Drinking coffee has become hugely popular in the world today with almost 70% of Americans drinking coffee daily, but how much does the average person really know about how coffee affects them? There are many aspects to how coffee and caffeine affect us with one of the most important ones being digestion. So, how long does it take to digest coffee?
Coffee is digested quickly, within 30 minutes, but the effect of the caffeine lingers much longer. On average caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours but will stay in the system for about 10 hours, this can be influenced by many factors like dosage, age, and body mass. Coffee is also highly acidic and can cause digestive issues.
There are many different factors that have an influence on how long your body takes to digest coffee. Therefore this article will summarize some of the most important things to know.
- How long does coffee stay in your stomach
- How long can caffeine stay in your system
- How long does it take to digest coffee with milk
- How do I get rid of coffee in my stomach
- How long before bed should I stop drinking coffee
- Can one cup of coffee in the morning affect sleep
- How long does a caffeine rush last
- What we Learned
How long does coffee stay in your stomach
Coffee stays in the system much longer than people think. Most people will feel the coffee buzz for between 15 and 60 minutes after they have had a cup of coffee. This is because caffeine is 99% absorbed into the bloodstream within 45 minutes of consumption.
You might assume that the coffee has then left the system, but this is not the case. The effects of coffee linger for much longer, the caffeine remains in your system for up to 10 hours or more.
In the stomach, things move much faster. Solid food takes between 2 to 4 hours to digest, liquids like coffee are much faster. The liquid of a cup of coffee can be absorbed within 20 or 30 minutes. Coffee is 99% water so there is really not much to digest unless you have it with milk and sugar which would change things a bit. We will discuss the effects of adding milk a bit later.
After the coffee leaves the stomach it will pass to the small intestine followed by the large intestine after which the leftover waste is removed from the body. Most of the coffee will get absorbed in the small intestine, as much as 80% or 90%.
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Is coffee hard to digest
Coffee can be hard to digest for some people, especially if they drink it on an empty stomach. This is because coffee is a stimulant and it can cause the stomach to produce more acid. If you find that coffee is hard to digest, try drinking it with a meal or snack.
How long can caffeine stay in your system
Caffeine is a fast-acting stimulant that will affect your nervous system as soon as you ingest it and the effects will stay present for as long as the caffeine stays in your system. So then, how long does it stay in your system? As mentioned above, this will depend on a number of factors. Some of these factors are age, body mass, other foods and liquids consumed, sensitivity to caffeine and dosage consumed.
On average, caffeine has a half-life of about 5-6 hours. This means that it will take 5 hours from the moment of consumption to the moment that half the caffeine has been worked out of the body. The other half could take another 5 – 6 hours or it could take much longer in the case of caffeine sensitivity. It could take up to a few days.
|Time to drink coffee||Half caffeine in |
|No caffeine or a little in |
|Have a coffee at 10 am||4 pm||8 pm|
|Have a coffee at 11 am||5 pm||9 pm|
|Have a coffee at 12 pm||6 pm||10 pm|
|Have a coffee at 1 pm||7 pm||11 pm|
|Have a coffee at 2 pm||8 pm||12 am|
|Have a coffee at 3 pm||9 pm||1 am|
|Have a coffee at 4 pm||10 pm||2 am|
|Have a coffee at 5 pm||11 pm||3 am|
|Have a coffee at 6 pm||12 am||4 am|
|Have a coffee at 7 pm||1 am||5 am|
|Have a coffee at 8 pm||2 am||6 am|
With that being said, the most intense effects of caffeine are from 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, after that it mellows out and the effects are more subtle.
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How long does it take to digest coffee with milk
Coffee when mixed with other ingredients such as milk, will take longer to digest, and may take as long as 24 hours to digest completely, caffeine included. When coffee is mixed together with milk it causes it to lump together in your stomach, which makes it hard for your body to digest.
