Coffee and Your Health

What are the effects of coffee?

I love coffee. There have been times in my life where that was all I would drink. I like it just as hot as I can stand it. I like cream and sugar in mine. I've heard that if you don't drink it black, you're just drinking it for the cream and sugar. For me, I have to agree. I love cream and sugar with a coffee flavor. :-)

Some will say that coffee is good for you. I have to disagree, strongly. Coffee has more than 40 toxic chemicals added. It is highly acid and aids in joint inflammation as well as many other inflammatory diseases. Unless you are supplementing with large amounts of ionized, absorbable calcium, you should limit your coffee consumption to no more than one cup per day.

Coffee has been a main staple for me when I'm dieting. I can have coffee for breakfast, lunch, snack and even dinner if I want to lose weight fast. I won't even eat, just drink coffee. Boy, does it work and fast. I used to love crash dieting this way. Mind you, I may not have been fit to be lived with, (my poor husband) but, I lost weight. That was the goal at any cost. I'm lucky it didn't cost me my marriage. :-)

Well, I recently heard some bad news about what all this coffee consumption is doing to me. I decided to get involved with a network marketing company that, well their main products were nutritional items. I've always taken vitamins, but these were different. They are higher quality than most supermarket ones, so therefore they absorb easily.

Something included with this company is Natural Health Training. So, I've been going to learn about natural health. I'm in my early forties and need to start taking better care of myself. So, I go and I learn.

What I am learning about coffee consumption is horrifying.

Coffee turns your alkaline body acid, in a hurry.

Your body has a pH balance, like anything liquid. Your bodily fluids do as well. The human body should optimally have a pH of 6.8 to 7.2. You can buy pH testing papers at any pet store in the fish area. You can also get them from a pool place. Test your pH first thing in the morning, before you eat or drink anything and before you brush your teeth. Place the test strip under your tongue into your saliva and hold for a couple of seconds. Now, check that against the pH chart you should have gotten with your pH strips.

What are your numbers? Most of us are about a 6 to a 6.2 and this is not good. This means that we are in a constant acid, inflammation forming state. What happens to the human body that is in this state? Over time, health problems start. Almost every disease you know of starts with inflammation. Here is a small list of diseases that occur from being in this constant acid state.

  1. arthritis
  2. fibromyalgia
  3. Alzheimer's disease
  4. angina
  5. arteriosclerosis
  6. headaches
  7. bleeding gums
  8. bone spurs (calcium deposits)
  9. cancer
  10. chronic fatigue syndrome
  11. diabetes
  12. eczema
  13. joint pain
  14. muscle cramps
  15. gall stones
  16. gout
  17. heart disease
  18. heart palpitations
  19. Hiatal hernias
  20. high cholesterol
  21. hypertension (high blood pressure)
  22. indigestion
  23. insomnia
  24. kidney stones
  25. osteoporosis

And the list goes on... in fact it is believed that there are over 200 degenerative diseases and medical conditions that are related to our bodies being in this acid, inflamation forming state.

So, what is the answer to this problem?

The best thing you can do is to learn what makes you acid. I am going to give you a short list here. These are acid forming foods and drinks.

  1. meat
  2. dairy
  3. coffee (huge problem)
  4. tea (herbal OK)
  5. soda
  6. sugary drinks
  7. sugar
  8. starchy food such as pasta, bread, crackers, chips

These are a few acid forming foods. I'm certainly not saying you have to give all these up. You should just be conscience of the effects they have on your body. Now a list of alkaline forming foods and drinks.

  1. herbal tea
  2. fruits
  3. veggies
  4. legumes
  5. nuts (except peanuts)
  6. honey
  7. agave syrup
  8. filtered water

Your diet should consist of mostly these foods. Most of us eat from the first list 80% of the time. If we can turn that around, our bodies would be happier and healthier.

What can you do to help alkalize your body, especially if you don't want to drastically change your diet? Add calcium.

Now, I have to tell you that not just any calcium will make a difference. If you are taking a cheap over the counter pill, you are not even getting enough to bother taking it at all. You are wasting your money and your time. You are flushing it. If you are taking a high quality pill, you are doing a bit better, not much. It still has fillers and binders to hold it together. You may absorb 30% calcium. If you are taking it in liquid form, this is better. You don't have to digest a pill and it is more easily absorbed. The best form for calcium is called Isotonic. Isotonic means "same pressure". This means that it is the same pressure as all you bodily fluids so you get maximum absorption. There is no digestion needed. It passes right through your stomach into your small intestine within 5 minutes and is instantly absorbed.

There are a few places where you can look into high grades of calcium

If you decide that this might be helpful for you, please visit my web site and see if this would be something you would like to purchase to get you started on a path to optimal health. Natural Beauty Tips 4 U Also, have you heard about DNA testing for nutrition? Check it out!! The future of nutrition is here. Get your customized nutritional needs met by having your DNA tested and your specific supplements sent to you based on your needs. No more guessing!!! The above web site gives much more information on this.

I believe 100% that if you learn what your body need, it can heal itself and maintain that health well into old age.

I did a test on myself.

After drinking coffee, regular and/or decaf, for many months, my knee joints hurt, my hip joints hurt, my neck muscles hurt, a lot, most of the time. I tried back massages. I took painkiller. It helped temporarily. Then it came back. Granted, I exercise a lot, but I don't overdo it.

So, I tried something. I gave up coffee and black tea. It has now been a month and I do not have knee or hip all. My neck still bothers me if I ride my bicycle too long, but not as badly and not as long. I have not taken pain killer for any kind, for these issues, for 2 weeks. I have not changed anything else in my diet. I am convinced that the coffee/black tea was making my body acid and causing inflammation in my joints.

Are you having joint pain? How about muscle stiffness? How much coffee/black tea do you drink everyday? You might want to consider trying what I did and stop drinking it for a month and see if your joints and muscles feel better. If, after a month they don't, well I guess what worked for me, doesn't work for everyone. But, you won't know unless you give it a try.

Have questions?  You can reach Michelle at 

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Comments 130 comments

level1diet profile image

level1diet 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

The problem with all of this theorizing, detail-rich as it is, and backed by laboratory research as it is, and filled with stories from real life people who are negatively affected by the product as it is...

All of those things being true...

Why is it that coffee -- despite all of that thinking -- still ends up making MOST PEOPLE (but of course not all people) -- healthier and extends their life? 

This fact is well known and much commented on by researchers and the medical community. They call this problem the "coffee question" or something similar.

It's an interesting question. The business about inflammation and pH, while being true, seem not to have a significant adverse effect for most drinkers. Naturally among the enormous population who drink 'the most popular beverage in the world', there will be many who find coffee has adverse effects on their health.

Read through the Finland study I link in  my hub about coffee... (the study itself, not just my hub about it)

This study about what coffee does to most people in the real world -- not to isolated cases -- shows why so many of us are 'self medicating' by drinking it.

The controversy continues about coffee, but it is largely fueled by researchers who are following isolated compounds and projecting theoretical affects onto coffee from fundamental research on isolated substances like caffeine, or considerations of pH, and stimulation of the sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system other than coffee to which coffee is arguably somewhat similar.

The problem with these theoretical approaches is that they simply ignore the overwhelming large well designed epidemiological studies about the actual consumption of the whole drink itself around the world. Those studies almost invariably support a dose dependent proportional benefit to coffee consumption.

By contrast, there are no large well designed studies that support the opposite opinion. Whenever large populations have been studied, the results show significant benefit to drinking large amounts of whole coffee -- much to the consternation of those who find this research undesirable, for whatever reason.

In my opinion, the existing body of science is conclusive, even though we may not understand why.

So, I think for the time being you and I and lots of others who study this field, will have to agree to disagree.

But as always, the search for truth with its ups and downs is enjoyable. For that reason, I welcome your essay.

Incidentally, I wonder if you may find that your exercise related inflammatory levels may be linked to an already extant level of systemic CRP, TNF-a, IL-6 and similar cytokine population -- all of which are downstream or 'caused by' a blocked D6D enzyme? I would suggest looking into your consumption of omega-6 in products such as peanut butter, 'heart healthy' Smart Balance margarines stuffed with omega-6, food bars with omega-6, and so on. If you decrease those, while increasing pre-formed consumption of long chain omega-3's EPA and DHA from fish oil instead of the short chain omega-3's from products like flaxseed oils, then your inflammation might be lowered to a levels that will make your joint problems evaporate.

Just a thought worth trying.

The journey is the reward! Cheers!

Dan Varella profile image

Dan Varella 8 years ago from Groves, TX


Another good Hub loaded with food for thought. Coffee has always been one of those topics that have had great arguements on both sides. I choose to drink it in moderation. After living in Seattle for a few years I enjoyed coffee more than ever.


Dan Varella profile image

Dan Varella 8 years ago from Groves, TX


Another good Hub loaded with food for thought. Coffee has always been one of those topics that have had great arguments on both sides. I choose to drink it in moderation. After living in Seattle for a few years I enjoyed coffee more than ever.


swag profile image

swag 8 years ago from London

Why is it that people continue to bother to talk about this topic at all? We waste billions of dollars of medical research and media coverage at flogging what is essentially a dead horse. Humans have been safely consuming coffee in moderation for 1,000 years or so now. That's more epidemiological evidence than we have for most anything this side of water, wine, and beer.

