Drinking Gluten? Celiac Sufferers Should Keep an Eye on Their Favorite Beverages


Hot Mocca Coffee with latte art in heart shapeThose diagnosed with celiac disease are used to checking labels in grocery stores and asking waiters if certain menu items are gluten-free—it all comes with the territory of being gluten intolerant.

Fortunately, as the condition becomes increasingly well known, and more people are diagnosed with celiac disease, dietary options are more easily available. Supermarkets have sections, even aisles, entirely dedicated to gluten-free products, and many restaurants have added gluten-free items to their menus right next to their vegetarian options. These changes should be very encouraging to celiac sufferers as their condition often translates to missing out on foods they once enjoyed.

One downside to all this adaptation is that even though you may be hyper-aware of what’s in your food, those with celiac disease often forget gluten may be in what they drink as well. Many beloved beverages such as beer, wine coolers, and certain coffee drinks contain gluten. Beer likely contains the highest amount of gluten as it is made from barley or malted wheat—ingredients that always translate into a big “Stop: Go no further!” for celiac sufferers.

Wine does not contain gluten, but wine coolers are often made from malt liquor, not wine. This malt liquor can be made from barley—a major ingredient to avoid when you have celiac disease. Lastly, coffee on its own does not pose any risk of illness if you are gluten-intolerant, but when combined with additional flavorings like spices and syrups, your once gluten-free drink is now potentially packed with gluten.

Those with celiac disease may feel disheartened to realize that there is an additional area of their diet that they need to watch, but it is important to note that beverages can have just as much an impact on your health as the food you eat. If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease and you find your symptoms are still present despite a change in diet, your favorite drinks may be to blame. If you are concerned about your diet or symptoms, please contact SFGI to speak with a trained gastroenterologist.

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