Why Does Tea Upset My Stomach But Not Coffee? Detailed Explanation!

The Best Answer:

Both coffee and tea have health properties as well as a small number of health risks. These risks are often associated with the stomach, headaches, and anxiety. However, this happens because many people are consuming the wrong dose without listening to the reaction of their bodies. Both drinks can be beneficial for our health if we choose the right dose.

Is coffee actually healthy or harmful? Studies repeatedly come to different views: Coffee is said to protect the heart and even reduce the risk of developing diabetes and certain types of cancer. On the other hand, coffee can irritate the stomach, increase blood pressure, and disrupt sleep. 

The question of whether coffee is healthy cannot, therefore, be answered across the board. For this reason, everyone should listen to their own body when consuming coffee. The amount is also decisive: for a healthy adult, up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is considered safe. A normal cup of filter coffee contains around 90 milligrams – so up to four cups of coffee, a day can be considered acceptable.

But what about tea? Have you ever noticed that tea is much more forgiving on your stomach than coffee and wondered why that is? Well, today I will look into both drinks and answer all your questions. Let’s get started!

Tea vs. Coffee: Which One Is Healthier?

tea vs coffee

Do you need something to wake up in the morning? Are you reaching for tea or coffee? Both drinks contain caffeine, but they also have other, different effects. Keep in mind that when I am talking about tea here, I am referring to black tea, as herbal teas have no caffeine. So, which is healthier – black tea or coffee? 

Many scientists have studied the question and come to interesting results: Coffee prevents Alzheimer’s and helps against diabetes and gout, tea is good against tooth decay and rheumatism. But there is one thing you should keep in mind when enjoying both: the dose.

Coffee’s effects on the body

Caffeine can cross the blood-brain barrier, which normally protects the brain from penetrating harmful substances, almost unhindered, and thus quickly reaches the brain and acts mainly in the central nervous system. 

It owes its stimulant effect primarily to one property: caffeine is very similar to the chemical structure of the messenger substance adenosine. The job of adenosine is to signal tiredness to the body. It is formed when our nerve cells are overly active. 

Then it is deposited on the nerve cells eager to work, restricts their exchange, and triggers a feeling of tiredness in order to protect the brain from overload. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors of these nerve cells – and the feeling of tiredness is weakened or not there.

Blocking the receptors also triggers an increased release of dopamine. This so-called happiness hormone facilitates the transmission of signals from nerve impulses and thus also promotes activity. And the production of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline is also boosted. 

As a result, the blood vessels (especially the brain) constrict, the blood pressure rises, the heart has to pump with more pressure and the organs are supplied with more blood. This improves attention and concentration and increases drive. 

The coffee beans also contain bitter substances, the development of which depends on the roasting and brewing process. The substances are considered to stimulate the production of gastric and bile juices, which leads to increased acid formation and ultimately, under certain circumstances, can trigger stomach pain and heartburn.

And of course tolerance levels of caffeine vary, causing some to experience sleepless nights, jitters, and anxiety, which is precisely why listening to your body is very important. 

Black tea’s effects on the body

An analysis showed that long-term consumption, i.e. ≥ 12 weeks, of black tea leads to a significant reduction in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Furthermore, the regular consumption of black tea leads to a lowering of the LDL cholesterol serum concentration. This effect was most clearly seen in people with an increased cardiovascular risk, affecting the heart and the vascular system.

Excessive consumption of black tea can lead to minor headaches, poor performance, and insomnia. In people with sensitive stomachs, black tea can irritate the lining of the stomach and cause pain.

In contrast to coffee though, black tea does not stimulate acid secretion in the stomach and, due to the lack of diterpenes, which are components of the oils in coffee, it also has no influence on the cholesterol level, which explains its better tolerability.

Excessive consumption of black tea also leads to a lack of:

  • vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Calcium
  • iron

The caffeine also develops differently in tea than in coffee: the effect starts more slowly and lasts longer. The active ingredient is bound to tannins, which means that the organism cannot completely absorb the caffeine. The longer the tea steeps, the more the tannins dissolve. 