As has proven out over the past 1000 years, fact is that coffee is pretty much irrelevant to your health. But talk about whether coffee will make you live to 200 or kill you instantly keep coming up. Enough already. We should be wasting our breath and our medical research dollars on the things that really are affecting us: partially hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup that has infiltrated our diets and contributed to our exploding obesity over the past 40 years, etc.

Two sides really vocal on this issue? Both are wasting their breath and our time, IMO.

level1diet profile image

level1diet 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

SWAG -- that's pretty funny and a 100% accurate assessment of the arguments. I don't spend much time on coffee, that is for sure. My health site has 1.5 million pages, and only 813 of them even mention coffee (jjust did a search for your benefit). That's a pretty small percentage of my own 'health research budget' -- about 0.000542% or so. (grin)

By the way SWAG, does your cognomen mean what it meant to us nuclear technicians back in my Navy days?





We used to call the 'SWAG-factor' part of the diagnostic process in trying to figure out what had gone wrong to a nuclear reactor electronic or pneumatic control system. It was a kind of gallows humor, to be sure.

I think you're 'right on'! We should spend most of our time preaching about the evils of omega-6, HFCS or HFS fructose, trans-fats and sat-fats, and our inactive TV watching and computer using lifestyles. 

'Nuff said. I'm out of here for a while and going to take a walk through the volcanos on the Western horizon... across the wide Rio Grande.


Lisa Latimer 8 years ago

Thanks again, Michelle! I am definitely a big coffee conossieur. Could be the reason why I was not able to get pregnant after my first child. Well there are a host of other reasons-but i'm guessing that high coffee consumption had a lot to do with it also.

I heard of the Diabetes part of it-how caffeine affects insulin levels.

I didn't know about all of the other health concerns you mentioned.

For me it is a necessary evil. Being in an internet business results in me spending a whole lot of time on the computer/phone. I have a hard time staying awake late at night. Staying awake late is not natural for me and I find I need to rely on unnatural means. Passion for what I do only gets me so far. If I can go to bed by 10 pm every night then I would have no need for more than 1 cup per day. I would also find it easier to lose weight. I have replaced some of my coffee consumption with herbal tea and water. It sort of helps in terms of hydration and mental clarity.

I also exercise not as vigourously as you do-I do work-out videos, and take walks. I also take very good nutritional supplements including omega-3's, anti-oxidants, calcium, mineral compounds, multi-vitamins, and pro-biotics.

Right now it is not a big concern, but still, it's food for thought. Thanks for the educaton! :)

c0wski 8 years ago

Good article. I haven't read much about the effects of coffee, mainly because I don't drink it that much. Also because I once read that there are always contradicting studies (some say its bad for you, some say it's great, and others say it doesn't do anything). Maybe it's just one of those things where it depends on the person. Maybe that little bit of coffee that I do drink is part of why my neck's so stiff (or maybe because I've been sitting at the computer too long).

If calcium alkanizes your body, then wouldn't the acidity from dairy products kind of balance? I like natural ways of getting nutrients (just a personal preference) so if I wanted calcium I'd just drink milk.

level1diet profile image

level1diet 8 years ago from Albuquerque, NM

This pH and acid-base issue is very interesting. Thanks for describing this for us, Michelle. I've been ignoring this subject in my own research at NIH's med library. Just hadn't found time to devote to it. Looks like it's time for me to devote some time to that, huh? Thanks again.

sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Intresting hub.

Coffee or not. it's back to my old maxim balance. moderation in all things is good. since I lost my 35kg's I still drink coffee freshly ground, filtered only and no sugar milk or cream and it has no adverse effects. I gym vigourously and watch my diet ( see my hub).

Coffee is one of those controversial subjects.

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 8 years ago from New Hampshire Author

America is the largest milk consuming country in the world with the highest cases of Osteoporosis, so I do not think you get much calcium from milk. When it is pasturized, the calcium becomes un-absorbable, therefore you don't get what you need from dairy products. You get the best calcium absorption from dark green veggies. If you are unable to maintain a pH of 6.8-7.2 with veggies, you may want to supplement with a quality, ionized form of calcium.

I knew this hub would have some people agreeing and some disagreeing. Have all you coffee drinkers, of large amounts, tested your pH? Try it at different times. Try testing your urine before you drink a coffee and after.

I'm certainly not saying coffee is the only culpret in causing inflamation. It can be linked to many more things, such as hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup, MSG, omega 6's and on and on. My thought is, large consumtion of coffee is an added strain on an aready strained body, if you are also consuming the other mentioned things.

Moderation in everything. If you love coffee and your body can handle it, drink it in moderation and enjoy.

Thanks for all the comments, guys (and gals). Let the controversy continue!

Rudra profile image

Rudra 8 years ago

Great benefits from coffee, it can also make hair grow if dry coffee is rubbed on the hair.

adeshwar profile image

adeshwar 8 years ago

i love coffee, but michellemoseley is right , coffee does have negative health effects also .

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 8 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks Adeshwar, I was beginning to wonder if anyone agreed with me.

gpbrewer profile image

gpbrewer 8 years ago from Arlington, VA


 I love coffee, too!  But the entire discussion on pH balance and inflammation, as documented by Dr. Mark Hyman, in his book, Ultrametabolism, and Dr. Robert Young, in his book, The pH Miracle, seems to support the position that coffee, though it's been around for thousands of years - just as alcohol has - probably isn't neccesarily good for your overall health.  As they say, "Live Free - Die Young."  It's always about personal choices!


Paul S. 8 years ago

PH is an interesting topic. I've been living the low-carb lifestyle on and off and every time I go back on the low-carb diet, my heartburn disappears, my face clears up and I feel more stability in my energy level. Lately, I have been consuming large amounts of coffee (6+ cups, if you can call Starbucks 1 cup, which it is not :) and I've been getting strange increasing pain in my knees and hips. I didn't associate the neck, back and shoulder pain with it, but that also has been becoming more bothersome. Last weekend I dramatically lowered my caffeine consumption and low and behold, my knee and hip pain started disappearing.

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 8 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Having a low pH can cause all kinds of health related issues. When the pH is very low, and one cause of this is coffee consumtion, inflamation in the body goes wild. If you think about it, what is one of the main causes of mose diseases in people? Inflamation. Inflamation of the joints, of the arteries, of the very cells through out the entire body. When we walk around long enough in a constant state of inflamation, our body will eventually react in a negative way. Pain and stiffness, arthritis, fibromyalagia, and the list goes on and on.

But it's not just about your joints. Having a pH of lower than the ideal 7 to 7.2 will cause the entire body to be acidic and disease thrives in an acid enviroment.

I'm not against caffeine, it's the acidity associated with the coffee that seems to be the problem. It's also not just coffee that bring the pH so low. It is many other things as well. Black tea, large meat consumption, sugar, starchy food like crackers, pasta and such.

To keep your body in an ideal 7 to 7.2 pH, you absolutely must make a large portion of you daily food intake fruit & veggies. Keep the meat portion to one serving per day. That is the size of a deck of cards. Limit the intake of acid forming things, coffee, black tea, soda, sugary things.

If you must keep up on your caffeine intake, at least compensate with enough absorbable calcium to combat the negative effects. Calcium is alkaline and when your body is closer to this ideal alkaline state, inflamation is reduced and healing can begin.

AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Although I am a nurse you have nailed it right on the nose and these things should be done. as to much of one thing or another will destroy the body. Great Article!!

Michelle 7 years ago

Thanks AEvans,

I appreciate the comment. Everything in moderation, right?


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 7 years ago from Hermosa Beach

most of us loves coffee and despite of all the said health problems it may cause, we still enjoy having a cup of it everyday.

we just have to drink it in moderation.

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 7 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Agreed, everything in moderation. That's my motto too.

monogram7 6 years ago

I really have to chime in on this one. The truth is that consumption of anything but particularly coffee / caffeine products are 100% individual and can not be defined by a blanket study. We must take into consideration that we all die. When we die is up to us. How well we live to that point is very much up to us. I believe we go through phases on our lives. Phases of learning, experimentation, addiction and recovery. I have recently turned 54 years old and was feeling "not so good" in many ways. The odd feelings in my body were many so I will not bore you with the details, but rest assured I was getting sick, and I knew it. Lab tests confirmed a high PSA (prostate cancer pre-cursor test) that was unsettling. So I turned to the best silver-bullet I could find. That was the Gerson Therapy. ( I did the therapy for two difficult months and now my PSA score is close to normal and almost all my other symptoms are gone. Eliminating caffeine was part of the therapy.

