Remember that episode of The Office when Michael grilled his foot by trying to wake up to the smell of crackling bacon? Well, I feel like I can empathize with him, because although I don't eat bacon, I love nothing more than waking up to the smell of a fresh pot of coffee. The best time to drink coffee is all the time, in my personal opinion, but according to experts, enjoying your cappuccino with breakfast is probably the best choice for your stomach health.
The ideal coffee-drinking time depends largely on how your stomach reacts to the acidity of the drink, according to Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified health coach at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. If you have ulcers, gastrointestinal issues, or even just a sensitive stomach, Derocha says, getting your caffeine kick with your breakfast is your best option.
"Coffee, even decaffeinated coffee, has been shown to stimulate production of acid which, in the absence of food, can be damaging to the lining of the stomach with repeated exposure,” pharmacist Nitin Makadia told Express back in 2016. But luckily, you don't have to try something totally out-there, like that trendy new broccoli coffee, to be sure that your caffeine habit is healthy for your body.
Dig into your favorite creamy yogurt, because eating dairy with your breakfast could help protect your stomach from the acidity of your morning brew.
"Eating calcium-rich foods like yogurt or milk at breakfast will help," Derocha tells Elite Daily. "The calcium helps to reduce the acidity while neutralizing stomach acid, similar to antacids, which usually contain calcium as a main ingredient."
If you're just chasing that energy high, and you're concerned that drinking your coffee with food will take away some of the kick you're looking for, don't worry: According to Derocha, eating and drinking your coffee at the same time won't prevent the magical drink from waking you up as much as it does on an empty stomach. In fact, she says, it might even be better to have something in your belly when you're guzzling down your coffee, as that can not only help with balancing out the acidity, but also "the shakiness one might feel from caffeine," she tells Elite Daily.
What's more, drinking your morning caffeine chilled could also cut down on coffee's effects on your stomach lining.
Not only do the ice cubes generally water down the acidity, but the brewing process is also much gentler on your body. "Cold brew coffee is a great option for people who are sensitive to acid, as it is 70 percent less acidic than a typical cup of hot-brewed coffee," Derocha says. Plus, you can't deny how much tastier the iced stuff is (don't you dare @ me).
If you prefer brewing your own coffee at home, Derocha has some tips for what to look for in the grocery store. To prevent any unwanted stomach discomfort, stick to the less acidic arabica beans, instead of the more acidic robusta ones. It may seem counterintuitive, but you should also reach for the darker roasts instead of the lighter ones, as the longer processing time helps to reduce some of the acidity in the beans, the dietitian tells Elite Daily.
Better yet, make your own coffee popsicles the night before, and you'll be able to have both your coffee and your breakfast on your way to catch the bus.