Is coffee acidic naturally, or is there something you can do about the acidity? The answer is both! Overdoing it with coffee can have all sorts of negative effects on your body, including stomach pains as My Recipes writes.
Coffee is, by nature, acidic. Though some coffees are less acidic than others, it’s impossible to find an acid-free coffee. Depending on your tolerance and reaction to coffee, you might want to consider changing brands or changing roasts. This article will discuss what makes coffee acidic, how to avoid side effects of coffee acid and what to do when you want to drink coffees with low amount of acid.
What makes coffee acidic?
Coffee is acidic because of the cocktail of acids that exist in the bean, The Kitchn says. Chlorogenic acids are one determining factor of coffee acidity. As the coffee is brewed, these acids break down and form quinic acids, which are what can potentially hurt your stomach. Coffee naturally has lots of chlorogenic acid, but the type of roast that a coffee is determines how much of the acids break down and turn into quinic acids.
Light and low roast coffees are low in quinic acids and high in chlorogenic acid levels, while it’s vice versa with darker roasts. This is why light roast coffees can have an acid taste without causing stomach pains, while dark roasts can wreak havoc on some people while seeming smooth and bitter.
The freshness of the coffee also determines its acidity, The Kitchn goes on to say. If coffee is left out to sit, it increases in acidity and can cause some serious pains. This is why sipping away from that now-cold mug of coffee because you need a pick-me-up can leave you in pain afterwards.
How to avoid side effects of coffee acid
Dr. Ali, in an interview with My Recipes, says that drinking coffee slowly in small sips can help reduce side effects of drinking coffee. Coffee increases stomach acidity and can cause the stomach to constrict, so drinking coffee quickly or taking huge gulps can really backfire on you. Drinking cups from Dunkin Donut-style Styrofoam cups instead of a mug can help you control how much coffee you take with each sip.
Eating or drinking something first can also help reduce side effects. Even if it’s a glass of water or a packet of crackers, the coffee will do less damage if it’s not the only thing in your stomach. Instead of drinking coffee before or with your breakfast, it might be best to get a cup after you’ve had some toast and eggs.
Limiting how much coffee you drink can also help. My Recipes points out that the average American drinks three cups of coffee a day. Though that might be good news for the likes of Starbucks, it can be bad news for your stomach if you drink multiple cups a day. A single cup of coffee in the morning after breakfast during your commute to work is probably the best way and time to drink coffee. Drinking coffee at night after dinner can potentially keep you up, and drinking before eating any meal can leave you with serious pains, as was mentioned before.
Weakening your coffee by adding milk or creamer can also help. If you have too much coffee or it’s too strong, Power Creamer coconut oil-based creamer is a great way to weaken your coffee without adding fattening dairy products.
What determines a coffee’s acidity?
The type of roast a coffee is is a huge factor in determining its acidity. As the names imply, low roast coffees are very weak, medium roast is stronger and has a more pronounced taste than medium roast, while dark roasts are very acidic and have a deeply strong, bitter taste, as Dripped Coffee writes.
Cold brew coffee also makes it less acidic easier on the stomach. Because of the way it’s brewed, it has a lower acidity. This makes it a good alternative for the summer, or when if you’re trying to get rid of that medium or dark roast coffee you already have without shredding your stomach.
Low-acid coffees are also for sale, as My Recipes goes on. These are a good option for those with sensitive stomachs, and are a good alternative if you don’t have the time to make cold brew coffee.
So is coffee acidic? The answer is yes, and sadly the acidity in coffee can’t be avoided. It’s the name of the game, but there are many steps you can take to avoid cramps the next time you have a cup of Joe.