Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a disorder that affects the colon. Most individuals with IBS are advised to drink coffee only in moderation or avoid it altogether. Some people living with IBS report that coffee helps with their condition, while others find it aggravates matters. Should you avoid coffee altogether, and are there options that will ensure you get your daily jolt while still looking after your health? Let’s take a look at caffeinated drink options for people who don’t like coffee or who have a sensitive gut.
Which Is the Best Drink for Those With IBS?
If you suffer from IBS, it’s typically safer to drink decaffeinated coffee to avoid aggravating the lower intestine. Additionally, the condition can worsen if you normally add milk to your morning beverage, as dairy is an inflammatory additive–one of the reasons some people don’t like coffee at all.
If you have gut trouble when you drink coffee, you may want to consider avoiding espresso and americanos, higher levels of caffeine can worsen these symptoms. There are also many substitutes for milk, such as almond milk, that are kinder to your digestive system.
While coffee doesn’t cause IBS, it can potentially worsen its effects. Some of the common symptoms of IBS to look out for if you drink coffee include:
The good news is there are healthier alternatives to coffee if you have IBS. These include:
You can opt for black, green, or white tea as an alternative to coffee. Green teas contain essential minerals and vitamins but also act as antioxidants, which help boost the body’s immune system. Black and green tea also typically come with a solid amount of caffeine to give you that daily energy boost you might need.
Just like iced teas, hot herbal teas have many benefits and can help reduce the side effects of IBS. For example, peppermint tea has been shown to reduce pain, and many people opt to drink matcha instead of coffee each day. However, as with many things, hot, caffeinated teas should also be consumed in moderation.
Lemon water not only provides the refreshment you need to wake up in the morning but is also one of the best antioxidants. You can add a dash of sugar if you don’t like the strong lemony taste; however, if you would like to go the healthier route, consider using honey or agave to sweeten it. For best results, you can add other ingredients, such as ginger, which boosts immunity.
Milk isn’t recommended for people suffering from IBS. If you want to add milk to a caffeinated drink, consider lactose-free milk, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or rice milk. It might be a good idea to switch to lactose-free milk even if you don’t have severe IBS, as lactose contains a specific carbohydrate that has been linked to intestinal issues.
You can still enjoy an occasional cup of coffee even if you suffer from IBS–moderation is key. If you find that coffee is worsening your IBS symptoms, though, it would be best to cut out coffee from your diet altogether. Luckily, there are many healthy and energy-boosting alternatives you can try out. Of course, consider speaking to a doctor or nutritionist if you’re still unsure of what beverages to avoid if you’re suffering from symptoms of IBS.