Caffeine or coffee is often said to cause increased bowel movements among people. People who suffer from issues like leaky gut or IBS have it even worse. Understand why coffee makes you poop with insights from an expert!

If you have ever paid heed to how your body reacts after you consume coffee or caffeine, you would notice that you might tend to have smoother bowel movements. Those suffering from issues like leaky gut or IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) will find this concern more prevalent in their lives. If you are wondering why caffeine makes you poop, read on.

Why does coffee makes you poop?

One of the major factors why coffee often leads to increased bowel movements is its ability to stimulate the production of gastrin, a hormone responsible for regulating gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal motility. When you consume coffee, specifically caffeinated coffee, it triggers the release of gastrin in the stomach. Gastrin, in turn, prompts the muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to contract more vigorously, speeding the movement of food through the digestive system, explains nutritionist Avni Kaul.

Why does caffeine make you poop?
Coffee has its share of pros and cons, and you should check out for symptoms if it makes you poop. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Some other factors that induce poop after caffeine consumption include:

1. Colon contractions

Caffeine, an important component of coffee, also plays a significant role in its laxative effect. Caffeine stimulates the release of catecholamines like adrenaline and noradrenaline which are neurotransmitters that could enhance colon contractions. These increased contractions propel the contents of the colon toward the rectum more rapidly, resulting in the urge to have a bowel movement, according to the expert.

2. Caffeine stimulates bile release

Another reason contributing to coffee’s laxative effect is its ability to stimulate the release of bile. Coffee has compounds that trigger the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that signals the gallbladder to release bile into the small intestine. Bile plays a vital role in the digestion and absorption of fats. More bile release can lead to more rapid digestion and transit of food through the intestines, potentially resulting in increased bowel movements.

Also Read

5 reasons why quitting caffeine may be good for health

3. Acidity and gastric acid production

The acidity in caffeine can also impact bowel movements. Coffee is acidic, and when it enters the stomach, it stimulates the formation of gastric acid. This increased acidity in the stomach may accelerate the digestion process, leading to faster transit times through the gastrointestinal tract, says the expert. The acidity may have a direct irritant impact on the lining of the stomach and intestines, further promoting bowel movements.

It is important to note that not everyone experiences the laxative impact of coffee to varied degrees. While some people may experience a pronounced laxative effect, others might not notice any significant changes in bowel habits after consuming coffee. Individual factors like tolerance to caffeine, sensitivity to the acidic components of coffee, and overall gastrointestinal health can influence how coffee affects bowel movements.

why coffee makes you poop
Coffee tastes and smells good, but it can have bad effects on your stomach by making you poop more. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How to stop coffee from making you poop?

To nullify the laxative effect of coffee, you could make smarter choices about the type and quantity of coffee you consume.

1. Switch to decaffeinated coffee

Since caffeine is a major contributor to the laxative effect of coffee, switching to decaffeinated options might help reduce its impact on bowel movements while still allowing you to enjoy the flavour.

2. Restrict consumption

Moderating the amount of coffee consumed in a single attempt can also help lessen its laxative effect. Gradually lowering the intake or spacing out consumption throughout the day may be beneficial, reckons the expert.

3. Drink coffee with food

Consuming coffee alongside a meal or snack may help counteract its stimulating effects on bowel movements. The presence of food in the stomach could slow down the absorption of caffeine, potentially reducing its impact on gastrointestinal motility.

4. Go for cold brew or low-acid coffee

Another recommendation from the expert is to choose cold brew coffee and specific varieties of low-acid coffee. These may be more gentle on the stomach and less likely to cause irritation or stimulate excessive gastric acid production compared to regular brewed coffee.

5. Consider alternatives

Exploring alternative beverages like herbal teas or caffeine-free substitutes can provide a flavorful option without the potential for stimulating bowel movements.

By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy your coffee while minimizing its impact on bowel movements, promoting digestive comfort and overall well-being.

Who should avoid caffeine consumption?

Individuals with certain health conditions need to avoid coffee consumption.

1. Avoid caffeine if you have gastrointestinal disorders

Those suffering acid reflux, gastritis or peptic ulcers may experience worsened symptoms because of coffee’s acidity and stimulation of gastric acid production.

2. Reduce caffeine if you have heart conditions

Individuals with arrhythmias, hypertension, or coronary artery disease should restrict caffeine intake as it can exacerbate heart palpitations and increase heart rate and blood pressure.

3. Avoid caffeine to keep anxiety disorders at bay

Coffee can increase feelings of anxiety or agitation in individuals prone to anxiety disorders or panic attacks.

4. Insomnia or sleep disorders

Consumption of coffee, particularly, in the afternoon or evening, can disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate insomnia.

Leave A Reply