- Many people find coffee gives them IBS symptoms.
- Personal trainer Max Lowery found cold brew much more palatable than regular coffee.
- The reason for this is that the process for making cold brew removes around 70% of the acidity, which means it doesn’t inflame the gut lining in the same way.
- Cold brew also has a smoother, sweeter taste.
You’d be forgiven for thinking iced coffee and cold brew are one and the same — but you’d be mistaken.
While iced coffee is simply regular coffee that has been cooled over ice, cold brew is made in an entirely different process — that is, without heat.
Cold brew is created simply by steeping ground coffee beans in cold or room-temperature water for between 12 and 24 hours.
Not only does this create a less bitter taste, it also has a little-known health benefit: cold-brew is far less acidic than regular coffee, meaning it aggravates the lining of the gut much less.
It’s for this reason that personal trainer, intermittent fasting advocate, and author of “The 2 Meal Day” Max Lowery only drinks cold brew.
“Traditionally, I am not a big coffee drinker because I like to keep myself super sensitive to caffeine, however towards the end of last year I did get into the habit of drinking regular coffee,” he told INSIDER.
“Because I don’t eat until 1-2pm every day [Lowery favours an extended period of fasting overnight and through the morning], I was drinking coffee on an empty stomach and after about 10 days of drinking coffee almost every day, I got very bad IBS symptoms, something I have never had to deal with before.”
Lowery did some research and found out he wasn’t the only one suffering with these problems after drinking coffee, particularly on an empty stomach — some people experience diarrhoea, abdominal pain, or bloating.
“I did some digging and it turns out this is a common problem,” Lowery said. “Coffee is incredibly acidic and can cause inflammation of the gut lining. I was very surprised.
“Imagine how many people are dealing with this but don’t know that coffee is the root cause!”
Further research led Lowery to the discovery that cold brewing coffee can remove as much as 70% of the acidity.
“Brewing coffee at colder temperatures has a dramatic impact of the acidity levels of the finished product, and it all comes down to science,” RISE Brewing Co. CEO and co-founder Grant Gyesky explained to INSIDER.
“Here’s why: all coffee beans contain oils, and inside these oils are the fatty acids of the bean. During a normal hot brew process, the water is passed over the beans around a temperature of 200°F. At 140°F, the oils containing the acids are released from the beans into coffee making it more acidic.
“By maintaining colder temperatures during the brew, the oils in the beans are never released. Therefore, cold brewed coffee can be up to 70% less acidic than traditional hot drip coffee, which makes it easier on someone who struggles with IBS symptoms and gives it a much smoother and sweeter taste.”
Lowery finds the sweeter taste makes cold brew more enjoyable than regular coffee too — he now makes his own using an at-home infusion pitcher, which means he can control the strength of his cold brew by how long it’s brewed for.
The personal trainer also finds drinking cold brew helps with his intermittent fasting — many people who embrace time-restricted eating find drinking tea and coffee helps them keep their energy up through their fasted periods. Adding milk, however, isn’t ideal, and cold brew is generally more palatable black than regular coffee.
“The great thing about cold brew is that it tastes so sweet that you don’t need to add anything to hide the bitterness,” Lowery said.