Why Does Coffee Make You P.o.o.p?
Caffeine revs up the body in many ways. For a long time, we figured that caffeine was responsible for getting the intestines moving. But some studies suggest that there’s more at work than just caffeine.
For some people, coffee jump-starts their bowel movements in addition to their energy.
Despite the drink’s popularity, there isn’t a lot of research on why coffee sends many people running to the bathroom within minutes of consuming it.
Does coffee actually make you poop?
It does! Not only is coffee one of the best sources of caffeine on the planet and a great energy booster, but it does help speed up your other end. One study showed that caffeine relaxes the anal sphincter, which is the part of the body that keeps stool in or lets it out. This makes it easier to poop.
Can decaf also make you poop?
Another study showed that muscles in the large intestine contracted more with caffeinated coffee than with decaf.
But decaf coffee still had some effect on these muscle contractions during the studies. Caffeine seems to make a difference, but it’s probably not the whole story.
Coffee and Hormones
The NIH states that drinking coffee can increase levels of the hormone gastrin. Gastrin makes the colon more active. Not only can this hormone increase the movement of food through the colon, but it’s also linked to the gastrocolic reflex, which makes the colon more active
Milk or cream in your coffee?
Milk and cream may promote bowel movements, as they contain lactose. Close to 65% of people worldwide cannot digest lactose properly according to the NIH. Lactose Intolerant symptoms include bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhea after consuming dairy. Therefore a lactose intolerance can also trigger the urge to poop.
IS POOPING AFTER COFFEE GOOD OR BAD?
Pooping after coffee can be good or bad, depending on your body and your circumstances. There are times when a post-coffee bowel movement can be positive, and other times when it’s not good or even dangerous.
Pooping after drinking coffee is good when:
- You need help maintaining regularity — drinking coffee can help you make sure you’re making a bowel movement every day
- You’re feeling a little constipated — coffee can help get things moving without needing to use a stool softener or harsh chemical laxative
- You need to go before a big event — coffee can help you make sure you go before running that marathon, preventing any pit stops
- Thankfully, pooping after coffee can often be a good thing. However, there are some situations where a coffee-induced bathroom break is not ideal.
Coffee making you poop is not ideal when:
You have serious digestive disorders like IBS that already affect your bowel movements
You’re expecting coffee to help you poop, but your body doesn’t react well to coffee
If you begin to depend on coffee to make you poop, that can be unhealthy. At this point, you may want to include more fiber and hydration in your diet.
The bottom line
People around the world have enjoyed coffee for thousands of years. Studies have suggested that drinking coffee has some potential health benefits, but we all react in different ways to its physical effects. For some, a morning cup of coffee brings on the need to poop. So it’s safe to say that coffee may help get you going in the morning — in more ways than one.
Source:womenworking.com, goodrx.com, healthline.com, edition.cnn.com, drinkgoldenratio.com