Why Does Coffee Make You Poop? (Reasons & Solution)

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Everyone usually wakes up with a good cup of coffee.

It is the top favorite morning jolt because it is a delicious treat while at the same time; it works in preparing you up for the new day.

Not only does coffee have the right amount of caffeine that you need to wake up but it is filled with loads of nutrients and valuable antioxidants.

Aside from jolting your brain awake, coffee seems to have other unique effects on some people.

While it is still everyone’s happy pill, other coffee drinkers claim that after a good cup comes to an undeniable need to poop.

Caffeine and Your Colon

stomach

If you want a delicious way of getting caffeine in your system, then always have a cup of joe every morning. Caffeine is a delicious wake-up call and it helps to keep you alert.

One cup of a brewed coffee has about 95 milligrams of caffeine(source).

Related: How much caffeine in coffee?

While this amount is enough to give you an energy boost, it is also enough to stimulate your colon causing it to contract and push your digestive system’s contents down towards your intestinal muscles and rectum.

This digestive process will give that urge to poop. Well, pooping is done best every morning anyway and you take your first cup of brew as the sun rises so this can be healthy for you.

After all, coffee is considered a promotility agent.

Acid and Bile

Brewed beverages are usually acidic in nature and coffee is no exemption to this. Apart from caffeine, coffee is also acidic and this one will lead your body to create more bile.

Bile is the alkaline-y and bitter substance that helps in making your tummy churn(source). The bile that is being produced can cause a build-up inside your gut thus causing you an upset stomach and dose of diarrhea.

 

Coffee and Your Hormones

Studies show that coffee also stimulates hormones that help push food down.

It specifically increases the level of gastrin and this hormone makes your colon very active. Compared to water, coffee can push your gastrin level up by 2.3%.

Aside from increasing your gastrin hormone level, coffee also affects your digestive hormone named cholecystokinin.

This promotes the movement of your food through your colon and makes the colon more on the go.

happy girl drinking coffee

Coffee and your Cream

This is one plausible reason why after drinking coffee, you’d want to sit on your bathroom throne. Coffee that is freshly brewed contains zero preservatives and additives but most coffee drinkers have their preferences when it comes to their coffee.

So a probable culprit on why you get the urge to poop will be the milk or creamer that you add into your coffee.

These two elements encourage bowel movement because of their lactose content. Almost 65% of people are unable to fully digest lactose and if you have lactose intolerance, you’ll be familiar with that feeling of being bloated. Stomach cramps and diarrhea is also expected after your dairy consumption.

If you are fond of adding milk or creamer to your coffee and that is the only time that you get that call to the bathroom, then you might want to check if your digestive system can process dairy. Try not to add dairy and see if there will be any different.

Coffee and Coincidence

Meanwhile, drinking coffee and having the urge to poop can also be completely a coincidence.

Upon waking up, your bowels that were also resting become twice as active. It doesn’t automatically go to your rectum after getting out of bed but will take some time before it wants to be released.

As your gastrointestinal tract wakes up after being inactive during the night, it begins its process and by the time you’re done with your morning coffee return, so is the food you ate yesterday ready to be flushed out.

You can also blame it on your internal body clock or a circadian rhythm that is responsible for making every process – pooping included – to be right on schedule.

So, if your post-coffee poop happens only in the morning, then don’t blame it all on the coffee.

drinking coffee happy

Can Coffee Make Everyone Poop?

Based on studies there is just a percentage of coffee drinkers that need to go to the toilet after consumption. Only 29% has a greater than before urging to poop and out of these counts, more women are affected(source).

This can be related to the fact that more women are diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome or IBS compared to men.

While this post-coffee urge seems to be common, not all coffee drinkers are affected.

Aside from having IBS, older adults may also be more prone to this because their digestive system including their bowels is more sensitive to coffee and to whatever is added to it(source).

What Can I Do To Stop the Urge to Poop?

And giving up coffee is not an option at all. This is not an option at all.

You don’t have to stop having your morning coffee cup just because you don’t like that urge to dump afterward.

There are a lot of things that you can do so you can at least have a level of control with the after-effects of your coffee routine. Here are possible solutions to this dilemma.

Opt for low-acid coffee

light coffee

You can either buy the market available treated coffee to lower its acidity or start a new relationship with cold brews and coarse coffee.

Treated coffee goes under a special process either before or during the roasting process. This technique will reduce coffee’s acid content.

The majority of low-acid coffees usually come from Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Sumatra, and Peru.

These countries have lower altitudes that naturally impact the acidity of the coffee.

The best coffee recommendation you can try will be Arabica coffee beans. Aside from being one of the most popular choices because of its rich flavor and aroma, this type is generally less acidic.

As for cold brews, slow-steeped brews are usually 70% less acidic compared to your traditional and usual hot drip coffee even if the same coffee beans are used(source).

If you can’t fathom drinking a coffee that is not scorching hot, then stop the finely ground coffee and start liking your coffee rough.

Related: What is the best brewing method in making coffee?

For this, you need to invest in a good French press. It can brew hot and cold and needs a grainy grind.

Related: How to use french press?

Use Eggshells

If the suggestions above are not working then you can try to add eggshells to your cup of coffee.

Eggshells are alkaline by nature so it should neutralize the acidity of your coffee.

Who knows? Perhaps a Swedish egg coffee is your true coffee calling.

dark coffee

Have a taste of darker roasts

If you are convinced that it is the caffeine on your coffee that gives you that urge to dump then try darker roasts because it has less caffeine content.

You can start with a half-caff if you want to gradually cut your way down. Ironically, studies show that drinking more coffee can help you be resilient to its effects hopefully including this.

You can use this excuse for that much-coveted coffee machine you wanted so much!

No More Milk

If you have drilled down the culprit to be the dairy that you add in your coffee then the solution is easy. Stop adding milk or cream.

There are a lot of milk alternatives anyway. You have almond or coconut and other non-dairy options.

If you’re defending your dairy use with the premise that you’re giving your body some

Calcium then you just have to choose between stronger bones or a satisfied rectum.

coffee with milk

On the Bright Side

Now and then, you’d need a little intervention when pooping, and coffee is not a bad option at all.

It’s a delicious laxative option for that pooping regularity.

And it means that your digestive system is working at its best. It follows a methodology that when something aka food is coming in, then something has to go out thus the call of nature.

You need to be in the oval office at least once a day anyway. So it shouldn’t be such a hassle especially if you have the urge every morning. You and your digestive system are all set for the day.

Conclusion

Agree that getting an urge to poop after drinking a hot and delicious cup of coffee is not the best cause and effect scenario. Although not all coffee drinkers are affected, it can still be an unpleasant urge to deal with.

Regardless of the main culprit is acid, dairy, caffeine, or your body clock, there are a lot of potential solutions for this coffee-poop dilemma without having to nix coffee altogether.

You don’t need to take this essential part of your morning routine removed or this after-meal habit stopped because there are potential solutions that you can do. You can do a coffee-poop compromise so everyone is happy – your whole self and your digestive system!

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop#:~:text=Summary%20Coffee%20is%20a%20rich,food%20quickly%20to%20the%20rectum.
  2. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326537
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/08/10/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop/
  5. https://www.thespruceeats.com/coffee-makes-you-poop-765051

 

Cuppabean
Charles is the author and managing editor of Cuppabean.com. A self-admitted coffee addict, he drinks 2-4 cups of coffee a day to get his fix. In the morning, you'll often find him brewing his freshly grounded arabica coffee beans on his french press coffee. Read more about the site here.
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