We’ve all been there. You take a sip of your morning coffee, and suddenly you feel the urge, the urge to purge. The question is: Why does coffee make us poop? If you’re curious about why a cup of joe makes you go, stick around and we’ll explain how coffee helps you move your bowels.
Drinking coffee, eating a healthy diet, and using a toilet stool to unkink your colon have been proven to help produce better bowel movements. But why exactly does coffee—the magical elixir that improves everything from focus to mood—help us poop? Let’s dig into the details.
Caffeine is key
When you drink coffee, you flood your body with caffeine. A stimulant, caffeine doesn’t only wake up your mind, but it jump-starts your digestive system and prompts the bowels to release stool. Caffeine sends a signal to your stomach lining to release a hormone called gastrin. This hormone stimulates the contraction of smooth muscles in your digestive tract that move food toward your bowels. The faster these waves of muscle contractions work, the quicker food moves through your body and the more water is absorbed from your fecal matter, resulting in softer stools that are easier to pass. For some, a hit of caffeine can lead to a trip to the bathroom in just a few minutes.
Coffee keeps the gut healthy
Much like assuming a proper pooping pose with a Squatty Potty, coffee keeps your digestive system running smoothly. Coffee is a complex drink. It contains more than 1,000 chemical compounds, many of which are good for the gut. Antioxidants such as polyphenols and minerals like magnesium can help keep you regular and prevent constipation. The caffeine in coffee also improves “good” bacteria counts in your digestive system by increasing bile acid production. This good bacteria, also known as probiotic bacteria, helps break down fat for digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body. Caffeine also boosts antioxidant levels, which reduce inflammation throughout the body and improve overall digestive health.
Should you drink coffee to make you poop?
If you find that coffee helps you poop, go for it! Studies show coffee can help you make and take better bowel movements, but you’ll need more than just java alone to stay regular. Good bowel health comes with regular exercise, a healthy diet, and using a specially designed toilet stool to help undo the kink in your digestive system. Not sure which toilet stool is right for you? Use our guide to find the stool that best suits you.
Like everything, doctors recommend drinking coffee in moderation. A few cups a day can help you poop, but drinking too many caffeinated beverages can also lead to diarrhea and constipation. Keeping your caffeine intake less than 400mg (or four cups of coffee) per day will help avoid stomach issues caused by overconsumption.