What are the effects of drinking coffee when sick. Does it help or harm?


When a person is sick, it is natural to want food and drink that feels good. For many people, this includes drinking coffee. If consumed in moderation,coffee can even be beneficial to health as it is rich in antioxidants. But what about drinking coffee during illness? Let's take a look.


According to research conducted by Mills, Boakes and Colagiuri, it was found that even coffee that does not contain caffeine can have a mildly stimulating effect on people thanks to a placebo. Many coffee drinkers drink this beverage primarily for an energy boost. It is also one of the main reasons why people who are mildly ill want to drink coffee. Coffee can help you if you feel sluggish or tired. It will give you more energy and help you get through the day when you are not feeling well.


Coffee can also have some negative effects. The caffeine in coffee has a diuretic effect, which means it expels fluids from the body. In practice, this means that you go to the bathroom more often. For some people, coffee intake can lead to dehydration due to diarrhea or excessive urination. However, caffeine intake in small doses of for example 2-3 cups of coffee a day, has no significant effect on fluid balance.

If you are vomiting, have diarrhoea, flu, a severe cold or food poisoning, you may find yourself craving coffee. In these cases, it's better to drink more hydrating drinks such as water or diluted fruit juices.


Coffee is acidic, so it can cause stomach irritation in some people. Especially in people who suffer from stomach ulcers or have frequent indigestion. Research on 302 people who have stomach ulcers their sensitivity to coffee indicated an increase in stomach pain and other adverse symptoms after drinking coffee in over 80% of respondents.

However, another study with more than 8,000 examinees found no relationship between coffee intake and stomach ulcers or other gastrointestinal problems. The link between coffee and stomach ulcers is highly individual. If you notice that coffee is causing or worsening your stomach ulcers, you should avoid it or switch to cold coffee, such as cold brew, which is less acidic than hot coffee.


Have you ever wondered why coffee makes us go to the toilet immediately and does coffee give us diarrhoea? Coffee basically stimulates the digestive system. However, it is not yet clear what causes this. Experts used to think that caffeine was to blame. But testing showed that decaffeinated coffee had the same effects on the gut. So the trigger is achemical in coffee, according to scientists .

After drinking coffee, the body sends signals to the process of peristalsis, which is a muscular contraction throughout our gut that carries food. And coffee speeds up this process. In addition to speeding up these contractions, caffeine also has a relaxingeffect on the colon. When these two activities come together, it's no wonder the need to run to the bathroom comes up.

Caffeine, due to its acidic nature, causes the body to produce more bile. Excess bile can get into the intestines. And this is why some people have diarrhea after drinking coffee.


Coffee can interact inappropriately with some medications, always read the package inserts for medications carefully. Caffeine in particular can enhance the effects of stimulant drugs such as pseudoephedrine, which is often used to relieve symptoms in colds and flu. It can also interact with antibiotics. Again, regular coffee drinkers may be able to tolerate these drugs when drinking coffee because their body has already become accustomed to the effects of coffee.

You should always talk to your pharmacist or doctor before deciding to drink coffee together with medication. Another option is to drink decaffeinated coffee while taking medications, as these interactions are primarily caused by the caffeine in the coffee. Although decaffeinated coffee contains a small amount of caffeine, it is unlikely that such a small amount would cause problems.


  1. It is advisable to consume coffee if you are suffering from a mild cold, as it can give you the energy you are lacking.
  2. For more severe illnesses that are accompanied by vomiting or diarrhea, drinking coffee can cause even more dehydration.
  3. However, if you drink coffee regularly, you will probably be able to continue drinking coffee even with more severe illness without side effects. Since your body is used to the effects of coffee.
  4. If you have any concerns about drinking coffee when you are sick, it is best to contact your doctor or pharmacist.

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