Surprisingly, however, caffeine can also offer gut-boosting benefits that can help with bowel motility – when food travels through the digestive tract through a series of muscle contractions called peristalsis – and in many other ways. “Caffeine can potentially alter the composition of the gut microbiome by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of good bacteria,” says Ali Rezaie, MD, a gastroenterologist in California and author of The microbiome connection. “[Caffeine] it can also regulate bowel movement and bowel movements that improve the gut microbiome.
Like many things in life, however, the relationship between caffeine and gut health has to do with moderation — as well as the specific microbiome and a person’s sensitivity to caffeine. According to Dr. Rezaie, caffeine also has the potential to adversely affect your gut, which can lead to unwanted side effects.
For this reason, knowing how caffeine can affect your gut microbiome in a good and not so good way is the key to avoiding digestive discomfort or very urgent trip to the bathroom. Keep reading to learn more about the different ways caffeine affects your gut microbiome and how to reduce its negative effects, according to a gastroenterologist.
How caffeine can affect your gut microbiome
Before choosing a cold drink or the last wave of energy drinks, let’s first look at exactly how caffeine can affect your gut. “First, there is no doubt that caffeine can affect the gut because it is a stimulant,” says Dr. Rezaie. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine consumption per day has been reported as safe by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but caffeine is still treated very differently by each person. Here are the main ways in which caffeine can benefit and / or harm the gut microbiome, according to Dr. Rezaie.
1. Some sources of caffeine can reduce the risk of chronic diseases
Natural sources of caffeine such as coffee contain essential nutrients such as phytochemicals, fiber, antioxidants and minerals that can help you with more than just boosting your energy. According to Dr. Rezaie, caffeine from coffee can also reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases. “Coffee has been shown to help with many microbiome-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease,” says Dr. Rezaie. In one study, researchers found that moderate coffee consumption (three to 45 milliliters a day) could reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
2. Some sources of caffeine, especially tea, could help improve gut health by differentiating bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Tea often contains certain enzymes, carbohydrates, polyphenols, amino acids and other nutrients that offer various health benefits. In fact, some teas have also been shown to help differentiate bacteria in the gut microbiome, which can improve overall gut health and gut regulation.
3. Alternatively, sources of caffeine with high levels of added sugar can reduce the diversity of bacteria in the gut.
Some caffeinated beverages, such as coffee syrups or energy drinks, can reduce the different types of bacteria that live in the gut. According to a study, energy drinks may contain large amounts of sugar (ranging from 21 to 34 grams of sugar per ounce) that can reduce the activity and diversity of bacteria in the gut. Low intestinal bacteria can make it difficult for your gut to maintain normal function, so it may be best to explore caffeinated beverages that are lower in sugar and do not exceed 400 milligrams of caffeine per serving.
4. Caffeine will worsen some symptoms of digestive disease
While caffeine consumption offers some benefits for toning the gut, it can worsen some of the symptoms of digestive disorders. “There are some diseases that can be aggravated by caffeine [consumption]”Like acid reflux, which can have a detrimental effect,” says Dr. Rezaie. Caffeine can also worsen the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), such as diarrhea and stomach pain due to caffeine, which speeds up bowel movement.
To avoid this (especially during a social outing), Dr. Rezaie suggests that you proceed with caution before consuming caffeine to avoid worsening your symptoms. However, if you do not experience negative side effects, then it says that it is okay to add a refreshing cup of coffee or tea to your routine. “Even with patients with intestinal motility problems, I never tell them not to consume as much caffeine as possible. can tolerate it, as it is a good way to naturally help the motility of the intestine “, adds Dr. Rezaie. The key is to watch how your body reacts to it and adjust accordingly.
Does the source of the caffeine matter?
The source of caffeine is something to keep in mind, as natural forms of caffeine can clearly benefit the gut more than synthetic (or man-made) caffeine. However, the how much The caffeine as well as the sugar contained in a drink is a bigger detail that you need to focus on. “Up to 300 to 400 milligrams of caffeine is generally considered safe, but this can be a problem for your gut health – including other parts of the body – if you take too many servings a day,” says Dr. . As the data pointed out, excessive consumption of caffeine in a day can cause disaster in the gut for some people.
The same goes for sugar: The American Heart Association recommends no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day.
How to reap the benefits of caffeine consumption (and reduce the negative effects)
It is safe to say that caffeine can affect your gut in good and bad ways, but there are ways to minimize the damage. One way to do this is to first understand how your body reacts to caffeine and determine if you are experiencing indigestion or nervousness. In this case, it may be best to consider alternatives to caffeine.
If your body responds well to caffeine, then Dr. You can also explore energy drinks, but it is advisable to watch how much caffeine and sugar one can contain to avoid overloading both ingredients per day.
Dr. Rezaie also emphasizes the importance of monitoring total caffeine intake during the day and staying at or below 400 milligrams of caffeine. So, if you find yourself consistently drinking four or five caffeinated beverages during the day, then maybe it’s time to explore naturally boosting options to avoid damaging your gut in the long run.
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