They bind the caffeine, only gradually release it in the body and the drink calms you down. If the tea is only steeped briefly, the caffeine develops faster and has a stimulating effect.

The coffee, on the other hand, works just a few minutes after drinking, as the caffeine gets into the blood faster. Adrenaline is released and creates a stimulating effect. However, this feeling does not last as long as with tea. 

The Caffeine Content: How much is in where?

caffeine content

Coffee beans contain up to two percent caffeine, the same amount of tea one to five percent. Since you use much more coffee (approx. 50 grams) per liter than tea leaves (approx. 13 grams), there is more caffeine in a cup of coffee. 

A cup of coffee a day with around 100 milligrams of caffeine prevents Alzheimer’s and dementia, as caffeine blocks the damaging effects of cholesterol in the body.

Black tea has the same effect. Since a cup of coffee has about two to three times as much caffeine as tea, you have to drink at least double the amount of the latter to prevent forgetfulness

What is healthier?

In addition to preventing Alzheimer’s disease, caffeine has other positive effects on our health.

A cup of tea in the morning is recommended for everyone: tea contains fluoride, which strengthens tooth enamel. In addition, black and green tea have cancer and vascular protective effect. However, only if you drink it without milk, as this cancels the effect.

Coffee drinkers benefit from the fact that the coffee bean contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of gout.

The question of whether tea or coffee is the better drink can be debated for hours by die-hard fans. Many scientists have come to the result in their investigations that none of the drinks can be given preference. It is important that coffee and tea are consumed in moderation. Two cups of tea in the morning and one coffee in the afternoon are harmless, but larger quantities should be avoided.

Coffee or tea – it’s a matter of taste!

As you can see, coffee and tea both have positive effects and thus have a right to exist! Depending on your nerd level, you can spend more or less time preparing both hot drinks. And both can, but do not have to cost a lot. We recommend that you should pay attention to the following things for a good coffee or tea:

  • Buy organic quality. There are no harmful substances in products with the organic seal, and the result not only tastes better, it also feels better for you!
  • Take your time enjoying it. Nobody can refuse a cup of honor, and it always tastes better when you sit down and relax than to go!
  • Give your guests the choice. There are many people who like coffee and tea equally. So it’s worth offering both options for visitors.
  • Get rid of clichés. Depending on the type, coffee or tea never taste the same. There are just as flowery coffees as strong teas! 
  • Recycle the leftovers. Coffee grounds and brewed tea do not belong in the trash, they can be used again! How about a homemade coffee peeling? Or brewed tea leaves as fertilizer? Coffee or tea are valuable raw materials that need to be used up completely.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why does my stomach get upset when I drink tea?

Some individuals with sensitive stomachs may experience nausea and vomiting when they consume black tea. Black tea is hard to digest for these types of people because it contains caffeine, tannins, and bitter compounds that upset the lining of the delicate digestive system.

Is tea easier on your stomach than coffee?

Black tea is better than coffee because it does not stimulate acid secretion in the stomach and also contains malic acid which can help relieve gastric symptoms.

Why does tea feel different than coffee?

Tea and coffee have different tastes and textures. But what would make you choose one over the other?

There are many reasons why tea feels different than coffee. One reason is that tea is made from the leaves and the buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, while coffee beans come from the Coffea arabica plant. Tea leaves are also less processed than coffee beans.

Tea drinkers swear by its natural properties as a health-giving beverage, while coffee drinkers enjoy a stimulating jolt of caffeine that creates a mental buzz and an invigorating high.

But there is also evidence that some compounds in tea have properties similar to those found in compounds found in coffee. In the end, it’s all a matter of personal preference and what makes your body feel good.

Last Thoughts

Our conclusion? Whether coffee or tea, both are well-rounded drinks from start to finish. And what you prefer is always a matter of taste in the end! Just make sure to listen to your body and choose the dose that is right for you alone. Happy drinking!

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