You may be in the habit of taking your prescription drugs for thyroid, heart health, or blood pressure while sipping your morning cup of Joe. But new research suggests that taking medication with coffee can cause even more health troubles!
A recent literature review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition acknowledged coffee’s anti-inflammatory and oxidative stress-reducing benefits that help to lower type 2 diabetes, cancer, and obesity risk. However, researchers found these perks were reduced when taken with the medications meant to deal with those types of health conditions. It was aslo linked to increasing the negative side effects of the medication. “The key issues are that coffee can amplify the effects, or affect absorption, of some common medications,” Purvi Parekh, DO, shared with Eat This, Not That!.
Because coffee is such a caffeinated and acidic drink, it can negatively impact the way your body absorbs and processes those capsules. Parekh noted that this is especially true for thyroid, osteoporosis, acidic reflux, attention-deficit, and cold medications because coffee might reduce the effects of the pills or make the issue that you’re taking them for even worse (yikes!).
Also, its caffeine content could affect your body’s hormones. “Caffeine in general turns off that hormone that stimulates you to hold your water in, so it’s a diuretic,” she said.
Basically, she added that if you’re taking diuretic medication for heart failure, swollen legs, or high blood pressure to rid your body of excess water and salt, drinking coffee with them could have the reverse effect. Stay on the safe side by sticking to water to wash your pills down and you’ll ensure your body will properly absorb any prescribed medications without caffeine or acid getting in the way.
The experts at WebMD suggest waiting at least one to two hours after drinking your morning coffee to take medication so they don’t directly interact in your digestive tract. If you’d prefer to have the dosage first thing, you’ll need to wait the same amount before sipping your brew. Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN, author of Just the Right Dose (Buy on Amazon, $11.25), recommends drinking a full glass of water (not just a sip or two!) to allow the pills to travel to your stomach a lot quicker. Plus, you’ll avoid it getting stuck in your esophagus, which can cause heartburn.
With any type of medication, Durning suggests taking a look at the prescription label first and following the directions for ingesting it correctly. This way you’ll get the maximum benefits to protect your health and feel your best at all times!
So all of the caffeine lovers can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you don’t have to ditch coffee altogether. In fact, this study gives you another reason to enjoy every sip of your morning brew uninterrupted and take your medication with a refreshing glass of water a couple hours later!