Coffee – is there a right time and a wrong time?

I get asked a lot it coffee is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. There are constantly studies coming out giving specific benefits, many of which are true.  I will get into the ultimate effects of coffee on your health (esp. if not organic) another time.  Here I want to give a bit of advice as to when you should enjoy your coffee if coffee is something that you want to enjoy.  While coffee effects many of the body’s systems, I will write specifically here about the effect of coffee on the digestive process.

We all know one thing that coffee does.  It usually makes us go to the bathroom….even if we already did.  This is because coffee has an alkalinizing effect on the stomach, making it empty its contents, digested or not, into the small intestine.  This pushes whatever was already being processed in your intestines out to you know where, and quick.  See why a coffee relieves ‘fullness’ when you’ve had too much to eat?

So think about it: If you have a coffee after a meal you are, unfortunately, erasing any nutritional benefit you may have gotten from that meal because the food is going into the small intestine before the stomach has finished preparing it for that journey.  You’ve eaten a meal, but you will be malnourished because the digestive process has been interfered with. That food is going to fester inside you undigested until your next meal pushes it out because the stomach was not allowed to churn the food up to where the small intestine can work with it.

Malnourishment leads to illness and disease and undigested food in your intestine is the source of many ailments from gas to food allergies.  If you leave your body to digest food as it wants these problems may just go away without any other intervention!

Ok, so when can I have a coffee without compromising my digestive process?

I recommend waiting a couple of hours after breakfast.  Maybe have breakfast at home, commute to work, get settled in and then have a coffee.  By then your breakfast has been properly processed in your stomach and made its way to the small intestine where it will be fully broken down to the micronutrients your cells need to keep you surviving and thriving.

When your cells get the nourishment they need you look and feel young.  You have the right amount of energy.  You have elastic and wrinkle-free skin. You lose weight. You feel great.

By the way, drinking coffee right before a meal isn’t great either, because you want your stomach acidic for breaking down protein, especially meat protein.  As I mentioned earlier, coffee has the opposite effect on the stomach, neutralizing your stomach acid.

Bottom line – enjoy your coffee between meals, not right before or right after. Just making a simple change like this can have a drastic effect on how you feel without throwing your life and habits upside down.

Chris Carlone, CNP

I help people transform their health and their finances. Anything else? EVERYTHING comes next.

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2 responses

  1. What effect does this have on calories?

    • Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for the question!

      You know what? I’m not sure how coffee use would affect calorie intake because I don’t pay much attention to calories. I’m inclined to say that if you flush your food out with coffee then you won’t absorb the high-calorie food, but you also miss out on the nutrition. I’m more concerned with counting the % of real food in my diet compared with the amount of processed products.

      Think of avocado, which is an exceptionally healthy food, primarily made up of fat. It’s high in calories because it can provide so much energy, but won’t necessarily make you gain weight because it’s a real food that is nutrient-dense as well as easily digested and assimilated into the cells. Plus, the fat in avocado is natural and healthy. It won’t put fat deposits on your waist or hips like fats that are changed so that they store well on the shelf. Avocado’s a great food for growing children because it provides energy they need to grow without taxing their bodies with processed materials. I read somewhere that an avocado has double the calories of a Mars Bar. But I don’t believe that the avocado will make me less healthy than the candy.

      I feel like I’m not really answering your question directly and I don’t mean to offend with an anti-calorie-couting mini-rant. But I honestly feel like a diet filled with whole, nutrient-dense foods will result in a body that naturally finds its proper size and fat percentage. There is no need to count calories if you approach diet this way. Personally, I find it a lot simpler, too.

      Hope this helps!


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