We can not live without coffee nowadays. It has been our best friend during difficult days, celebrations, etc. But caffeine intake should be taken care of because it can affect the body negatively.
The smell and taste of coffee are comforting, and it helps people go through various emotions during their days. Sleep deprivation, cold weather, headache and even stress can be fixed by having a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee of your favourite flavour. For coffee lovers, no matter what the problem is, coffee can be a warm solution. While coffee is a great solution, unregulated caffeine intake can also harm your body.
Iron is an essential nutrient for the human body. Caffeine can reduce the absorption of iron in our bodies. So it would be best to be extremely careful regarding caffeine intake after having iron-rich food. Otherwise, it can create an iron deficiency in your body.
How long should you wait to drink coffee after taking iron?
Coffee reduces iron absorption in our bodies. But it does not mean that we stop having coffee. Instead, it means having coffee and iron-rich foods or supplements at different times.
If you are wondering how long after taking iron, you can drink coffee; it is at least 1 hour or 2 to drink coffee before you consume iron foods or supplements.
Tannin and polyphenols present in coffee hinder iron absorption in our bodies. So to fight iron deficiency, it is wiser to consume iron-rich foods rather than not having coffee at all. Also, you can increase your Vitamin C intake through your food choices as it enhances iron absorption.
Now that you know how coffee can affect the iron content in your body and what you can do to avoid that, it is all about maintaining a healthy balance between iron-rich foods and caffeine intake along with the timings of consumption.
Does caffeine reduce iron absorption?
As already stated, caffeine intake reduces iron absorption. Research conducted by the National Library of Medicine shows that coffee can reduce iron absorption by 39%, which was 64% with tea.
A cup of drip and instant coffee can reduce it to 1.64% and 0.97% from 5.88%, respectively.
Also, the same research revealed that having coffee 1 hour before the meal did not affect iron absorption. But the inhibition in absorption was the same if you have the same cup of coffee after 1 hour of the meal. It also showed that hindrance in iron absorption was the same for food and iron supplements like NaFeEDTA.
So coffee inhibits iron absorption in a concentration-dependent fashion. That’s why consuming iron-rich foods or even iron tablets 1 hour after having coffee or tea is better.
How long after drinking coffee can I take iron pills?
Our body needs iron for balanced functioning, which a healthy diet can fulfil. But keeping today’s lifestyle in mind, you may have to take iron supplements. In that case, taking care of the caffeine intake before and after consuming the supplements becomes even more critical.
How long after taking iron can you drink coffee depends upon what kind of supplement it is and what it contains.
If your iron supplement contains Iron sulphate, you should wait at least one hour before and after taking the pill to have coffee. But if you take supplements that include other forms of iron, like ferrous gluconate or ferrous fumarate, you can immediately have coffee after or before the pill.
Besides the type of iron pill, the amount of coffee also matters. To enjoy more than one cup of coffee, you should wait at least 2 hours or more to ensure better iron absorption in your body. As mentioned earlier, one cup of coffee one hour before taking the pills does not hinder absorption.
To sum it up, it is better to wait for at least one hour to take the pill after having a cup of coffee to ensure zero hindrance to iron absorption in your body.
Can I drink coffee after taking iron supplements?
As the National Library of Medicine research shows, coffee could be better after one hour of iron supplements. After consuming iron, you should at least wait two hours before coffee.
Otherwise, it can hinder the absorption of iron, creating iron deficiency. Also, having Vitamin C food and iron supplements can enhance iron absorption in your body.
What are the factors that can increase iron absorption?
Several factors can control iron absorption. It can be positive, like ascorbic acid, fish, and poultry and harmful, like coffee and vegetables. The elements can be classified into dietary and non-dietary factors as well.
There are two types of irons; heme and non-heme. Heme iron is a smaller part of dietary iron, is bioavailable and 20%-30% is absorbed. But non-heme iron is not bioavailable, much more variable, greatly affected by various diet components, and just 1-10% of it is absorbed.
Put ascorbic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, other organic acids, alcohol, and animal-based diets like fish, poultry, and meat to enhance iron absorption. All these factors promote non-heme iron absorption by activating gastric acid production. So adding foods that increase iron consumption is a great way to stay healthy.
Just like factors enhancing iron absorption, there are factors inhibiting iron absorption, like coffee, as discussed earlier. Apart from caffeine, calcium, phytate, phenolic compounds etc., inhibits iron absorption.
Iron is an essential nutrient for balanced health. It plays a vital role in energy production and helps transport oxygen in the blood through hemoglobin. Fatigue, weakness and body soreness can be the symptoms of iron deficiency in your body.
Iron content can not be compromised, so consuming the required amount is better. But caffeine intake should be taken care of while consuming the former. If someone asks you how long after taking iron can you drink coffee, a gap of at least two hours should be maintained to prevent resistance in iron absorption. It is all about balance and proper food timings, making life healthier and happier.
How long after drinking coffee can I take iron pills?
A: Caffeine can reduce iron absorption in your body by a significant percentage. So it is essential to be aware of caffeine intake before taking iron pills. Research shows that drinking coffee after taking iron pills has much more impact on your body. Drinking coffee one hour before the pills doesn’t affect iron absorption in your body, but one hour after the pills affect the same way as simultaneous consumption. It is good enough if you are keeping a one-hour gap after having your coffee and taking your meal. This will ensure that the iron content is well absorbed in your body.
What not to eat after iron tablets?
A: Tea, coffee, milk, raw vegetables, and whole foods reduce iron absorption. Also, if your iron supplement contains iron sulphate, it is better to take it on an empty stomach. And not having any food after one hour of taking the iron tablets is a good idea. Because it lets the iron be absorbed in the body, fully maintaining a balanced iron content.
When can I drink coffee after iron?
A: Avoiding coffee is better after having iron in either a meal or through supplements. Even after one hour of consuming iron, drinking a cup of coffee has the same inhibition in iron absorption as simultaneous consumption. So avoid having coffee for at least two hours after taking iron tablets or iron-rich meals.
How long after taking iron can I eat dairy?
A: Ideally, dairy products should be avoided after taking iron because it inhibits iron absorption in your body. Even after one hour of iron consumption, taking dairy products is not prescribed. So at least two hours of gap between your iron consumption and dairy intake is needed.
What slows iron absorption?
A: Iron absorption in your body can be slowed down due to the consumption of dairy, tea, coffee, raw vegetables, whole grains, calcium, phytates and bran foods. Consuming these foods with iron is not good for your health and can result in iron deficiency.
Avoiding coffee is better after having iron in either a meal or through supplements. Even after one hour of consuming iron, drinking a cup of coffee has the same inhibition in iron absorption as simultaneous consumption. So avoid having coffee for at least two hours after taking iron tablets or iron-rich meals.