Here’s Why You Should Never Drink Coffee on an Empty Stomach

Just like so many others, I count my daily cup (or two or three...) of coffee as a necessity. It gives me a nice caffeine boost on early workweek mornings, but beyond that, I crave the taste and it's something that's become intrinsic to my morning routine. I wake up, stretch, brush my teeth, and then immediately make coffee. 

Recently, I've been trying to change that, seeing as the best time of day to drink coffee isn't immediately after waking. Now, though, I'm dead set on switching up my morning routine, since according to Express, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can wreak havoc on our digestive systems and moods. 


(Image credit: Stocksy)

As Lloyds Pharmacist Nitin Makadia told the publication, "hydrochloric acid has a very important function to support the digestion of food and is therefore released when you eat, smell or even start thinking about food. 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." 

Dr Adam Simon, chief medical officer at, agreed, saying that drinking coffee before food "can increase the amount of water you pass and can potentially create symptoms of dehydration. It can affect your pulse, causing an irregular heartbeat by putting pressure on the heart, and it can adversely affect your blood pressure." Not only that, it can cause heartburn and indigestion, thanks to the acidity. 

On top of that, there is research that shows caffeine consumption can trigger feelings of anxiety, especially in people with diagnosed anxiety disorders. This seems logical, considering I myself have experienced the jitters and shakiness that result from drinking too much coffee on an empty stomach. This is why, from here on out, I'm not going to spring out of bed and head straight for coffee. I'm going to start by filling up my BKR water bottle ($35), because hydration comes first, and only indulge in my favorite caffeinated beverage after a full breakfast. 

Head over to Express to read the full article. Then, read about how our smart phone dependency could be affecting our mental health.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Kaitlyn McLintock
Associate Beauty Editor

Kaitlyn McLintock is an Associate Beauty Editor at Who What Wear. Although she covers a wide range of topics across a variety of categories, she specializes in celebrity interviews and skincare and wellness content. Having lived in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, she recently relocated back to her home state of Michigan where she works remotely. Prior to Who What Wear, she freelanced for a variety of industry-leading digital publications, including InStyle, The Zoe Report, Bustle, Hello Giggles, and Coveteur. Before that, she held a long-term internship and subsequent contributor position at Byrdie. When she's not writing, researching, or testing the latest and greatest beauty products, she's working her way through an ever-growing book collection, swimming in the Great Lakes, or spending time with family.