Who among us doesn’t love their first morning cup of coffee? Smelling the fresh brewed beans, sipping that flavorful, warm cup or one of the most antioxidant-full and stimulating beverages around is just so nourishing – or is it? It turns out drinking coffee on an empty stomach may not be so great for you after all; here’s why.
When coffee hits an empty stomach, it’s a big shock to our systems. While the antioxidant properties, derived primarily from chlorogenic acid, are great for overall health and even treating some diseases like colon cancer, they aren’t so wonderful on an empty stomach.
When ‘black gold,’ as some call pure black coffee, hits an empty stomach, it stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the digestive system. This causes gastritis in some, and for those who are completely healthy, the coffee is still not without harm.
Hydrochloric acid is used to break down the food, and if you run out during the day, there will be a digestive disturbances during major meals, causing a particular difficulty for the body to dissolve proteins.
The Other Side: Coffee Health Benefits
Proteins that get ‘stuck’ in the digestive system, and are unable to be eliminated properly can cause a host of health issues – ranging from a little bloating and irritable bowels, to a full blown case of colon carcinoma.
Furthermore, when we drink coffee first thing in the morning, it causes a dump of cortisol (otherwise known as the stress hormone) right into our blood stream. This stress hormone can cause you to crave sugar, think with less clarity, disturb sleep cycles, and over time, even cause other debilitating diseases.
If you want to enjoy the antioxidants of coffee, without the damage of ‘stuck’ proteins and excess cortisol, simply make sure to eat a healthy breakfast with your cup of Joe, and never imbibe on an empty stomach.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.