If you jump start your day with a cup of joe, you are not alone. A 2018 Reuters study found that 64% of Americans drink coffee each day. The cheery sounds of percolating, the fragrant aroma, and the rich flavor combine with the jolt of caffeine to wake you up and get you on your way. However, downing your cup of coffee on an empty stomach may not be the best way to start your day. Check out these four reasons to avoid consuming coffee on an empty stomach, followed by six tips for making the most of your daily cuppa.
10. Increased Cortisol Levels
According to the Society for Endocrinology, cortisol is a hormone that plays a part in metabolism, immunity, and stress response. Levels of this hormone are generally higher in the morning than at other times of the day. A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggests that the caffeine in coffee can stimulate additional cortisol production in your body. Higher levels of cortisol can leave you feeling overstimulated and stressed. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach means the caffeine is less diluted and can have a greater, more noticeable effect on your cortisol levels.
When your body produces excess cortisol, it can cause you to feel panicky and anxious. Cortisol is associated with the flight or fight response to perceived danger. When you experience this reaction, you may be left feeling anxious, uneasy, and out of sorts. According to Psycom, other side effects of caffeine can include sleep issues, increased heart rate, dizziness, nausea, and diarrhea. To dampen these effects, make sure to have some food in your stomach before reaching for a cup of coffee.