Does coffee after dinner help you digest your meal?

mAll cultures have after-dinner rituals that involve sipping a cup of tea or a sleeping cap that are believed to promote digestion. Some of the options that have gained global popularity include Spanish sherry, Italian Fernet, and North African and Central Asian herbal teas such as mint and fennel. While America doesn’t have the classic “digestion” ritual, many people choose a hot cup of coffee to end their meal (even better if it’s paired with a bit of dark chocolate). . But is there any evidence that sipping on some coffee after dinner can have real digestive benefits? We asked Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC to share his thoughts on this cozy evening ritual.

“When it comes to drinking coffee after a meal, context really matters,” says Cole. “We have to see who’s drinking it, how much they’re drinking and what kind of coffee they’re consuming.”

While coffee may seem like a controversial beverage in terms of health benefits based on the headlines of the day, Cole says there are plenty of reasons to keep sipping Americans’ favorite beverage. Cole says we can think of high-quality coffee as a nutritious whole food that provides more than just large amounts of caffeine. You’ll also enjoy polyphenols, minerals, and antioxidants that help protect against chronic disease and even seasonal allergies. Additionally, drinking coffee can support healthy digestion, as Cole says drinking coffee can improve bowel movements and help you stay active.

That said, coffee affects us all differently, as Cole notes that some digestive systems can only handle small amounts of caffeine or not at all, especially when it comes to caffeine. consider that about 60-70 million Americans are affected by some type of digestive illness, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additionally, Cole says that some people aren’t as good at metabolizing coffee as others, which can stress the body and cause anxiety, heart palpitations and decreased ability to concentrate. And when coffee seems to be everywhere in neighborhood stores and office break rooms, it’s all too easy to overconsume.

Coffee after dinner: Expert advice

Even if you’re one of those people who can sip coffee all day without feeling jittery, Cole says he often advises patients to stop consuming caffeine after 3 p.m., and that those who are sensitive to caffeine can balance it out. Reminders to limit consumption as soon as possible. like noon. “While coffee may increase digestion and bowel movements, the caffeine is probably not worth it,” says Cole. After all, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your gut (and overall) health.

The good news is that you can still maintain your evening routine with a cup of decaf coffee (Cole especially loves Swiss Water Process decaf coffee) to enjoy the digestive benefits without compromising on quality. amount of sleep that night.

Research shows that even if you are able to fall asleep after drinking a caffeinated beverage in the evening, your total sleep duration, efficiency, and wakefulness can be affected. according to the Sleep Foundation. A 2013 study from the Center for Sleep Disorders & Research in Detroit found that even drinking a 16-ounce cup of coffee six hours before bed can cut sleep time by an hour. While your nightly cup of coffee may benefit digestion, the potential impact on sleep quality isn’t worth the risk, especially since nearly a third of Americans report getting less sleep on average. seven hours a night.

If you’re ready to try a new beverage, Cole likes to drink ginger tea in the evening to be both relaxing and beneficial for digestion. You’ll still enjoy the anti-inflammatory effects of this antioxidant-rich herb to promote overall health and wellness, plus ginger makes a great pairing with dark chocolate to complete a meal. your nightly meal.


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