Why you should never drink coffee on an empty stomach

There’s nothing we hate more than waking up still feeling as if we could sleep for another eight hours (which is pretty much every single day), but most of the time, we all think a steaming cup of fresh coffee will wake us up and get us ready for another boring day at work. Yep, we all know that the caffeine will wake us up and improve our focus, right? Well, not quite. Scientists suggest that drinking coffee before eating is more detrimental than beneficial. So put down that cup of Java and read why you should never drink coffee on an empty stomach…

Coffee and your stomach

When you drink a cup of coffee, your body reacts by producing stomach acid to break down the impending food and drink entering your stomach. However, when you just have hot, caffeinated liquids making their way into your stomach, the acid has nothing to break down. Because of this, the acid will irritate the lining of your stomach and can often lead to heartburn and indigestion.


Coffee and your circadian rhythms

When you’re feeling groggy, tired and like you could easily fall asleep on the train to work, it’s easy to believe that a shot of caffeine will wake you up, leave you energized and ready and raring for the day ahead of you. However, this isn’t actually what happens. When you naturally wake up (without reaching for the coffee pot) your body released cortisol – the hormone that makes you feel awake and alert. As the day goes on, this cortisol level rises, and you can easily go about your day without falling asleep in a work meeting. But if you add coffee on an empty stomach into your body, you will actually reduce your cortisol levels. So, you have the caffeine hit for a short time, but you will never feel fully alert and awake because your cortisol levels have been affected.

What you need to

Of course, many people drink coffee before eating anything and do not suffer any of the effects outlined in this article – but there are others who are largely affected by the shot of caffeine in the morning. This does not mean that you need to cut coffee out of your life, but you need to drink it in the right circumstances. For starters, do not rely on coffee to wake you up in the morning. Instead, wait a few hours, eat some breakfast, and then fill your body with the java. See if it makes any difference!

In short, coffee is not harmful – but it can be on an empty stomach. So, make sure you’ve got a full belly before getting your caffeine hit.