So! My input is, there are times when we must detox and nourish our bodies to correct what negative things we have done to them in the past. I used the most powerful natural disease curing protocol in the world that is 100% natural. The Gerson Therapy worked for me. Now that I am done I have a little coffee to perk up my mind, but only once in awhile. During the therapy I found peppermint tea with no caffeine gave me a very elegant clarity of mind but not the neuron pumping effects of coffee. Still a comfortable productivity was available. So, what I do now is when I need to be very much "ON" I have a cup of coffee. I do NOT use it as an anti-depressant or recklessly as a party drug or midnight oil "jack your body up" emergency drug. I go to bed and simply get up at 4:00am and do the work I needed to get done the night before after a good four hours sleep. I take afternoon naps and I never miss a tick of work because my work-time is more efficient since I get rest when I need it. My boss is not happy about my napping but he sees no compromise in the quality of work. So he "tolerates" my "indulgence." Little does he know I get more done without caffeine than I ever did "ON" caffeine. The down time spent in confusion after the coffee wore off was spent stumbling around in exhaustion, and sometimes crabby with attitude. The stuff changed my personality on the way up and on the way down. Everyone knows this is true. That is one fact every coffee drinker understands 100%.

After completing the two month therapy I have modified my diet so substantially that I am a better MUCH healthier person. I learned a lot about my body. The most touching and heart warming thing I learned was that we must thank our bodies for a life of health and good service to us now and then. The Gerson Therapy is a great way to thank your body, detox and nourish it as a great big THANK YOU to your body. I will do the therapy now one month twice a year from now on to honor this lovely vehicle that hauls my spirit around this world every day. It's a beautiful thing gratitude is. And everybody thinks I'm a nicer sweeter man while my ambitions get fulfilled at every level - well almost so. Hope this helps!

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks so much for contributing your comment. Very interesting, the way you talk about honoring our body by treating it respectfully with great nourishment, cleansing and detoxing. I totally agree.

Tom 6 years ago

I love coffee but I have terrible pain in my knees when I drink coffee. I went off coffee and the pain disappeared. I came back to coffee and had immediate pain. I went off again for about a year. I've been back on coffee for about a month and the pain has started again. I love coffee; if your PH comments are accurate, then I'll try a "balancer" to see if I can mitigate the pain. Tom

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Tom,

My understanding is that Calcium is the "balancer". When your body is too acidic, joint pain is a bi-product. To get your body back to more alkaline, supplementing with Calcium is the one to use.

I hope that helps.

Michelle Moseley

Mike Chronos 6 years ago

Interesting information. It is all about balancing it out... making sure you are having more healthy foods than ones that are bad for you. Once you get into the rhythm of having the better foods, your body will crave the bad stuff less and less.

bob 6 years ago

Do you think coffee or your ph level can be a problem with an itchy scalp? It seems like when I'm of coffee I have less of a problem.

Michelle Moseley 6 years ago

Hi Bob,

I believe that a pH that is too low can effect many areas of our body. Our skin is our largest organ and with a pH out of the proper area, our skin can definitely be effected. If it seems to be directly connected to your consumption of coffee, than I think you are correct. If you don't want to give up your morning pick-me-up, consider some helpful tips, such as a humidifier, drinking plenty of water, using a shampoo with conditioner in it or one designed for a dry scalp.

You can find lots of tips on my blog.

I hope that helps.

Michelle Moseley

Espresso Coffee Makers 6 years ago

Balancing your diet intake is of utmost importance as excess of everything is bad. Coffee intake should be balanced according to your body need and the digestion power of your tummy.

charl 6 years ago


I am healthy and not over weight and I get a good amount of excersize, I am in the IT industry so sometimes I need coffee to keep me going, when I have not had enough sleep.

100% of this time in the last 3/4 years I notice that when I go to gym or jog or play soccer that my knees ache afterwards.I have had my knees checked and they seem fine.

When I drink little to no coffee the problem does not exist, I love coffee but the personal side effects on my body is not worth it.I dont think I would notice this if I wasn't at times very physically active though.

when the problem would occur I would normally have about 3 cups of filter coffee a day.

Michelle Moseley 6 years ago

I agree. My body feels better when I don't drink coffee. I wish it wasn't so because I love coffee, but I also like it when I don't hurt. So, I have now had none for almost a month. :-(

TeresaT 6 years ago

Well, I agree with both sides of the argument above. And I want very much to believe that coffee is GOOD for me. But truth be told... the more coffee I drink, the more my neck hurts.

I've experimented -- stop drinking coffee, neck feels better... drink lots of coffee, neck feels worse. I'm realizing there's a real connection (which is how I found this post, by Googling "can coffee worsen neck pain?"). I wish it wasn't true, because I'm ADDICTED to coffee and LOVE it, day and night. It makes my thinking very sharp and has given birth to some of my BEST ideas! But I have to be truthful... the more coffee I drink, the more my neck hurts. Scientific or not, my body is telling me something. And although I don't want to listen (I REALLY don't want to give up my coffee!), I need to pay attention to what my body seems to be telling me -- something in my coffee is definitely causing some muscle tightness. **sigh**

I wonder if the reason society as a whole supports coffee consumption (and finds scientific reasons to explain why coffee is actually GOOD for you) is because we're all in the same boat -- addicted! -- and simply don't want to believe it might be bad for us (because that would mean giving it up).

I guess I'll need to weigh the lesser of two evils: keep my coffee and deal with neck pain; skip the coffee and feel better. Neither one sounds appealing. : )

Greg D 6 years ago

I have come not to trust scientific studies and doctors because many of them have their own agenda, and it usually involves making money and helping people that are rich get richer at the expense of other's health and well being, as well as the overall health of the planet.

I can tell you for sure that coffee DOES cause negative effects on my health, even though I consider it very important to helping me perform my job, which requires that I be thinking and alert at all times.

I searched the internet for "joint pain and coffee" and found this site. It just confirms what I already know. If I continue to drink a cup of coffee on a daily basis, joint pain and abdominal pain will come and when I stop, the pain will go away. I am now 41 years old and have started and stopped drinking coffee several times a year since I was 20 and it is always the same result. Is it possible that it is good for you in some other ways? Sure. I can tell you for sure though that coffee is just like any other drug.. It may help you in some ways, but it is a toxin to my body that cannot be taken without eventual ill-effects. Everything in moderation is right. I hope that people with joint pain and other symptoms try quitting coffee before anything else. It would be a shame to continue feeding the coffee industries coffers and then have to feed the drug industry for some drug that eases the pain when the solution was simply to lower your intake of coffee.

As to the comments about omega 6's and eating bad food, I have changed my diet over the years to almost all organic foods and mostly fruits and veggies, so I know this is not the cause.

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Great comment, THANKS!!!

Lindsey 6 years ago

I have major joint pain from drinking coffee. Michelle, your post was the first thing that I found to remotely answer some question I had about coffee. I love coffee, but can not drink it without hurting from head to toe the next day, and no one else seemed to have this problem until I read your article. It helps me make a little sense of my problem.

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 6 years ago from New Hampshire Author

HI Lindsey,

Thanks for the comment. Glad I could help.

hardy 6 years ago

Hi Michelle,

I stumbled upon this article today. I have a similar story to share. I was having regular knee aches in my left knee... Multiple visits to multiple doctors couldn't solve the problem. They said it could be due to inflammation. I ate the prescriptions for months. The pain would reduce but would again re-appear.

Figured out that the dis-comfort started after my coffee consumption was increased to 10-14 cups a week( thanks to the new coffee machine I bought. Love it!) I stopped drinking coffee and pain disappeared within 2- weeks of abstaining from coffee. Now i drink no more than a cup a week.

I am going to try the Calcium supplements. Hopefully i can enjoy coffee regularly again..

Great Article. Thanks!

Michelle 6 years ago

I'm glad to hear of your pain relief. I also have knee problems, due to arthritis. Abstaining from coffee helps. I don't abstain as much as I should, but I do take my calcium, so right now, I have no pain, just creaky at times, especially climbing stairs.

I guess the trick is to keep your body in an acid environment to keep inflammation lower and coffee can make the body quite alkaline, encouraging it. Calcium helps keep our body in an acid state, therefore creating a place where inflammation is reduced.

I hope you can enjoy your coffee again, just make sure to supplement with a good, high grade of calcium. As long as it's done in moderation, drinking coffee does have some health benefits. Scroll up for other insights on that.

John 5 years ago

I've had joint pain all over and thought I might not be able to continue to work, it was that bad. I stopped drinking coffee on a hunch and my pain is gone. It was most certainly connected with my coffee drinking. Since I have now read your article, I will be checking ph and see what my levels I'm at. There is a connection and you are not crazy Michelle. :)

Michelle 5 years ago

Hi John,

WOW!!, I'm SO glad to hear of your pain relief! I wish it wasn't so, but there really is a connection for a lot of people. Me included. It's too bad, I LOVE coffee!!

Donna 5 years ago

Well I have just started the test as Michelle, leaving out the coffee. My aching, joints, cramps, hips, have almost stopped in about a week. I stopped coffee because it bloated me so badly. I begin to feel better and better and thought what is happening. Then I remembered the only thing different was stopping the coffee. Came one line and found this. Glory be!! I am 73 years old and feel better everyday without coffee. yes, I love it with a passion so it won't be easy.

