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Why Do People Drink Coffee After Dinner? 6 Common Reasons

coffee after dinner

While many people think that coffee is solely a morning drink, there are just as many other people who consider a cup of coffee the norm after dinner.

In fact, drinking coffee after dinner is a nightly tradition for millions of people around the world. If you are one of those millions of people who consider a cup of coffee after dinner to be a tradition in your household, or even if you’re not, you may have wondered why people drink coffee after dinner.

It turns out that it’s not just about tradition or the taste of strong coffee after a great dinner to wind down the evening. There are quite a few reasons that people have a cup of coffee, or two, after dinner and a few health benefits of doing so as well. In this article, we’ll uncover those reasons and more.

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The 6 Reasons People Drink Coffee After Dinner

1. It’s a Family Tradition

When you’re younger, it can be hard to see the appeal of sticking around after dinner to enjoy a cup of coffee with your parents. However, as you get older, the desire for that after-dinner coffee with a side of interesting conversation might become more enticing. For many families, drinking coffee after dinner is a family tradition that has been passed down through the years.

Drinking coffee after dinner is the perfect way to catch up on everything that’s happened to each of you during the day and to reconnect after a delicious family dinner as well.

In fact, many families still have a tradition where they gather for a family night in one place, have dinner, then drink coffee afterward to catch up on each other’s week.

drinking coffee after dinner
Image credit: Unsplash

2. For the Health Benefits

There are many that drink coffee after dinner for the health benefits it’s been proven to provide.

Coffee is one of the leading sources of antioxidants in many people’s diets in the Western world. It also absorbs effortlessly into your bloodstream, more effortlessly than many other nutrients, in fact. Coffee is also a great way to increase your metabolic rate. We’ll go into a couple of the health benefits of drinking coffee after dinner.

3. To Aid in Losing Weight

The idea that coffee aids in losing weight isn’t backed up by science, but it is said to work as an appetite suppressant. That means that if you enjoy that after-dinner cup of coffee, you won’t be as tempted to indulge in late-night snacking later in the evening.

It’s important to note that when you’re using coffee to aid in losing weight, it’s black coffee that you need to be drinking. Coffee with sugar, creamer, or milk defeats the purpose, as those are full of calories. Black coffee, on the other hand, is considered to be a zero-calorie drink.

4. To Help With Digestion

One of the common disorders with overweight and elderly people is a tendency to easily become constipated. Drinking coffee after dinner helps speed up the digestion process and makes it easier to go to the bathroom. This is also thought to be a reason that coffee helps with losing weight.

However, if you’re obese or have digestive issues, it’s best to talk to your primary health care provider so that you can come up with a healthy solution to your problem instead.

after dinner coffee with dessert
Image credit: Unsplash

5. To Give a Little Boost of Energy

Aside from being a family tradition, the second most popular reason people drink coffee after dinner is to avoid that post-dinner lull. For most of us, a carb-rich meal will leave us feeling lethargic and sleepy. Instead of curling up on the couch to watch Netflix or take a nap, many people drink a cup of after-dinner coffee, which gives them that much-needed burst of energy to make it through the rest of the evening until bedtime.

6. It’s How Things Are Done in Your Culture

Various cultures indulge in a cup of coffee after dinner. For example, in France, coffee is a massive part of the culture. After dinner, coffee in France is usually served with a cognac. No matter what your culture, a good cup of coffee after a good meal is a great way to wind down the night and spend time with family and friends at the same time. What’s not to love about that?

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Is Drinking Coffee After Dinner Bad For You?

Unless you have concerns about your nutritional intake or you need to go to sleep early, then coffee isn’t bad for you after dinner. Also, some people find that the caffeine in coffee does nothing to keep them awake at night. So if that’s the case, then coffee is acceptable for you, even if you have to get up early the next morning.

If you love a cup of coffee in the evening or have just wanted to try it and see what it’s like, then go for it. Coffee isn’t harmful after dinner to most people. But you can always opt for decaf if you want to be safe.

close up young woman drinking a cup of coffee
Image Credit: Parker Johnson, Unsplash

Myths Busted About Drinking Coffee After Dinner

Many people stay away from coffee after dinner because of myths that have been circulating for ages. Some people believe that even a quick cup of coffee is responsible for indigestion, stomach pains, and can even cause heart palpitations.

However, it seems that the real cause of these issues could be that you’re eating spicy or rich food. Drinking an espresso after dinner, in fact, is said to aid in digestion, giving your system the chance to process your food and then move it through.

Coffee isn’t responsible for stomach ulcers either, though it does mess with people prone to heartburn in some cases.

So, that sums up the question of why people drink coffee after dinner. Whether it’s your culture to do so, a family tradition that you enjoy, or you’re doing it for the health benefits it brings, there’s just something about drinking a cup of coffee after dinner with family and friends that conjures up cozy images. That’s reason enough in itself to drink coffee after dinner, in our opinion.

Featured Image Credit: Tony Tri, Unsplash


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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