A Doctor Explains Why Coffee Makes You Poop

A cup of coffee is one of the most popular drinks to drink in the morning, as it gives people a boost of energy to get them through the day. If consumed in moderation, coffee not only provides energy but also offers numerous long-term health benefits. After enjoying a morning cup of Joe, some coffee drinkers may also notice themselves taking more trips to the bathroom, which leads to the question, “why does coffee cause you to poop?”

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Adil Maqbool, MD, a researcher affiliated with Toho University, Japan, and a Lancet peer-reviewer, and Onyx Adegbola, MD, Ph.D., a physician-scientist and lifestyle medicine physician, is the founder of Casa de Santé, a virtual IBS clinic providing gut-friendly, low-FODMAP products and supplements. There are two main reasons why coffee affects our bowel movements: One is its effect on the muscles in our colon, and the other is its impact on gastric acid production.

Colon Stimulation Is Possible With Coffee

A colon’s movement and contraction are what cause bowel movements. A Mayo Clinic study found that your colon’s walls separate and stretch, pushing stool into your rectum and signaling your body to poop. Maqbool says caffeine stimulates the colon’s muscles, which can lead to bowel movements. “It is because coffee contains caffeine, a compound, and a natural stimulant, that triggers the movement of colon muscles, leading to bowel movements.”

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A Cup Of Coffee Releases Stomach Acid

The acid in our stomach can also make us poop when we drink coffee. Adegbola states that coffee stimulates gastric acid production in our stomachs and intestines, thereby acting as a natural laxative. Drinking coffee can trigger your body’s gastric acid production depending on its acid content.

Individuals Differ On This Issue

After all, the extent to which coffee affects your bowels varies based on individual health. Adegbola says some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Some people may experience more substantial effects from drinking coffee, including an increased need to urinate. It’s okay to go to the restroom after drinking coffee. Anyhow, Maqbool advises staying well hydrated and listening to your body.