Michelle 5 years ago

Hi Donna,

Don't you just hate having to give up something you love because it is having a negative impact on your health?? I know I do!!! Thanks for commenting.

Donna 5 years ago

Michelle, I heard Regis say he drinks acid free coffee. I looked it up online and found some I could order. Haven't. Need more information. Could the acid free coffee not cause the aches and pain? Or if it is also the caffeine, maybe acid free, caffeine free coffee. Oh how I want an occasional cup of coffee but just can't because I am feeling so much better.

Michelle 5 years ago

Oooohhhhhh, THAT sounds wonderful!!! I know I would have to get the decaf, because caffeine also give me problems. Will you let me know how it is? I wonder how they get it acid free? More chemicals probably. :-(

lila 5 years ago

i read this page because that's exactly what i am experiencing after drinking coffee (especially brewed)...joint pains. i do love coffee too but i think i will try being off it as soon as possible.

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

I think most of the problem comes from all the acid in the coffee. There must be a low-acid coffee. I have been drinking tea and so far so good. No joint pain.

Best to you, Lila.


Greg D 5 years ago

Me again.. Since I posted about a year ago, I discovered something that I believe everyone who is having these joint pains and health issues will really want to hear. After going to Guatemala and visiting some coffee plantations, I realized that I had never tried organic coffee. I have been purposefully trying to drink as much as much organic coffee as possible to see if I can duplicate the health issues that I have always had with regular coffee. Guess what? 90 percent of those problems disappear when I went organic. This is what tipped me off: Some folks I met there told me that all the chemicals that go onto the plants and into the soil cause much higher levels of caffeine and give people health issues. I still get most of the "pep" I used to but without most of the symptoms. Another symptom I used to get when drinking regular vs organic coffee is stop and go urination. That has gone away too. Even though most symptoms go away, I would still say drink it in moderation. I have only tried one brand of organic coffee so far- I got it from Trader Joes -it's called Fair Trade Organic Bolivian Blend. I was told that there are certain standards set for organic coffee in the U.S. And then other standards set by other countries so to make sure you are getting the best organic coffee, make sure there are two organic seals on the package: USDA organic and quality assurance international certified organic.

Greg D 5 years ago

Oh, and by the way, the organic coffee actually tastes good! I am not affiliated with trader Joes or the coffee industry in any way. I just love coffee :)

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

Thanks so much Greg for the information. I will be trying some organic coffee!! Looking forward to it.

Pat 5 years ago

I had been taking Omega-3 for approximately 4 years.

Now looking back I realize that the Omega-3s I was taking were causing joint pain.

Here is my story.

As mentioned, I was taking Omega-3s for approximately 4 years. For most of those years I lived with lumbar pain,rotator cuff pain, hip joint pain, knee pain as well as right side neck pain that felt more like a pain in my carotid artery. I never associated these pains with the Omega-3s that I was taking as there has been nothing but positive studies related to Omega-3. One day I recommended to my mother that she start taking Omega-3 to help lower her blood pressure. She started to take it and after 2 weeks of taking it she started to develop pain in her rotator cuff as well as that awful neck pain on her right side. Coincidence? I don't think so! She stopped taking the Omega and her pains went away. I decided to stop taking the Omegas myself to see if I would experience relief of my pain and I did. After about 2 weeks I noticed that the pain was subsiding. I was off omega for approx. 1 month. I then resumed taking Omega again and the pains returned. The pain would get so bad I couldn't lift my right arm and my lumbar would hurt so bad I could not turn over in bed. I did my own off and on test 4 times. EVERY TIME I went off Omegas my pains subsided. And EVERY TIME I resumed consumption so did my awful pains!

With no knowledge of and during my off and on test my brother-in-law proudly mentioned to me his new health regimen. He stated that he was starting to eat better, exercise and was taking Omega-3s. He said "I've never felt better but I can't seem to get rid of this knee and shoulder pain". Sound familiar people? He was ready to go to the doctor to get Cortizone shots. I mentioned my off and on investigation of Omegas and told him I was sure they were the culprit. He stopped taking Omega and now the pains are gone.

Last month I had a cousin come visist me from out of town. I hadn't seen him in over 10 years. While catching up I mentioned to him that he was in great shape. He too was proud to tell me how he eats healthy and exercises etc. You know, same old routine that health conscious people follow. The one thing we all had in common? Omega-3!!!!!I was shocked when the next thing that came out of his mouth was, "I've been having pain in my knee and ankle and can't seem to get rid of it". He too was ready to go see his doctor. I mentioned my findings and he said he would stop taking the Omegas. It's been a month since he stopped and his pains have almost gone.

Since my off and on experiment I have completely stopped taking the Omega and my pains are almost all gone. However, my hip seems to be the most stubborn of them all and is still lingering.

In closing, I don't think it's the coffee is the culprit, IT'S THE OMEGA-3!!!!


Michelle 5 years ago

Hi Pat,

I'm sorry to hear that you have had such a poor response to Omega 3's. What I might suggest is that it may not be the fish oil, but the mercury found in many brands of fish oils. If you are consuming Omega 3 that are just using any ol' fish, it has been known that there CAN be large amounts of mercury and the studies for mercury in the body sound very similar to what you are saying here in your story. Mercury CAUSES joint and muscle pain. To be completely sure, you would have to get your fish oil pills tested.

Here's my suggestions.

1. Take your Omega 3 pills to a lab for testing. Have them check for mercury. Poison to the body!!

2. While at it, have them test the pills quality in general.

3. Research the different Omega 3's online. The high quality ones DO NOT contain mercury.

If you wouldn't mind, I would love a print-out from your lab for the particular Omega's you are taking so I can warn others. My email is You can send a copy to me there. I would be very grateful as would many others. People need to know so they stop buying that brand and it needs to be removed from the store shelves.

Looking forward to hearing more.


Emily 5 years ago

Hi Michelle!

I am so glad that you posted this. I have been suffering leg pain (in what feels like my upper bone) off and on this past winter, and I couldn't help but notice that it almost always appeared on days that I drank coffee. I love coffee, how it makes my mind feel more alert and the taste and warmth of it, but I just was getting so sick of that pain. It made it hard to walk or do any exercise. So finally, I stopped drinking coffee. It's been over a week and my leg hasn't hurt.

Today I decided to google "bone pain and coffee" to see if there was some kind of link between the two. Thinking I wouldn't find much, I was amazed that almost every link that came up confirmed what I suspected about coffee and my bones. I just wanted to thank you for confirming my suspicions! I have already been taking a high quality form of calcium, but I will indeed look into the Isotonic form. And this post is definitely a good reminder for me to maintain an alkaline body and what I need to do in order for that to happen.


Michelle 5 years ago

Hi Emily,

Thanks for writing. I'm glad you found me. :) There definitely seems to be a connection between coffee and body pain. It's too bad, I love coffee. I do end up drinking it again and then wondering why I hurt. Duh!! It always comes back to the coffee and I am bummed to have to give it up once again.

If you are taking a quality calcium, I would just make sure you are getting enough. You can test for this to make sure. It's testing your pH level. You can buy litmus paper at almost any pet store. (in the aquarium section) First thing in the morning before you drink anything, test your urine. Yes, you have to pee on the paper. Then compare it to the chart that should come with the paper. Your pH should be between 6.8 and 7.2. If it is, you are getting enough calcium to keep your body in an alkaline state. If it is low, consider upping your calcium and testing again periodically. When you get it to the desired level, all you have to do it maintain.

You can also get litmus paper at and also read more about the importance of a good pH.

Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment.


beverly 5 years ago

Hey all. I ache all over my body and i take none of the omegas or dont drink coffee. I need a knee replacements on arm lower back, my feet and the biggest would be my knees hurting. I have had cancer, meanwhile when i had it, i had another disease called endometriosis, which kept me from getting out of bed. Had to have a complete histerectomy after we dealt with taking half my colon out for the cancer. Had two foot surgies back in early nineties, i know they hurt, they always have. This knee pain overrides the foot pain. After the hysterectomy the endometriosis came back. i have to take mobic for that, otherwise I would not be able to get out of bed to walk on my aching knees. They also lock up with me at night, i cant hardly move them, its so hard to walk, and with all this its so hard to lose weight. I have never been this depresses me severly. I weight a little over 300 now. Did not think I could ever get that far. I have recently joined a gym. Just trying what i can, have first granbaby this july and i want to be able. Got a feeling I want. I am 40 years old. I take pain medicine, but it only last for awhile. I also have panic attacks, I take something for that. I also have passed out about four times. They say it is heart palpitations. I need to have ct scans..but I have alot of doc bills. I dont want no more. just seems like its a loosing battle. My mom does have the same leg problems. My aunt had endometriosis, my other aunt has the foot problems, and now my daughter has it. Me and her both have had to crawl to get around the house. It's terrible guys. I just don't know where to start. I do go to doc every three months. of course they want me to loose weight, and it flutuates about nineteen pounds every three months..just when i thought i lost some, it's back. thanks to all of u that have read. Anybody got any info, that may help me, let me know. I did start mainly drinking fushion light and more water.