A big influencing factor on how long it takes to digest coffee is whether or not it was mixed with milk. Up to 60% of people drink milk in their coffee, many of which use plant milk, but the digestion process is similar. Many people also use sugar or cream and this also prolongs digestion. Black coffee is the quickest form of coffee to digest.
When coffee is mixed with milk and then consumed, it delays the fermentation process which delays digestion. The milk also reacts to the astringence found in the coffee which makes the milk even more difficult to digest.
Milk contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats. All of these need to be broken up by the different areas of the digestive tract to be absorbed by the body. It is a much more prolonged process compared to black coffee.
Overall coffee that is mixed with milk can take up to 24 hours to completely digest.
How do I get rid of coffee in my stomach
There are a few reasons why you might want to get rid of coffee in your stomach. Coffee is highly acidic and it can cause stomach upset for many people. Coffee is also very high in caffeine which has a big effect on your nervous system and might make you feel jittery and anxious. You might be someone who wants to get rid of the coffee in their stomach to stop stomach pains or you might want to get rid of it due to the caffein’s effects.
To get rid of the coffee in your stomach the best thing to do is to drink plenty of water. The water will flush out your stomach and even dilute the acidity of the coffee. You can also eat some solid food like bananas. Bananas are good because they are very alkaline so they will do a great job at balancing the acidity of the coffee.
How long before bed should I stop drinking coffee
This is a question many people ask and want an answer to, but the latest time to drink coffee before you try to sleep will depend on a lot of things.
As mentioned above, the effects of coffee will be different for each person. People who are more caffeine sensitive will be much more affected and they will have to stop drinking coffee much earlier than others. Those who are regular or heavy coffee drinkers will not be affected as much.
We saw earlier that coffee can stay in the system for over 10 hours, but the half-life is 5 hours. So for most people, they should be okay if they stop drinking coffee 6 hours before going to bed.
Caffeine can have very negative effects on your sleep quality. It keeps you from going into a deeper sleep and could even leave you lying awake for hours before falling asleep.
Can one cup of coffee in the morning affect sleep
One cup of coffee in the morning will not affect your sleep easily. By the time you have completed all the activities of the day the caffeine should be long gone.
|Time to drink coffee||Half caffeine in |
|No caffeine or a little in |
|Have a coffee at 7 am||12 pm||4 pm|
|Have a coffee at 8 am||1 pm||5 pm|
|Have a coffee at 9 am||2 pm||6 pm|
|Have a coffee at 10 am||3 pm||7 pm|
|Have a coffee at 11 am||4 pm||8 pm|
Also, after having lunch and dinner you should be feeling a lot less affected by coffee. May people even ask; why do we drink coffee after dinner? Food counteracts the effects of coffee and caffeine.
This will not be the case for all people. Many have reported that only after they completely stopped coffee drinking has their sleep improved. Caffeine is definitely strong and even one cup in the morning has the ability to change your sleep, even if it is only slightly.
How long does a caffeine rush last
After the coffee is ingested it gets digested and the caffeine gets absorbed into the bloodstream. The caffeine levels are at their peak in your bloodstream 30 to 60 minutes after you had your coffee. At this time you will feel the caffeine rush the most and your alertness and focus will be enhanced. The duration of the caffeine rush is hard to determine as everyone experiences it so differently.
The most intense stage will last about 2 to 3 hours depending on the person. Some might have a caffeine rush for 5 hours and some coffee junkies might only have the rush for 1 hour. If you want to extend the rush then you can increase the dosage by going for some extra strong blends.
An important thing to keep in mind is the caffeine crash. As with all things, what goes up must come down. Drink lots of water and eat enough food and do not overwork yourself to the point where you are completely dependent on the caffeine to keep going. In these cases, the crash is inevitable and it will do you much more harm than good.
What we Learned
We looked at how long does It take to digest coffee in your system, we discovered that the coffee itself is digested rather quickly in your body, within only 30 minutes.
Caffeine on the other hand will stay in your system being digested for about 10 hours. The amount of time caffeine takes to digest depends on the health and state of your body but 10 hours is a general time scale.