5 Coffee Tips for the IBS Coffee Lover
Oh, beloved coffee. For the most part, everyone loves coffee. The smell, the taste, the warmth, and the jolt of caffeine. Coffee truly is an amazing beverage and there is nothing worse than being a coffee lover and not being able to get your coffee fix due to IBS.
Let’s be real, if you have IBS, you really shouldn’t have coffee. It is acidic and because of its caffeine content, it has a laxative effect on the bowels. For those with IBS-D especially, this is something that we definitely don’t need.
But! Let’s be honest, we are all human. For a coffee lover with IBS, taking coffee away indefinitely can be hard. Sometimes things in moderation are okay, and if a sip of coffee brings you incredible joy, I say why not enjoy it every now and then?
So, I have come up with some tips to help those with IBS who are coffee sensitive but desperately miss their fix. Let’s take a look:
1. Reach for decaf
Caffeine for the most part across the board is not a good idea for anyone with IBS. So if indeed you are feigning for some coffee, be wise and at least reach for the decaf. There is still caffeine in decaf coffee but certainly much less than regular and at least you still get to enjoy the taste of the delicious drink.
2. Be near a restroom
Whenever you do decide to drink your warm cup of goodness, make sure you are in a location that has a restroom in case any urgency hits. You don’t want your moment of joyful bliss to quickly turn into a horrible, oh God I need to clench my cheeks moment. For example, don’t drink coffee while on the road driving. Perhaps save it for when you are home or at least in a location where there is a bathroom readily available.
3. Do not have coffee on an empty stomach
Everyone is different, but I think it’s safe to say that having coffee on an empty stomach is probably not a good idea. It can be pretty shocking to the digestive system, all that warmth and caffeine. So to be safe, I highly suggest having coffee after a meal or at least during one so that food can help absorb the drink while digesting.
4. Say no to black
Before being diagnosed with IBS, I used to drink my coffee black sometimes. Don’t do this! It’s way too harsh on the digestive system and it will more than likely trigger symptoms. I think the safest way to go is to always have a latte or cappuccino—milk helps dilute the coffee. If dairy bothers you, there are a million options for dairy-free milk that pair nicely with coffee, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk.
5. Small portions
I know, I know. You miss having that huge cup of coffee. But remember, the nature of IBS can be unpredictable. So do the best you can and don’t overdo it. A small portion of coffee is always better than a large excessive amount. Don’t get greedy!
Have you had to give up coffee because of IBS? Do you still sneak a cup here and there despite it triggering symptoms? Any tips you’d like to share? We love to hear from you. Comment below.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?