Michelle 5 years ago

Hi Beverly,

WOW!! that is a lot to deal with. I'm so sorry for all you go through on a daily basis. I do have a web site and you can read about several different subjects there.

I guess I would say to be careful adding any nutritionals without your doctors consent. With him/her having you visit every 3 months, I would suggest asking if there is something natural you can do for pain. Most doctors are OK with Omega's, but check first.

Congratulations on the grandbaby. I had my first last Nov. and she is SO much fun. I'm grateful to be able to enjoy her and spend quite a lot of time with her. Enjoy!!


connie 5 years ago

I was diagnosed with CFS and Fibro almost 9 years ago. I am highly sensitive to foods and chemicals in foods, plus have many allergies to as well.

I LOVE coffee. But coffee freaking KILLS me with pain. I wake up with so much pain it is almost unbelieveable. I am a 50 yr old woman and run a farm by myself, so Im in pretty good shape and strength. I can handle pain. But NOT coffee pain.

I drink water in the morning...... (I know, wow huh) butI squeeze lemon in it and it wakes me up, hydrates mefirst thing and makes the day possible.

I keep looking for articles to link the two things- the intense body pain and coffee. But I cant find any. So must assume it is just another weirdo- reaction my body has to something that almost everybody else can drink.

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

Hi Connie,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm sorry to hear of your CFS and Fibro. I would venture to say coffee has contributed to them. It's highly acidic and causes your entire body to become highly acidic, which in turn causes many system in the body to malfunction.

Your body needs to be kept in an alkaline state to be healthy and pain free. It also helps keep many chronic diseases away. Read the part about keeping more alkaline.

I don't think it's just you and me with this issue. I just don't think many people have found the connection between coffee and many health related issues. Plus, who likes giving up something they love? NOT me!!!! But the alternative is not something I want to live with either, so.......the coffee must go, for me.

I love that you run a farm yourself! That's amazing!! It sure will keep you fit and healthy.

Take care.

Vallis 5 years ago

A Van Houtte Premium Coffee ad at the bottom of this board? Is that some kind of coincidence?

Anyway , I have nothing original to add. I drink coffee my joints start to burn and go off coffee it subsides, time passes I go back on coffee burning returns. I don't even know what the allure is, I like the taste but how hard should a warm chocolatey flavoured morning drink be to replace? Seems that once one of these things gets a groove in the brain stick around claiming some unique status.

Once again, I am stopping the coffee drinking. Thanks for tall the comments and info.

Realised 5 years ago

I have been taking coffee for almost 30 years, the

pain it causes in my arm muscle just too much. Initially

I thought it was due to my fast typing of keyboard,

but when I stop drinking coffee, the pain just goes away.

Then, the whole body aches start again if I take the

coffee again, when I stop the coffee, the aches just go away. I tried many times, and it is confirmed it is the

coffee that causes the pain.

I tried to reduce the amount of coffee intake to 1/10

of my usual amount which 1 cup/day. Even with 1/10 cup

of coffee, it still makes my entire body muscle becomes

stiff. I can hardly stride in my usual full step when

walking, I walk like an old man which is 80 years old.

When I stop coffee,there you go, I can run and bounce.

Thanks for your article which brings light to a lot of

people, especially on the coffee, bread, crackers, soda, sugar and starchy food.

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate that you took time to read and let us know what your experience was. It's amazing how many people coffee effects in a negative way.

Thanks again.

andi 5 years ago

I'm 57, been a coffee drinker my whole life, with a couple of detoxes during my life. I love the coffee stimulation to my brain. It obliterates depression, on the spot! But coffee messes with your blood might be craving sweets all the time. Also dehydrates your bowel (colon) so you are not eliminating poisons from your body. I think that is why we ache. Drinking tons of water does not help. Take a really good probiotic so you poop every day, alot. Use coffee as you would a DRUG. It is powerful, a gift from God, really...but to be used ever-so sparingly. I've had a love/hate relationship with it my whole life. Good for all you people doing the detective work for yourselves instead of hiring doctors. I've always said we have to take care of our bodies and minds in our own unique ways, distinct from anyone else. Much love to you all!

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

Thanks for the tip about the pro-biotic. I think that is a great tip!! Not enough of us are getting the right amount of good bacteria in our systems, so along with coffee could all contribute to aches and pains.

Thanks again.

Tom 5 years ago

Coffee is pure poison. People are addicted to it plain and simple and will use any study to rationalize and justify their usage of it. You are junkies, and the worst kind of junkies.

How does coffee harm you? Aside from the well documented caffeine withdrawal syndrome which can cause adverse effects (body pain, headaches, constipation, depression) when you simply have less coffee or caffeine in your day than you normally have (and then will take some toxic medication for it)

Coffee, amoung other things:

1. causes insulin resistance (15%) and deranges blood sugar and has been shown to do this in real time in the lab

2. increased stress hormones like cortisol (which causes increased levels of the worst kind of fat in the stomach) in the blood and potentiates stress

3. interferes with sleep

4. is extremely addictive (you loving it is not unique to you, it is a common experience to addictive, dopamine flooding substances)

5. Interferes with GABA in the brain

6. has the highest levels of pesticides

Read info from John Hopkins university about problems coffee and caffeine causes regarding anxiety and mental illness.

Coffee is a terrible drug that turns people into foul smelling, angry, out of the present androids on the road to short miserable stays in skilled nursing facilities.

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

WOW!!! Tom, thanks for the comment.

Karen 5 years ago

My husband has been suffering very bad back pain, taking morphine and anti-inflamitory meds. He drinks ALOT of coffee everyday. This started about a year and a half ago, and was about at the same time as his coffee consumption increased. I really want to thank you for this site as now after a lengthy chat about coffee and the bad effects he has agreed to cut out coffee to see what happens. I will repost and let you know what happens. Thanks again Michelle

Vallis 5 years ago

are any commercial establishments offering a no acid coffee anywhere?

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 5 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Karen,

How is the going off coffee going? I know the withdrawals can be extremely difficult. I also know it may take some time for the body to start healing, so make sure you give it time. If your husband has been drinking coffee a long time, it may take months to see a change.

Here are a few tips to help along the way.

1. Drink a lot of filtered water.

2. Exercise, even just a walk. This helps the body eliminate by stimulating all your inner systems. Eliminating all the affects of the coffee are key.

3. Consider vitamins, fish oil and other natural supplements. See if you can find a natural nutritionist in your area and have a talk with him/her. If you can not find one, I have a friend who is one and I would be happy to pass on her information to you.

4. Rest, be sure to get 8 hours of sleep every night. VERY important to the body rejuvenating itself.

I'd love to hear how it's going. You can comment here, or send me an email.

Take care.

Vallis, I don't know of any acid free coffee. If anyone knows of any, please share!!

Layton 5 years ago

i have ankylosing spondylitis and the only pain relief i've found so far is black coffee.

hungryMadCow 5 years ago

I get geographical tongue when drinking (to much) coffe. I suspect coffe in some way is blocking the absorption of B-vitamins.

Michelle Moseley 5 years ago

I'm sorry to hear of your issue when drinking coffee. It seems that there are many issues with it. I also know there have been many health benefits from it. I guess the key is moderation.

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michellemoseley 5 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Layton, I'm happy to hear that coffee helps you!! Best of luck to you.

chris 4 years ago

I get the exact same effects from drinking coffee. If i drink any amount of coffee on a regular basis i get bursitis in both knees and some joint swelling in my left shoulder. After one full week of zero coffee, the symptoms magically disappear. I now can drink coffee two days in a row with no ill affects as long as i take a full week off in between. I'm going to experiment with lemon water and possibly coconut oil to see if there is any way to make daily coffee a pain free possibility.

Lady 4 years ago

Interesting. Last year my brother suggested the pain in my back might be from coffee because he cut it out and his pain disappeared. After he suggested that I tried it and coffee DEFINITELY causes back and neck pain for me. I have searched for an association on the internet before and not found it, so figured it must be some oddity unique to my family. I am surprised to have stumbled upon this discussion! My brother's daughter has the same problem but loves coffee and said she had heard somewhere that it is the theobromine in coffee that she (and we) are sensitive to, that causes muscle spasms. Any comments?

AKchris 4 years ago

I am a healthy 40 year old, love hiking, skiing and such. I started having serious knee pain and swelling which always got worse in the afternoon. I linked it back to when I bought the best coffe maker in the world, The AroPress. I loved it so much I would have a cup in the afternoon, leading to the knee pain. My wife thinks I'm nuts, but it's totally related to coffee. I still drink coffee, one cup every other day and green tea on the days off.

MIchelle Moseley 4 years ago

AKchris, thanks for commenting. Now that you have cut back on your coffee consumption, is the pain better or the same? Green tea is good, but have you ever tried an Herbal tea with a bit of honey? YUM!!!

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author


Thanks for commenting. I would love to hear if you find a way to drink coffee and have no pain. Please let us know here if you do come across a way.

