. Over time, this will cause an ulcer in the lower part of your esophogus known as the duodenum. I once went on an extreme diet and had the same problem, but ignored it. I was later diagnosised with a severe ulcer. While I am very religious and love to fast myself, I am now training to become a physician, and know the serious and sometimes permanent percussions this can cause. You may ask, how is it that I have friends who can fast for days and only dring coffee? I wish I could give you better news, but it's just the way that God made you and he made me. Often times, people with such issues have a bacteria in their stomach and esophogus known as H. Pylori. This is something to consider getting tested for (breath test, or blood test). It can increase your risk for of stomach cancer if not treated and if the stomach acid isnt reduced over time. With that being said, one of the most common causes is Acid Reflex or GERD. While some people have a very obvious case and cannot eat any acids, others are like us, they have a mild case. I would like to bet that the acidity issue occurs more often when you go a long time without food, eat a large meal, eat before bed, conside alcohol, soda, spicy food, coffee, aspirin, Advil, or Aleve. Don't feel ashamed of you haven't noticed all of the little things, just start to become aware. Try not eating before bed, only eating small meals, avoiding spicy foods, or allowing yourself to only eat bread and butter when fasting (but eat it often). I'm sorry you have to deal with this, but I assure you that God or whoever your fasting for understands your complications... After all, God created you! Another way to fast is to avoid TV or simply give up your addicting morning glass of coffee. :) hope this helps!

0
3ff1d99d7cdd1e55ac424da91cbc1ea0

(255)

on March 07, 2011
at 04:01 PM

I, like you, fast around the same period most days skipping breakfast. I also enjoy black coffee throughout most days. I find coffee has a slight laxative effect when I drink it on an "empty" stomach in the morning, I am sure to be visited by the toilet fairy shortly after. I actually like this, it's like it cleans me out. Wow, the sounds graphic. Anyway - I don't see any issue with it, although I note it's affects me much more on an empty stomach and I end up feeling like I'm on amphetamines. Still, it's harmless fun and if you're IFing to lose fat, I'd say coffee-a-go-go, just probably drop the cream until after breakfast.

Coffee is also great before a workout, seems to lower your perception of effort.

0
Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:01 PM

I'm sorry, but I just feel like if you're "fasting", are "quasi-fasting", then drink water -- not coffee (although the chicory comment is sound). Coffee's Ph is just so harsh on the adrenal system when it goes unbuffered, all you're doing is forcing your body to pump adrenaline, how is that a "rest" for your organs, body, bloodstream?

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 03:34 PM

maybe I'll try going without coffee at some point. I think I'm getting the right results regardless anyway, so I am happy to stay with it; I'd just like it not to cause my stomach to burn.

0
62b205d8d5c8fb09f2eea515f12cbd26

on March 01, 2011
at 10:27 AM

meanwhile: if you ALWAYS fast 16-18 hours per day, why do you call it "intermittent*"? or did you mean that WHEN you fast on a certain day, you fast 16-18 hours. The whole idea of intermittent fasting is - in my opinion - to mimic the intermittent occurrence of finding no food by the cave man. *(occurring occasionally or at regular or irregular intervals)

9e7039b63b656582f66d84c5255b436d

(1132)

on March 01, 2011
at 10:41 AM

well, ok, "intermittent" might be misuse of the word, but I didn't start the trend. I miss meals here and there.

3ff1d99d7cdd1e55ac424da91cbc1ea0

(255)

on March 07, 2011
at 05:22 PM

I used to know a guy that did constant fasting, tragic story.

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