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What Is a Coffee Intolerance and What Can You Do?

When some side effects such as stomach pain are expressed with coffee consumption, coffee intolerance is in question. In this case, the body reacts or cannot react to certain components of the coffee.

A coffee intolerance is not the same thing as a coffee allergy. In case of intolerance, allergy is triggered by the reaction of the immune system, although some ingredients in food or semi-luxury foods cannot be processed correctly.

People often have a coffee or caffeine intolerance. A coffee or caffeine allergy, on the other hand, is extremely rare.

What are the symptoms of coffee intolerance?

#Coffee intolerance can have various symptoms. Symptoms usually come on pretty quickly after drinking coffee.

stomach upset from coffee

The first signs of coffee intolerance may be discomfort in the stomach area. Coffee can cause stomach ache because the hot beverage stimulates acid production in the stomach.

This can irritate the stomach, especially if the coffee contains too much acid (this is often the case if it has been industrially fast and hot roasted). Enjoying coffee stimulates digestion. The result can also be a bloated stomach from coffee.

Even if you drink caffeinated coffee very hot and in a hurry, especially in the morning before throwing yourself into the daily office life, you may experience stomach ache after coffee.

Our tip: Try a lightly roasted coffee with a long drum roast. This roasting process breaks down acids and bitter substances better. This makes coffee more digestible. You will also taste a positive difference in taste as more flavors can emerge at the same time.

heartburn from coffee

Acid production in the stomach stimulated by drinking coffee can cause not only stomach problems but also heartburn. Heartburn from coffee can also occur here, especially if coffee is taken on an empty stomach.

nausea from coffee

Coffee nausea can be accompanied by a shaky feeling in the body. Drinking too much coffee, in particular, can cause nausea or dizziness. Even if you haven't been drinking more than usual, sudden nausea after coffee can be a sign that you're developing a coffee intolerance.

heartbeat from coffee

Another symptom of coffee intolerance is heart palpitations after coffee. First of all, coffee stimulates the heart and circulation. This provides a kick of energy in the morning or protects us from the afternoon slump. However, coffee can cause tachycardia, especially if large amounts of coffee are drunk.

coffee headache

Headaches from coffee are also a possible side effect that can be attributed to a coffee intolerance. Three or more coffees or other caffeinated beverages increase the likelihood of headaches or migraines, according to a scientific study.

What are the causes of coffee intolerance?

A brewed cup of coffee contains hundreds to thousands of different substances. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to assess the individual effect on different people. Causes include the quality of the coffee, the acidity of the coffee, or the way it's prepared.

Below we give many tips on what to consider when choosing coffee.

caffeine intolerance

For many people who cannot tolerate coffee, the caffeine in coffee is to blame. To be precise, this is a case of caffeine intolerance or caffeine allergy (the latter being extremely rare). In this case, the body has difficulty metabolizing caffeine.

histamine intolerance

Coffee intolerance may also be related to histamine intolerance. At first this may seem surprising. Most coffees contain no histamine at all. On the contrary, the reason why people suffering from histamine intolerance cannot tolerate coffee is caffeine.

This is because the caffeine in coffee blocks the enzyme diamine oxidase, which normally breaks down histamine in the body, which can cause side effects like headaches or cardiovascular problems.

Coffee on an empty stomach

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause stomach pain or post-coffee nausea. This is because an empty stomach can have trouble processing the stomach acid produced by morning coffee.

Therefore, it is not recommended to drink coffee on an empty stomach in the morning. Even a small breakfast snack can help you enjoy coffee without any side effects.

Does coffee dehydrate the body?

In answering this question, we want to uncover arguably the most common rumor about coffee. Yes, it is true that coffee promotes water removal from the body. However, if you consume between one and five cups of moderate coffee a day, you don't have to worry about your fluid balance.

The diuretic effect is only noticeable after a few cups of coffee. And even then, the effect is so small that it hardly matters to your fluid balance.

In long-term studies with people who drank several cups of coffee a day, no significant negative differences were found. The fact that you have to go to the bathroom after drinking your coffee is probably due to the large amount of water you absorb from each cup of coffee.

