The Lamen

Does coffee make you poop? Yes, but not always

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Coffee can often help with an easy bowel movement. So how does coffee make you poop: it’s got to do with some chemicals.

Photo: Unsplash

Published on Oct 27, 2023

Coffee doesn’t just give you the morning kick — it also helps you poop. This is believed to occur by the stimulation of the colon. America’s favorite beverage contains a cascade of chemicals, some of which might be behind this reflex.

Does it work for everyone? Not really. While coffee is known to increase colon motility, it doesn’t affect everyone. It is found to have a greater laxative effect on women.

  • A small study found that 29 percent of its participants had the urge to poop after having coffee.
  • Drinking both regular and decaf coffee can help — increasing the movement of feces through the large intestine within 4 minutes of having coffee.
  • Meanwhile, other research has shown the effect of caffeinated coffee on colon activity to be 23 percent stronger.
  • Coffee can also help patients who recently underwent a C-section with postoperative bowels.

How does coffee make you poop? Chlorogenic acids found in coffee can stimulate the production of stomach acid — giving your digestive system a “boost.”

  • N-alkanoyl050hydroxytryptamides are chemicals in coffee known to have an effect similar to chlorogenic acids.
  • Coffee also stimulates intestinal motility through the action of certain hormones, such as gastrin and cholecystokinin (CKKs).

While the effect of coffee on the GI tract isn’t well understood, other factors like its effect on gut bacteria and the addition of dairy can also stimulate pooping in some cases.

If you experience irregular bowels after having coffee, it might be due to the addition of artificial sweeteners, other coffee additives, or simply because it doesn’t sit well in your stomach. If problematic, try adjusting the quantity or switching to decaf.