The primary connection between coffee and nausea is that coffee is a stomach irritant and can cause stomach upset, including nausea. Some people are more sensitive to this effect than others, and food consumption before drinking coffee can have an effect on stomach-related symptoms. Coffee may also raise blood pressure and cause feelings of dizziness, both of which can also lead to nausea if not treated. In some cases, the beverage can also cause heartburn and diarrhea.
Nausea is often linked to coffee consumption because coffee contains high levels of caffeine. This can lead to stomach irritation, dizziness, heart palpitations, and raised blood pressure. Each of these things individually can result in nausea in some people, and symptoms may be worse with they are combined. Some people can tolerate coffee consumption better than others, and there are many factors that may increase or decrease the effects of coffee.
For some people, drinking coffee on an empty stomach can result in nausea. When there are no other contents to buffer the effects of the acidic nature of the drink, increased stomach upset can occur. For this reason, many people find that it is a good idea to only drink coffee with a meal or directly before or after a meal. Eating will also decrease the likelihood of feeling woozy or dizzy and may help keep blood pressure problems at bay.
The high caffeine content in coffee can also lead to dehydration, which is a major risk factor for nausea. When drinking a coffee beverage, some people find that it helps to have a glass of water for every cup of coffee consumed. Aside from keeping the body hydrated and reducing the risk of nausea, water can also provide an energy boost and additional coffee may not be needed.
The strength of the brew may also play a part in nausea symptoms. Although enthusiasts of lighter and darker roasts have argued over which type has more caffeine for years, more recent findings suggest that there is no significant difference. Strength of the brew apparently has more to do with the type of coffee and the volume of the coffee. For example, since lightly roasted coffee beans are smaller in size than dark roast, a scoop of light roast will contain more coffee than a scoop of dark roast, and therefore more caffeine. The caffeine content and strength of either type can be reduced by adding more water and less coffee, or adding milk to dilute it further. Drinking decaffeinated coffee is also a good alternative.
Additionally, there are coffee blends that are specially made for those with stomach issues. They are designed to be gentler on the digestive system and cause fewer bouts of nausea and other symptoms. Most grocery stores carry them, and different manufacturers may have their own blends.