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Lady, thanks for commenting. I have heard that it is the acid in coffee that causes swelling and painful joints and muscles. I have not heard of obromine, but will look it up online. When we consume coffee, we consume a large amount of acid. Our body thrives best in an alkaline environment, so when it becomes acid, pain results. I have heard of Calcium in large amounts counteracts the acid in coffee. I have not tried this, but, because Calcium is alkaline, it makes sense. When our bodies become acidic, a lot of things begin to go wrong. Pain is just the beginning. Arthritis, fibromalgia, high blood pressure, etc. the list goes on and on. I have another Hub on that subject. I'll find it and post it here.

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Here's the Hub about Calcium deficiency.

DarrylMueller 4 years ago

Michelle this coffee acid is something else. I had been off coffee for 25 years. Then started to drink coffee again and after 9 months i was drinking maybe 8 cups a day before lunch. About a 2 months ago my arm mussels started hurt in the morning. It got worse. I was so glad the read your article and do the test for acid. I was off the chart! Off coffee and bad pain was gone after 24 hrs. and pain gets less as time goes by. And I can read my PH! What a relief to know that I can get back to business. I use my arms a lot. Heavy Equipment & Farming. Thanks for all you do!

anonymous 4 years ago

Hi Darry,

Thanks for commenting. I'm so happy to hear that you are getting relief from your pain. If you still enjoy coffee, I do have a suggestion. Don't drink 8 cups per day. Try 1 cup per day AND add calcium. I know Calcium always seems to be something only women take, but mens body's need it too. It helps keep your pH in the correct range, between 6.8 and 7.2. If your pH is too low, add more Calcium. Also, read my Hub on other things that cause your pH to go too low.

Thanks again for stopping by and leaving a comment. I appreciate it!!


Anne 4 years ago

I have been in denial about coffee for years, starting and stopping the addiction over and over again. I am now in constant pain: shoulders, upper back, lower back hip joints and knees, also the tops of both of my feet. Thanks for your hub. I am quitting coffe today, well taperin off so I don't get the horrific withdrawal headache. As for acid free coffee there are seveeral brands of coffee with ganoderma mushrooms in them which are supposed to be supper healthy for you Gannocafe is one of them, expensive. Also in the south they make a coffe where they soak it overnight in water and then use this concentrate to make coffee. I find it to taste like instant coffee--not that great, but perhaps better than nothing. Also Teceeno is a coffe substitute that you actually brew like coffee. It is not exactly like coffee but pretty good--sold in the health food section. With all of this knowledge, why do I still drink coffee???? Because there's nothhing like it. But there is also nothing like the pain I am experiencing. Time to weigh the value.

Michelle 4 years ago

Thanks for adding your comment, Anne. I really appreciate the ideas you gave for alternatives to coffee. I'll have to check into them. Michelle

SharonH 4 years ago


In my late twenties I started to get hives every afternoon and then migrating joint pain and swelling. It went on like this for 2-3 years. Not terrible but not good either.

Then the condition exploded, almost 100% join involvement. I had every test done under the sun and was found to be negative for everything. They treated me for lupus anyway (up to 100mg of prednisone a day and Plaquenil). When the lupus drugs failed they started me on Methotrexate. A girlfriend said "I'm afraid they're going to kill you, you should try the holistic route. " At that point in time I had become very disabled and even swallowing and brushing my teeth were challenging. I'm an active person and seriously thought I might be facing the end of the road. I had a newborn and a 1.5 year old. At age 35 my Rheumatologist said (as she was draining my knee) I was the worst case of arthritis that she'd ever seen. She'd been practicing for 25 years.

Nothing was working so I decided to try the holistic approach. My husband drove me to the practitioners office (I could no longer drive) and after two hours was given "Gold" and told not to drink mint tea or COFFEE. I told my husband that if I had to believe in this therapy then I was doomed.

Then something funny happened. I started to get better. Very slowly but surely. After 9 months I had no symptoms. I stopped the remedy and went back to my old habits. I LOVE strong coffee. And then something funny happened (not haha funny). The symptoms started again! Went on a rice and coffee diet for a week and my condition continued to deteriorate. I dropped the coffee. I got better. I didn't drink any coffee for years and discovered some really good green teas - I don't seem to react to those. But sometimes I can't resist (there's an espresso machine right next to me at work) and fall off the wagon. Within a couple of days my hips hurt, then my wrists, knees. Whoa. Stop.

I've never heard of anyone else with this reaction. There really is something to this, at least for some of us. If I'd found this blog 22 years ago it would have saved me a few years of tremendous pain and anguish. I hope my story can help someone else. Thank you Michelle for your blog.


Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Sharon,

WOW!!! you have been through a lot!! Your story is amazing. I have to say, I have recently "fallen off the wagon" and been drinking coffee again. I have been having some body pains again. SO, I plan to stop drinking it again, like, now.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and I am SO glad you found relief.

Take care,


Dina 4 years ago

I totally agree with you! This I have had for many years and the minute I drink a cup of coffee or tea, I get those symptoms in about half an hour. It has also caused my hiatus hernia due to its acidity. With me, it is exactly as you described. Thanks for making people aware!

Marla 4 years ago

WONDERFUL article!!! Thank you very much for this information I thought it was just me. I have had a lot of joint pain for years and I figured out through trial and error I hurt when I eat meat ,wheat, dairy and the big one is coffee.So this puts a huge light on this problem.

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Marla,

Thanks so much for commenting!! I'm so happy that you have found the cause and been able to get relief!!

Take care,


Teresa 4 years ago

I have been trying to quit drinking coffee for years...LOL And lately I have come down with hip and joint pain. I think this article will finally be a major motivation to quit. Thanks.

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks Teresa, I hope it helps!!!

Dominique LaRoche 4 years ago

Thanks, I will see the effect of stopping coffee. I have muscle pains an difficulty to absorbing iron. I am on my 4th day without coffee, and the pain, at first increased. To be followed...

Michelle 4 years ago

Oh my gosh, Dominique, it will possibly be 4 weeks before you REALLY notice a change. Please give it time. Best to you!!!

Frank 4 years ago

I am 40 years old and have been drinking coffee since I was a kid. About two years ago, I started getting these odd muscle aches and pains, and some in my joints - knees, wrists, neck, elbows, etc.

Went to doctor and had blood drawn-everything ok. The aches and pains persisted - went to 3 different rhematologists, convinced I had some autoimmune disease such as RA. Nothing...tons of blood drawn each time.

I plan on quitting coffee for now - I drink about 5-6 cups daily. I started noticing the pains more once we bought a Keurig Coffee Machine since I started drinking more coffee than ever.

These aches come and go and move around my body. I've been x-rayed, MRI's, and nerve tested as well- all normal.

I'm wondering if it is the coffee/caffeine. I haven't had coffee since Sunday night (Its Tuesday night)and I'm hurting right now - the withdrawal symptoms have started and my neck was killing me - had to take Advil yesterday and earlier today.

I hope this is the problem. Doctors are of no help...

I wonder how long it will take for these aches and pains subside? I've been dealing with this for 2 years now! To look at me, I look healthy as a horse!

michellemoseley profile image

michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Hi Frank,

You certainly will have withdrawal symptoms for a while. Headaches is going to be the biggest. Advil will help you get through it. That should only last for about a week.

I would recommend giving it at least 3 to 4 weeks before you start to see a change in other body pain. Then it's subtle. I went along for a while and suddenly thought, wow, I haven't had such and such pain for a while now.

I wish you the best and really hope this is what is the problem and staying away from coffee helps. Please write again and let us all know how it goes.

Take care,


Greg D 4 years ago

I am not advocating Coffee in any way, but if you drink it, make sure it is organic and filtered with a french press. This will help keep the aches away, but not completely. I agree that quitting is best though. I am not sure I am sold on the reason why coffee is causing pain though. I tested my acidity on numerous occasions and there was not a huge difference from when I was drinking coffee vs not. I switched to a tea that is not acidic but does have lots of caffein and kept upping the doses and guess what? Joint pain started again. I believe it is the actual caffein that is causing these issues.

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Greg,

Thanks for commenting. It is interesting about the caffeine possibly being the problem. I'm going to give that a try. I really miss the taste of coffee. Thanks!!

Frank 4 years ago

I went almost two weeks without coffee and the last week I noticed that my joint pain was almost gone.

Just yesterday, I had a bad headache from not eating lunch. My buddy gave me a Bayer and I had a small cup of decaf - about a 12 oz. cup with the ibuprofen. I figured it was the caffeine that caused the joint problems, but apparently it must be the actual coffee - regardless of whether its regular or decaf.

About 2-3 hours later, I started feeling my wrist bothering me. Its been about 24 hours now and I still feel some aches.

Well thats days of drinking ANY kind of coffee is over. It was interesting that I didn't have an ache or pain after quitting coffee about 10 days out....then I have a small cup of decaf and within hours I feel the ache again!


Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Frank, that is amazing!! Thanks for adding your comment.

