When you're foggy-headed and low on energy, nothing sounds better than a steaming cup of coffee to perk you up. If you're thinking, however, "coffee makes me feel weird," you might not look forward to that morning cup. The culprit could be a one of variety of factors.
Why Coffee Makes You Sick
First, it's important to figure out whether it's the amount of caffeine in coffee or the beverage itself that's causing you problems. If coffee makes you feel sick all day, it might mean your body has a low tolerance to caffeine. Depending on your individual genetic makeup, you could be a fast or slow metabolizer of caffeine, meaning it affects your body at a different rate. Slow metabolizers feel strong effects of caffeine after small doses, meaning even one cup of coffee could send their heart racing.
If you feel jittery or anxious after you drink coffee, you might need to cut back on your consumption. Coffee might make you feel weird because it's more caffeine than your body can handle at once. Try drinking decaf coffee or black tea, which both contain a lower overall caffeine content than a regular cup of coffee.
Eat Breakfast to Feel Better
If the caffeine doesn't bother you, but you find that coffee makes you sick in the morning, it could have to do with acidity. Coffee can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms, including chest pain and difficulty swallowing, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also sometimes irritate the lining of the stomach, especially when consumed in the morning before breakfast.
When the coffee hits your system without any food to slow down its absorption, it's a lot for your sensitive stomach to handle — and that explains why you may be feeling queasy after just one cup. Try eating something first or adding milk or other fat to your drink to increase the calories.
Coffee on a Sensitive Stomach
Coffee usually won't make you sick unless you have a stomach already prone to sensitivities. As long as you're consuming coffee in moderation (no more than three to four cups daily), you shouldn't notice any significant adverse effects. If you're feeling sick and don't understand the cause, it could be worth talking to your doctor to get to the root cause of your specific situation.
Your sensitive stomach could be caused by anything from food allergies to IBS, and it may take a slight change in your diet to notice relief from your symptoms. If you find that drinking coffee makes your stomach problems worse, try cutting back to see how you feel.
Other Causes of 'Feeling Weird'
During the early stages of pregnancy, you might also notice an adverse reaction to coffee. If coffee makes you sick while pregnant, it's probably related to morning sickness experienced during the first trimester. This effect won't be permanent and should end around the 12th week of pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
If you've moderated your caffeine consumption and added food to your morning routine, but coffee still makes you feel weird, you might want to discuss your specific situation with a trained health care provider. Stomach pain can be caused by anything from food allergies to a stomach ulcer, the latter of which you'll definitely want to get treated.
- Psychopharmacology: "Genetics of caffeine consumption and responses to caffeine"
- Mayo Clinic: "Gastroesophageal reflux disease"
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: "Caffeine induces gastric acid secretion via bitter taste signaling in gastric parietal cells"
- The BMJ: "Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes"
- Reproductive Toxicology: "Changes in caffeine consumption as a signal of pregnancy"
- American Pregnancy Association: "Morning Sickness"