By the way: You can count coffee in your daily fluid balance. Drinking enough in general important - and not just coffee (here, it's better than pouring in moderation), but especially a lot of water :-)

6 tips and alternatives against coffee intolerance

#1 Drink your coffee in moderation and with pleasure

As you can imagine, an important consideration is the amount of coffee. Certainly, 20 cups of coffee a day is no longer healthy and not easily tolerated.

There is no standardized "cup of coffee", so scientific research speaks of several cups of coffee a day. If your coffee consumption is between one and five cups a day, you are in that range. Enough time for your coffee

separate . Drinking in haste can cause intolerance as it puts too much strain on the stomach. How about combining a cup of coffee with 5 minutes just for you?

Ideally, you drink your coffee after your meal. This can also be just a small snack. Not only your stomach but your health will thank you :-)

#2 coffee quality

Few really know how coffee is made and where the quality differences come from. The type of green coffee and the roasting process have a great influence on the coffee and its digestibility.

What we can report is that we are receiving constant feedback from our customers that they are suddenly not having any problems with our coffee. Of course, this also applies to other high-end coffee makers.

For us, quality means that all Top Roasters coffees are grown with care and organically. The beans are lightly roasted using the traditional long drum roasting process .

This means that we roast the coffee beans slowly and gently at a relatively low temperature of 170 to 210°C for about 16 to 22 minutes. Acids and bitter substances are better broken down, which makes coffee very digestible.

The process also affects the taste, as the flavors can develop better. The result is a well-tolerated coffee with a delicious taste.

#3 degree roasting

You may have noticed that coffee beans come in different colors. Some are very dark, almost black, others are lighter brown (unfortunately, this is not so easy to see with ground coffee).

In our experience, how light or dark the coffee is roasted (the degree of roast) can make a big difference in tolerability. Unfortunately, there is no patented recipe here, but you will definitely learn by trying.

The shorter and therefore lighter the roast, the more fruity and acidic the coffee will be. On the other hand, a coffee that has been roasted longer does not just darken in color. The toasted notes stand out and the acids break down even more.

Our Top Roasters espresso is a very dark roast coffee. We get feedback that customers with a coffee intolerance due to a sensitive stomach generally tolerate this coffee better. Espresso is good for the stomach as it has low acidity.

Check out our blog post on low acid coffee for more information.

#4 Type of preparation

According to the scientific information available in coffee, there are two substances that are not very good for the heart. These are called cafetol and kahweol and are fat-like substances. Both substances have a negative effect on cholesterol levels.

The good news: These ingredients are almost completely filtered in all types of filter coffee. In other words, where the coffee passes through the paper filter during brewing.

If you pay attention to your blood cholesterol level, we recommend our Top Roasters filter coffee. Bitter and irritating substances prepared with filter paper, that is, in a conventional filter coffee machine, with a hand filter or with Chemex and Aeropress, are also filtered.

Mocha coffees, in which the coffee is heavily boiled, are less recommended for health reasons. Methods such as espresso from a portafilter machine or French press coffee are obvious here.

The brewing time also plays a role. As a general rule, the shorter the brewing time, the more stomach-friendly the coffee will be. If you are looking for a stomach-friendly coffee, espresso can be a good choice.

In a nutshell: Coffee can have different effects on your coffee tolerance - here we recommend testing which coffee is the most digestible for you.

#5 Which coffee for histamine tolerance?

We recommend decaffeinated coffee to avoid caffeine, which blocks the enzyme that breaks down histamine. If you don't want to get rid of the stimulating effect of coffee, you can also try an espresso. Compared to filter coffee, this one contains less caffeine and can therefore help facilitate digestion.

#6 Choosing the right decaf coffee

In the first step, most people suspect that caffeine is responsible for some type of coffee intolerance. What many don't know is that there are also significant differences in decaffeinated coffee.

How can you test yourself for coffee intolerance?

Think you may have a coffee intolerance or hypersensitivity, but don't really want to give up your daily coffee? You can get tested for a possible coffee intolerance and find out about the unwanted side effects of drinking coffee, such as nausea, heartburn, or chills.


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