Why Does Coffee Make You Poop?

By Lauren Sigfusson | December 7, 2017 1:49 pm
coffee-poop-why

There are a few different reasons why coffee makes people feel the urge to poop. (Credit: Shutterstock)

You may consume coffee to get your day started, as a pick-me-up, or to get you through a lengthy meeting. You may also drink it to, perhaps, get things moving along on schedule.

About 29 percent of people claim they felt the urge to poop after drinking coffee, according to a commonly cited study from 1990. But why? Discover reached out to a gastroenterology expert to see if we could get to the bottom of it.

Gastroenterology is the study of the digestive system, which starts at your mouth and ends at your butt. You might see a gastroenterologist for digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn and constipation. Basically, Jonathan Rosenberg, gastroenterologist and American Gastroenterological Association expert, knows a thing or two about how we poop.

Coffee, Then Poop

Coffee has caffeine in it, which is a stimulant. Caffeine speeds up the squeezing motion of your gut and increases the propulsion of material through the intestine, Rosenberg says.

“The same reason it keeps you awake or makes your heart beat faster, it stimulates your gut and helps you go [poop],” Rosenberg says.

He and many other experts look to caffeine for why we have coffee-related poops. But, like many things in science, we haven’t yet reached consensus. After all, people don’t report on a large-scale that they feel like they have to poop after ingesting other caffeine-filled drinks like soda or energy drinks. For many people, smoking a cigarette can also give their insides a bit of a nudge. Instead, some believe the compound chlorogenic acid, which creates higher levels of stomach acid and more gastric acid, could be the culprit.

Rosenberg points out that at the end of the day people respond differently to coffee. There really isn’t a sure way to tell you why, exactly, many take a dump after sipping their cup-o-joe.

“If you have a routine and coffee is part of that routine, it may be your bias that you’re associating going to the bathroom after having coffee,” he says. Plus, going number two depends on hydration levels, stress levels, and the amount of exercise a person gets.

One thing we do know is that we all poop, or at least we all should.

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  • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

    . There really isn’t a sure way to tell you why, exactly, many take a dump after sipping their cup-o-joe.

    Was it necessary for Lauren Sigfusson to write take a dump? Whatever happened to decorum?

    • Necromancer

      You sound uptight. Maybe you just need to take a dump.

      • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

        That is quite the scatalogical fantasy you have working there in your mind.

        Has it been two years or five that you have been obsessed with bowel movements?

        Good luck!

        • Cyber Liberty

          It’s been 14 hours, and I’m still laughing at what Necro said….

          • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

            You must be retarded if you can laugh for 14 hours straight over the same thing.

            Good luck with your retardation.

          • Cyber Liberty

            Good luck with your total lack of sense of humor. I’d bet a significant amount of currency I’ll live longer than the humorless people of the world.

          • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

            Your retardation fails to prove that you have a sense of humor. And given to your retardation, likely, you will win a Darwin award long before the rest of us die in late stage old age.

            Better luck next time!

          • Cyber Liberty

            If making fun of differently-abled people by calling them “retards” is what you do for amusement, I feel more sorry for the people you know than for you. What a sad specimen you make.

          • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

            Someone here is a sad and far from manhood — the ideal man — but that one isn’t me.

            “Differently-abled?” What? So you’re English-challenged as well. Try these: crippled, retarded, subnormal.

            Good luck!

          • Cyber Liberty

            You forgot the first rule of what to do when you find yourself in a hole. Bye.

    • Amaya Hiko

      You are uptight. Thats no insult if its true. Why be defensive about it? If you were really happy about it – you would not have this kind of arguments with all the noobs. (sorry noobs i am a noob too)

      Taking a dumb is actually more the feeling i get after drinking coffee. It is more in the sense of ” i need to take one”
      Going to the toilett is rather unforcefull for me.

      I dont dislike that a strong language is used to point out a difference.
      I would rather have people use strong language then to stop thinking, or stop thinking for a senseless argument wether a word should be used or not.
      There is no proof that someone that keeps up appearance is more intellctually gifted than someone that takes it easy once in a while. Actually.. it is proofen that people who are able to relax and not overthing are more productive and are able to cope with more bullshit then others.

      • http://truedollarjournal.blogspot.com/ SmackMacDougal

        You are insecure. You beg for attention. You desire for your preferences to be the ones others hold.

        Why didn’t Lauren Sigfusson write “pinch a loaf” instead to point out a difference?

        Also, wouldn’t one merely dump? Who would take a dump? Wouldn’t one leave a dump?

        Enjoy your crappy morning!

  • andrewp111

    It is probably coincidence. If a cup o joe is the first thing you do in the morning, and if you tend to take a dump in the morning, you will associate one with the other, but that does not imply causation.

    • Amaya Hiko

      As a person that had different poop experience with coffee i conclude for me the following:

      If you are a sensible person, that means you have a more sensitive and easier to stimulate digestive system, as i have, i concluded:

      1) If you can’t poop in the morning, you can force it with a cup of coffee.. It is a different feeling that normal pooping – not as natural and it usually goes with a slightly sour tummy feeling (acids in coffee)
      2) You usually are able to poop within one hour of a normal coffee, if you have more then one cup even within half an hour. At least it would take one and a half hour.
      3) Coffee influenced pooping affects you more if you have an irregular day cicle. (as it is always healtheir to have it regulated – as it does not disrupts your digestive system as much)
      4) I found it hard to regulate my poop cicle …
      (now i always go in the morning after i wake up since i touched no coffee before 3 p.m. anymore)
      ….with coffee it forced the issue and my sensitive system was over active the whole day.. so i stopped drinking coffee or black tea in the morning.. and overtime it became rather normal. IF i had the right amount of sleep

      5) Sleep and poop has a lot to do with each other. You need to have a good lay down over night, as that helps any tummy move things through calmly. You poop better if you had a good sleep.

      >.> But what do i know. Thats how it is for me. I needed to pay attention how things are supposed to be and that how it turned out for me.

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