I do wonder and maybe someone here can answer this. Do you think it's also the coffee, regular or decaf that causes muscle pain? I don't have joint pain, even with a cup of decaf daily, but I do have a considerable amount of muscle pain.

hmmm, I may be on to another bout of no coffee just to find out. Wish me luck!!

Frank 4 years ago

I was so desperate for relief of the headache, I figured I'd have a small cup of decaf to melt the ibuprofen so that it acted fast. I always take ibuprofen with hot coffee - but I was hesitant to get regular coffee.

Sure enough, I ordered a small decaf at a Starbucks and within 2 hours my wrist was bothering me. That was Saturday around 6PM.

Today is Monday, and my muscle in my upper arm feels a tiny bit achy-very slight mucle pain.

I wonder how long it will take before the coffee that I drank 2 nights ago will be completely out of my system...

I'm sorry I had that cup of decaf! I won't do that again...

Debra 4 years ago

I am 54 years old and started drinking coffee (1-2 cups a day) about 6 months ago because I kept hearing and reading reports about how good it is for your health. Well, 6 months later my whole body aches all the time. I started wondering if it's the coffee. After reading this, I think my coffee days are over!

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Debra,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Sorry you have to give up coffee, but it will make your body feel better. Give it some time.


Amber 4 years ago

I have also noticed when I drink caffeine of any kind, my legs seem to hurt that night. I feel like it must go hand in hand because my knees never have hurt when I haven't ingested caffeine.

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Amber, Thanks for commenting. I'm sure there is a connection between your pain and the caffeine.

Something I am now trying. I have had chronic back pain for about 3 years and have tried everything to alleviate the pain. I went from drinking regular coffee to decaf. Then I was drinking tea and realized there was caffeine in it, so switched to decaf. Figured as long as it was decaf, I was all set. Not only that, but I was drinking decaf, green tea. Good for me, right. I started having pain after about 1 week of drinking 4 cups of decaf, green tea. Couldn't believe it. It must have SOME caffeine in it too. Maybe they can't remove it all. SO, now, I have one cup of decaf, green tea and herbal tea for any other tea I drink. Of course, I drink water as well. What I am waiting for is relief from my back pain. Is it related to caffeine? It's all muscle pain and may be due in part to my work, so the chiropractor says, but maybe there is a connection? No relief yet. It's only been 2 weeks. I am also trying a vegetarian diet. Also, no cards from pasta, bread and such. Eating a lot of beans and veggies. Still having dairy. It will be interesting to see how I feel in a month or so.


I've lost 5 pounds in 2 weeks eating this way. Very nice side effect!!

Kmb 4 years ago

Hi Michelle, thanks for hosting this post and all the info. I believe we are all different.

Thanks for posting this without using it to sell your nutritional products. (or if you are, I missed it!)

I enjoyed your comments on calcium because it's true -- the people with the highest rates of osteoporosis have the highest protein consumption in the world. (If I recall right, it's the Inuit). I *heard* that you can absorb calcium from milk but that if you eat too much protein or have an overall pH imbalance, then you are peeing out your alkaline minerals, including calcium, regardless of what the source was. Most of us in the US have high protein consumption and a pH imbalance.

For ME: coffee (decaf or no) definitely has a pain effect for me. I have scar tissue around my rotator cuff that in the past has caused me great pain. It seems to "stretch" or "grab on" to tissue around it (I don't know what is going on scientifically, but that is how it feels), creating tension on the muscles, some numbness and tingling down into my wrist and hand, and increasing incidence of headaches. I thought I noticed a connection with high caffeine consumption and the pain.

The pain from this arm problem was enough to make me finally give up my BELOVED caffeine (coffee and Diet Coke) three years ago.

After one month I noticed a huge difference in all symptoms above, and again after three months another huge difference. I have enjoyed these benefits for most of the past three years.

Occasionally I do stupid things, and the results serve to reinforce my belief that coffee is not good for ME. For example, this month my time clock has been off due to traveling and I've had decaf, half-caf, or Diet Coke on 8 occasions to help wake up or stay awake. For the last few days, I have hated myself for it, because my entire left arm is heavy, my hand has numbness and my armpit has numbness.

But the good news is that I know exactly how to cure this and I am already "on the wagon" again!

Thanks again Michelle.

Michelle 4 years ago

Hi Kmb,

Thanks for commenting. I don't have a particular nutritional product that I sell. I think that they ARE important, but that taking any is better than none. I also believe that if you are REALLY dedicated, you can get all the vitamins you need from food. However, most of us can not or will not make that kind of commitment. It CAN be challenging!!

I DO miss coffee, but DO NOT miss the pain.

Thanks again for commenting!!

Michael 4 years ago

All of these anecdotal stories are well and good, but it is hard to determine if there is any scientific basis to your claims about coffee's effect on the body.

Coffee might cause people to become dehydrated, and being dehydrated does lower one's ph and is known to cause a myriad of serious health problems (potentially including all of those mentioned in the postings here). However, studies actually have shown that coffee does not in and of itself normally cause dehydration.

Could it be that people are otherwise chronically dehydrated and that drinking coffee just does not help this situation? If so, substituting water, or water with lemon (which adds water soluble vitamin C) would help alleviate the dehydration, whereas coffee would confer no such benefit.

The only way to really know whether coffee is the culprit is to conduct properly constructed double-blind placebo controlled studies. In the meantime, however, I would urge people having these symptoms to first make sure you are very well hydrated whether drinking coffee or not.

In any event, it seems your back pain has not resolved with the lack of coffee. I would urge you to look into myofascial release if you have not done so already as this has been a great source of relief and healing to many and often can be learned and performed at home with little fuss and expense.

Linda 4 years ago

I thought my joint pain was just familial arthritis. Dr. had me take a food sensitivity test. Wheat and coffee are my two biggest culprits. It I eat them, I ache. If I don't eat them, I don't ache. It is up to me. If I have like a cup of coffee a week, I'm okay, but I can never stop there. It creeps up and so does the pain. Hurting last night, couldn't sleep. Aching today lower back, hips, knees, and ankles. OFF the coffee again as of today. Why can't I just stop drinking it?

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

I know, if you are anything like me, it's hard to give up what you love. I LOVE coffee!! Good luck to you.

tens 4 years ago

There is a book called caffeine blues which is about the negatives of coffee and caffeine addiction.

The author of the book mentions that it is very well known that caffeine causes muscle tension and muscle contracture (caffeine relaxes smooth muscles like in the airway, but tenses skeletal muscles). Caffeine disrupts calcium ion flow in skeletal muscles, and taking calcium will not help at all as the problem is not a lack of calcium. Over taking calcium will cause other problems though.

Caffeine is actually used to induce muscle tension in horses to test their ability to resist fatigue and to see how much their muscles contract in response to it. Horses that tense up a lot (meaning their muscles such as leg muscles) are expected to not be the best runners.

Coffee, any type of coffee like decaff or low acide, spikes cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the death hormone. In elevated amounts, it causes muscle wasting and because of this will slow your metabolism. The muscle wasting and inflammatory fat accumulation (that belly you have) is a double whammy that is another path to pain that is especially unique to coffee.

Coffee and caffeine are very difficult to quit. According to one study mentioned in the book, 75% of people cannot quit even if they believe coffee is causing them great harm. Reasons cited include ongoing withdrawals symptoms including constipation and depression.

Intake of coffee will instantly relieve these symptoms, but it does it because it is actually the cause of the symptoms, in the same way a junkie or crack addict will feel much better when he has a hit after abstaining for a few days/weeks. Caffeine will relieve a headache or body pain, but it does so because it is the cause of it in the first place (it cause blood vessel constriction in the brain and when you get off coffee the blood vessels expand - ouch - take it again, and they constrict). According to caffeine blues, it takes about 2 months for hormones to stabilize and for the brain chemistry to normalize (caffeine messes with the calmers of the brain - gaba).

There have been very few quality studies done on caffeine and coffee and health. One of the reasons for this is that it is difficult to find people who don't use caffeine to use as a comparison. Often caffeine studies will compare people who drink less coffee with those that drink more (caffeine tolerance varies). Or, they will have people quit caffeine and then compare people in withdrawal with non withdrawing addicts which of course is ludicrous. One study that got it somewhat right was a study involving mormons who didn't use caffeine and it showed caffeine drinkers had a greater all cause mortality.

All studies in the lab, in real time, show caffeine and coffee to have very deleterious effects, especially on blood sugar, causing wild swings in blood sugar. Take a look at the breakfast studies done with caffeinated coffee. Caffeine is also well known to cause insulin resistance.

Coffee and caffeine is a huge business. It is a powerful, cheap and ubiquitous addiction. It drives a lot of the soda business. If you are looking for doctors or studies where someone takes all the negatives of coffee and caffeine and puts it all together which makes it obvious that - cost benefit analysis wise - coffee is extremely detrimental, you are not going to find that. The economy and culture in many ways is dependent on it for survival.

Best is to test it on yourself and then ask yourself if the high or "taste" is worth it. If you decide to quit, give it at least 2-3 months to see how you come out of it. Expect it to be very difficult. Best is to cut down first but realize that even a one cup a day habit cause very significant withdrawal symptoms and there is just no escaping some significant initial discomfort... expect body aches to intensify in the first few days then slowly disappear (to the point you may even question your sanity as if you imagined the whole thing).

