Riiiinnnng, riiiinnng. The sound of the doorbell ringing multiple times startled Annie and LJ awake.

“Stay here,” said LJ as he got out of bed.

As he left the bedroom, Annie grabbed her phone, turned on the video and audio features, waited until she heard him approaching the front door, and followed him.

LJ opened the door to find Ted, their next-door neighbor, waving a coffee cup. “Did I wake you up? Sorry, buddy, but I am desperate for coffee. I’m in the doghouse because I forgot to pick it up yesterday. Barb can’t even open her eyes until I put her first cup of coffee in her hand.”

LJ chuckled, “come on in, and we’ll get it going for you.”

“I’ll grind the beans, sweetheart,” said a sleepy and relieved Annie.

“Ok, thanks, babes. Ted, let’s hang out in the kitchen while we’re waiting.”

The trio walked into the kitchen, bathed in the morning sun’s warm glow, giving it an inviting appearance.

“I really appreciate you all helping me out. I’ve told Barb many times over the years that she shouldn’t drink coffee on an empty stomach since it seems to give her indigestion, but she’s a diehard fan and insists she’s not experiencing any stomach upset,” said Ted as he settled on the kitchen bar stool.

Annie thoughtfully nodded as she measured the coffee beans. “I read recently that many people believe coffee on an empty stomach stimulates the production of stomach acid, which harms the digestive system. Experts have joined the conversation to help dispel misinformation.

Anecdotal observation points to caffeine as the culprit, causing indigestion. No one disputes that caffeine, a plant-based stimulant, and the main ingredient in coffee, is why many love their morning joe. The National Institutes of Health, in a report–The Impact of Coffee on Health, shows caffeine does not cause indigestion for regular coffee drinkers on an empty stomach. However, many other acids in coffee, along with the addition of sweeteners and creamers, also stimulate the increase of gastric acid for some and can lead to an upset stomach, especially for non-regular coffee drinkers or sensitive stomachs.

“What’s the story about caffeine and women? I read women drinking coffee on an empty stomach first thing in the morning boosts their cortisol level (the stress hormone), which peaks at the time of waking, causing the production of more cortisol which can negatively impact ovulation and hormones.”

“LJ, it is true caffeine stimulates the production of cortisol; however, there’s currently no proof that caffeine causes hormone changes. And studies on the impact of caffeine on fertility are ongoing,” said Annie.

There was a time when coffee was thought to be harmful, even carcinogenic, but studies show caffeinated coffee may adversely affect the development of cancer cells because it stimulates the digestive system, helping speed up food disposal through the colon, flushing carcinogens before they can stabilize and grow.

Adults drinking moderate amounts of coffee (3 – 4 cups per day that provide 300 – 400 mg of caffeine) experience some health benefits and few health risks. Current Research shows that for regular coffee drinkers, caffeine improves mood, boosts physical and mental performance, and helps lower heart disease and Alzheimer’s risk. No wonder Barb loves her coffee.”

Ted laughed. “A happy wife is a happy life. Thanks for the coffee and the information.”

Annie handed him a carafe. “You’re welcome. I like coffee too, but my first-morning drink is water because it’s like giving your body a shower from the inside. Now that’s a refreshing way to start your day.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

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