Can coffee cause nausea?

2023 © Wikiask
Main topic: Health
Other topics: Coffee
Short answer: Coffee may induce nausea through acid reflux, excessive urination, dehydration, stomach irritation, and drug interaction.

Coffee is considered one of the world's most consumed beverages, with an estimated 2 billion cups consumed daily. While drinking coffee is considered refreshing and elevates the mood generally, it may cause nausea sometimes.

Latte and dark coffee
Latte and dark coffee CC BY: Wikimedia

There are several reasons why coffee may cause nausea.

Coffee may cause acid reflux[edit]

Most coffee varieties are acidic on the PH scale, ranging from 4.85 to 5.10. Caffeinated coffee, which also includes acids, may exacerbate stomach acidity, leading to gastrointestinal distress in those who are already sensitive to their stomach's pH. Some individuals immediately desire to use the toilet after drinking coffee because these acids might stimulate digestion.

Coffee's acidity may lead to indigestion, belching, and other tummy troubles. The accumulation of stomach acid in the esophagus is the root cause of these symptoms (and are usually caused by highly acidic foods and drinks like coffee).[1]

Coffee has diuretic effects[edit]

Although heartburn and queasy stomachs are unpleasant, some individuals also experience the added discomfort of caffeine's diuretic properties. To some extent, caffeine is a diuretic.

Nausea and diarrhea could be possible side effects of diuretics since they work by drawing water out of the circulation and into the digestive tract.[2]

Additional ingredients in coffee, like milk and sweeteners, may upset the stomach[edit]

If one feels sick after drinking coffee, it could also be because of how one drank it. Adding milk and sweetener can upset the stomach and make a person feel unwell. The natural microbiome in one"s gut can be disturbed by artificial sweeteners, making an acid-filled stomach feel even worse. One could be lactose-intolerant if one feels sick after drinking a milky coffee.[3]  

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach may irritate it[edit]

Many people go straight to the coffee pot in the morning and pour themselves a cup before they've even had breakfast. This could be the cause of your feeling sick from coffee. Some people may even get the urge to throw up after drinking coffee on an empty stomach.

Coffee is very acidic, so drinking it on an empty stomach could irritate your stomach lining and make you sick.

It's not just the acidity of coffee that's to blame. Caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, which could also play a role. Caffeine makes more gastric acid, a digestive fluid that helps break down food.[4]  

Certain medications may interact with coffee and induce nausea[edit]

Some medicines and their interactions with the caffeine in coffee often make people feel sick. Some of these are antibiotics, some antidepressants, and asthma medicines.

One of the side effects that could happen if you take a medication with caffeine is feeling sick. To avoid food-drug interactions, people should always read the labels carefully before taking any medication.[5]

How to prevent nausea from coffee[edit]

There are simple ways to avoid nausea when having coffee.

  • Switch to low-acid coffee
  • Drink it black or switch up your milk
  • Drink Coffee With a Meal
  • Stay hydrated
  • Trying cutting down.[6]


  1. Coffee, Golden Ratio. "Coffee & Heartburn: Causes, Prevention & the GERD Connection". Golden Ratio Coffee. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  2. "Is Coffee a Diuretic? How Caffeine Compounds Dehydration". DripDrop. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  3. Oden, Garrett (2018-01-04). "3 Reasons Coffee Upsets Your Stomach (And What To Do About It)". JavaPresse Coffee Company. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  4. "Can Coffee Make You Sick?". Death Wish Coffee Company. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  5. "Can Coffee Make You Nauseous? Here's What To Do". 2022-04-08. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  6. Lab, Performance. "Can Caffeine Make You Nauseous? - 5 Tips for Avoiding Side Effects". Performance Lab®. Retrieved 2022-11-02.