Taking medicine is something that few of us really like or feel good about. While we often know that taking coffee is the best solution for a range of problems, what we might not be so sure of is whether it can cause problems of its own which often it can if you aren’t careful with it. Medications are drugs and can have a range of effects on the body and a host of interactions and these will vary depending on your own biological makeup, as well as what else you’ve been eating.
Taking medication with coffee is an example of how we can unwittingly cause interactions in our body that render the medications less effective, or that can even make them dangerous. Here we will look at why it’s not a good idea to take medications with coffee.
Interactions With Coffee
Coffee and tea contain ‘tannic acid’ which can have a chemical reaction with a range of medications and thereby prevent them from being effective and/or even make them dangerous. This will also cause them to dissolve faster and that will mean they aren’t as effective.
Tea and coffee contain caffeine (particularly the latter) which speeds up the metabolism. This in turn increases the rate at which the body processes and absorbs a range of substances and that in turn can cause medications to react in a different way (or even pass right through your system).
Caffeine also has various effects on the body which might impact the usefulness of the medication positively or negatively. Aspirin for instance is a blood thinner, and so if you take this to reduce swelling then using caffeine – which increases blood pressure – isn’t particularly smart. Likewise if you are taking a sleeping tablet then using caffeine similarly is not a good idea. Worse – if you are taking another stimulant, such as a thermogenic, then the combination of two stimulants might result in overkill causing jitters and headaches.
Interactions With Milk
If you have milk with your coffee then this can be even worse – milk contains calcium and calcium absorbs many nutrients and medications itself – particularly the ‘fighting agents’ in many medications. Though that calcium is then absorbed by the body, this won’t give them their full impact.
If you add sugar to your coffee then this can also have unwanted reactions and may place strain on the liver which is a similar effect to the way alcohol affects the liver.
The other problem is that even with decaf coffee or tea, or even with warm milk – the fact that you are consuming a hot drink will speed up the dissolving process of the pills in the stomach which may again affect their ability to help address the problem.
In all cases, by far the most sensible thing to take your medications with is water. This will have no unwanted interactions with medications and won’t affect the body in any way which could be counterproductive. Some medications are also better taken on an empty stomach, as this will ensure that nothing interacts with them and that they are absorbed quickly – while others can damage the stomach lining unless you have eaten something first. Be sure to follow the instructions on the packaging and to listen to the advice of your doctor.