You will feel worse at first as you go through withdrawal but then you may find yourself thinking - did i use to have pain in my neck, back, sleeping issues, anxiey? Then, just stay away, and be careful around coffee drinkers and situations.. it is very easy to get readdicted.. the first cup will be incredible, but then you are trapped again, and then comes the pain.

Tony 4 years ago

I love my coffee also but think its causing me joint pain. I have gone on and off coffee over the years and do notice a difference. I also have used PH strips over the years and coffee just kills the PH. Just recently I started taking Tumeric and this is giving great benefits. As much as I like coffee I think its going to be a one day a week affair. I have done this before but always seem to fall back into it again. Maybe I should just end the love affair forever. I enjoyed your writeup.

Pam 4 years ago

I'm going to try to cut back and then eliminate coffee and hopefully I'll see a reduction in my joint paint. I'm really interested in the acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. I've read where drinking organic unpasteurized apple cider vinegar can help with this...I don't understand it because isn't vinegar acidic? I think something happens to it once digested that turns it alkaline? Do you know anything about this?

mary 4 years ago

I think too much coffee is creating pain in my hip joints. I'm middle age and have loved coffee since I was 30 ( I never drank it before that). I'm going to try going off it and see if it helps. This is not going to be easy because I LOVE the stuff.

Pam 4 years ago

Mary, I'm plagued with really bad hip joint pain as well...for the past 10 years off and on (I'm 45 y.o.). I have a tendency to get tendinitis very easily (in my wrist and elbow) and I'm wondering if that's what I have in my hips. I'm terrified to get it checked into because I don't want to hear I have arthritis. I have that in my knee already. I've been drinking coffee since I was about 20 years old.

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Wow, this is amazing. I didn't know it would take that long to be rid of the addiction. About a week ago, I had a cup. It was delicious!!! Then something went wrong. I was jittery, anxious, sick feeling, etc. This went on all day. Even when I went to bed, I felt ill. I also could not sleep. It was like I had drank it too late in the day and it was keeping me awake. I had drank it around 8 am. The next day, I finally felt better. THAT was crazy!!!

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

I know that vinegar will stop heart burn and will help the body become more alkaline. I do not have a bunch of details, but I'm sure if you Google it, you can find a lot. Good luck!!

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Thanks all for commenting. I know the love affair with coffee is incredibly hard to end. I guess it really is an addiction. It's incredible that the thing that makes us hurt can also be so comforting. Best of luck to all you who are trying to quit.

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Reading the book, Caffeine Blues. Really recommend reading it!!!

tens 4 years ago

Thought I would mention one other thing. A lot of people like to point to studies that show that coffee has "benefits". A lot of these benefits however are common to other addictive stimulants. For example, nicotine from cigarettes has potent anti-alzheimers and anti-parkinsons effect, much stronger than coffee. Nicotine also causes true fat burning and is a potent appetite suppressant (while coffee stimulates appetite). Point being many toxic things can have "positive" effects.

All you need to know to understand why coffee and caffeine are an overall severe negative is that:

1. It is very addictive with a painful withdrawal syndrome that takes months to get over the full effect of (you are not done just because the headaches stopped) when you stop. Effects include body pain and depression, 2 things we happen as a society to take a lot of pharmaceuticals for which have their own side effects. Many people who argue that coffee is harmless or has benefits couldn't quit it if they thought is was harmful. This positive position allows one to stay in denial that they are addicted to coffee and are essentially a drug addict.

2. Coffee potentiates stress and increases stress hormones. It amplifies stress all day long. It causes insulin resistance. It elevates cortisol, a catabolic hormone also known as the death hormone. Cortisol is important but in higher amounts it has bad effects. It interferes with gaba in the brain, not allowing the brains natural sedative to work properly.

There is more but this is all you need to know really. Any so called benefits can be achieved by eating a healthy diet and getting adequate rest. In fact, getting adequate quality sleep is probably one of the most if not the most important things for health and coffee and caffeine interfere with this, even if you don't see it.

V-GUN 4 years ago

Thanks Everyone! I've been veg for 8 years and I have a fairly limited diet. Last summer, after a coffee binge, it took over a month to get back on my feet. My symptoms during detox included a MASSAVE headache, like something was literally squeezing the life out of the back of my brain, dizziness, and nausea. It was terrible. Now, if I add coffee to my diet for more than a day, joint pains and depression kick in, when I eliminate it, no pain, happy again. Caffene users should give quitting a try. The pain is liberating:)

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

Agreed!! I've been "Off The Bean" for about 2 months. I have one cup of decaffeinated tea per day and will be giving that up as well. I have virtually no pain. For the first time in about 3 years I can run up stairs. I can walk for an hour. The only pain I have left is in my back. I'm convinced that if I give up my tea (even decaf has SOME caffeine) I'll be completely pain free. I'm looking into herbal, naturally decaffeinated coffee. I'll let you know if it's any good. Being pain free is worth giving up caffeine, no question about it!!

Eria 4 years ago

What about foods high in calcium? what foods contain the correct form?

Everything in moderation i guess, but i do drink and love a lot of coffee!

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michellemoseley 4 years ago from New Hampshire Author

The best way to get consumable calcium is through dark or brightly colored veggies. Kale, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

gord bentley 4 years ago

a protein in coffee is present that mimics the protein found in gluten. almost all gluten sensitive people are sensitive to coffee. most people do not realize they are gluten sensitive and continue to ingest cofffee. this probably explains why some people have ill affects from consuming coffee. regular or decaf it doesn't matter. gluten makes my legs hurt and coffee does the same :)

Greg D 4 years ago

Another interesting tidbit: I have GERD (Acid Reflux) and I never had it before I started drinking coffee. I believe the coffee was so acidic that it caused a hiatal hernia/GERD. Most of the joint aches and pains were from the coffee for sure, but I also know that a pain about halfway up my back and to the left of my spine was from the GERD (which I believe, was caused by coffee intake). Everytime I started getting GERD symptoms (one or more of the following and not always the same symptoms: pain at the bottom of my ribcage, small amount of flegm in my throat, breathing problems(like asthma), tightness around my sternam)I would also have that back pain in that particular spot. This back pain is a well known symptom of acid reflux. If you have that pain, you may want to check to see if you have GERD. If you do, just change your diet and get off the coffee right away! I suffered through asthma symptoms for a couple of years.

I quite drinking Coffee 4 months ago and I can tell you that it takes several months to truly get your energy back. My body was so used to the coffee energy buzz that I didn't think I would ever get my mental lucidity, happiness, and physical energy back. I highly recommend getting lots of exercise after quitting since exercise will help increase energy and help flush out your system.

Michelle 4 years ago

Thanks so much for your comments. Much appreciated!!

Lou 3 years ago

I definitely feel the effects of coffee. If I take calcium I get ill. I can eat it from salad but not in supplements. It does more than constipate me. It causes stiffness, hardening of muscles to the point of constriction. If i drink coffee, it relaxes me. I can feel the effects of the magnesium SOFTENING the effects of calcium. Calcium in my opinion is bad for the body in the amounts they say to take. It definitely hardens things up if thats what you need but for me staying limber is what I need and some coffee or coca cola now and then is my go to, to truly feel okay. I do have some need however for a boost as I am a bit adrenal deficient and drinking either of these help me a lot. As well does chocolate. Same reasons-magnesium, potassium,caffeine,some fat to relax the nerves. Ive tried to be alkaline. It is drying to the body and if done wrong is so bad for you. I do drink lemonade though. It has amazing effects on the skin. Drinking a small amount will tone the skin if it needs toning. It is my alkalizer WITH the citus already intact without needing supplements ionized or chalk pills!!!! LOL

Lou 3 years ago

I just wanted to say that while I dont agree with the article about taking calcium, i was asked to RATE the article and for whatever reason my computer entered a 1 without my typing and i did not do this. i was going to rate it as a 10, even tho I dont agree with calcium being taken. Why you may want to know would I? becuz education and experiences from all of us teach us a lot about medicine and health.

Ojas 3 years ago

Thank you!

cureforce 2 years ago

I have a love hate relationship with coffee, I believe it is good for some people and bad for others. Here is a link to a post about what I am going through with coffee. I hope someone here can help.

ronnie 21 months ago


MC 8 months ago

I agree with you. Like any thing else....some can, some can't and if there is a problem then there is a problem.

Another interesting word is : acrylamide

Each there own, leave mine alone in the 603

tens 4 weeks ago

One thing I wanted to add is that coffee and caffeine addiction and the way it affects someone I think is a very individual thing. I get bad effects from it personally but I do know people who can drink a lot of it - sometimes even close to bed - and other than them having some mild patience/anger issues, they don't have the joint pain or other problems that some have. Some people might just be allergic/intolerant to coffee or some component of it or have much less tolerance for caffeine. Though I imagine we are all affected similarly when we stop taking it in terms of withdrawal. But perhaps even that can vary as well.

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