Why Does Coffee Make You Poop?
For me, it’s systematic.
I grind some beans, make a morning cup of coffee, and sip it slowly.
Within 15 minutes, I have the immediate urge to go to the toilet.
It’s a morning ritual.
Part of my regular day.
Am I weird? Well…Yeah, probably, but that’s a whole other rabbit hole.
Anyway I digress…If you’ve wondered why does coffee make you poop, you’re not alone! There are many people like us, and nearly 30% of people who drink coffee are reported to have this problem.
Why does this happen? Well, I’m about to clear up this mess for the both us now.
Caffeine Can Stimulate Your Colon
According to researchers, drinking coffee can cause your colon to contract, which in turn increases your urge to poop via a process known as peristalsis.
This early activation of your colon might be one of the reasons you have also wondered can coffee cause diarrhea?
Sometimes, yes, it can feel like so.
Coffee can lead to looser bowel movements as it gives your colon less time to absorb the water from your poop before letting it pass down the chain.
As we will discuss later, If you like your coffee milky or with sweetness like sorbitol, it’s also possible these can cause diarrhea.
Drinking in itself can also induce increased colonic activity, potentially having the same effect as eating a meal. Thus, leading to more frequent bathroom visits!
So if coffee can increase the likelihood of needing to run to the bathroom, you might have another question in mind:
Is Coffee A Laxative?
Strictly speaking, coffee isn’t a laxative (for everyone, at least). Still, confusingly, it can increase the likelihood of loose motions in some of us.
Although It appears caffeine itself isn’t the culprit, and it’s more complicated than it looks.
While it was initially believed that caffeine was responsible for the urge to poop, it’s recently become clear that a cup of decaf coffee can also do the job with near enough the same probability.
Instead, it’s thought that there is something else in the coffee which stimulated bowel movements.
Well, without getting too technical, there are several other compounds in coffee researchers believe can influence stomach acids to break down food faster and lead you to poop.
These compounds (which I cannot pronounce), are thought to help push food down the digestive tract faster after drinking coffee.
Is Coffee A Diuretic?
Had a cup of coffee and had an urgent need to urinate? I’m certainly someone who experiences this frequently, and hell, it’s annoying!
Research studies indicate that coffee makes you urinate more often if you drink high amounts. Most of us can likely detest to the formal answer.
At the very least, I know I feel as if I something I experience with nearly every cup!
But, hey onto the reason why I (and maybe you) are both pooping and urinating more often after coffee:
It’s Most Probably The Effect Of Hormones
In respect to your morning ritual and needing the toilet, it could just be a hormonal coincidence.
Why and how?
Because of a process called the gastrocolic reflex. A hormonal change in your body, telling your body it’s time for a bowel movement.
Your body is a complex system in which hormones float around, helping maintain balance, and it’s challenging to assert a single cause to our problem of needing the toilet after coffee!
Also, personally speaking, I don’t just drink coffee in the morning…Usually, at least a couple of times a day and not every time has me running to the bathroom….Which makes sense if it’s just ‘timing.’
But Coffee Always Make Me Poop?
It’s probably not what you want to hear, but the process of elimination is the route to finding your answer to your caffeine woes.
Let’s got step by step:
Do you have your coffee with cream or milk? Have you considered you might be lactose intolerant? Over 65% of the people have some intolerance to lactose, and while it might be mild it’s still there.
If you feel that when you consume dairy, you experience stomach cramps or diarrhea, you might want to cut milk from your coffee and see if that helps.
Secondly, sweeteners. We know sugar isn’t good for us, and we sometimes laud it around like the devil, which is correct if we are consuming it night and day.
But sweeteners can have their own problems, especially when it comes to digestion.
As a result, it’s possible that you are inadvertently consuming sweeteners in high quantities which are known laxatives…Hint most of them are if you have a lot…Been there got the t-shirt, more than once!
In addition, you might want to consider if you have the same desire to go to the toilet after eating or drinking anything else.
I know this probably isn’t the answer you were looking for…Unfortunately nothing is straight forward when it comes to coffee and pooping!
Still, eliminating other factors outside of just the sweet taste of java is probably your most straightforward way to determine what’s causing the discomfort.
If you’re still concerned, check with your physician and see if you have an underlying condition such as IBS.
Stay caffeinated folks!
Ahmed Mir is the founder of Sip Coffee House. If he isn’t working, you can probably find him experimenting with different brewing methods, hanging out outdoors, or traveling.