Why does coffee make me 💩?!

Why does coffee make me 💩?!

Get to the bottom (pun intended) of this perfectly natural phenomenon with BYS Nutritionist Brianna-Lee!

I'm sure we've all been there, when the coffee hits your lips and you feel the urge to 💩 It may not be the most glamorous bathroom chat this side of the cubicle, but it is an important topic to debunk, so pull your trousers up and let's get started.

THE REACTION WITH COFFEE & YOUR GUT

Coffee beans have a high concentration of phenolic compounds, including Chlorogenic Acid. Chlorogenic acid assists in enhancing glucose and lipid metabolism A.K.A getting things moving! ;) Is this why some people have caffeinated poop?

Well not exactly; the polyphenol component (the antioxidants) of your caffeinated beverage lasts longer within the body. The urgent need to poop, on the other hand, may be caused by the release of a hormone called Cholecystokinin. Once this hormone is released by the enteroendocrine cells in our small intestines it induces the release of bile into the gut as well as the secretion of pancreatic enzymes.

In simple terms, this reaction induces a reflex within your digestive tract and the coffee stimulates movement through the digestive tract and may make you feel the need to poop. 

IS COFFEE REALLY THE CULPRIT?

Given that coffee is one of the most common caffeine sources, you may be quick to blame your morning coffee for your frequent bathroom visits. While researchers are able to pinpoint why coffee increases digestion, the exact reason why coffee causes you to poop more is a little murky. Most studies indicate that there is insufficient evidence to determine specific triggers, but that it is most likely a combination of factors.

Aside from coffee increasing gut activity, the time of day and temperature of your water may also influence your desire to poop. Other studies suggest that your morning poop has nothing to do with your morning coffee. While everyone's caffeine metabolism is different, pooping first thing in the morning is normal and a great way to start the day! ;)

Our top take home messages:

  • Everyone’s bowel movements are different
  • Pooping is completely normal
  • Morning Poops are normal
  • Afternoon Poops are normal
  • Everyone poops

Like always, if you have any questions around coffee and poop we are here! Let's be honest, we are big fans of potty talk! 💩

References

  1. Meng, S., Cao, J., Feng, Q., Peng, J., & Hu, Y. (2013). Roles of chlorogenic Acid on regulating glucose and lipids metabolism: a review. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 801457. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/801457
  2. Rao SS, Welcher K, Zimmerman B, Stumbo P. Is coffee a colonic stimulant?. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998;10(2):113-118. doi:10.1097/00042737-199802000-00003   
  3. Brown, S. R., Cann, P. A., & Read, N. W. (1990). Effect of coffee on distal colon function. Gut31(4), 450–453. https://doi.org/10.1136/gut.31.4.450
  4. Malone JC, Thavamani A. Physiology, Gastrocolic Reflex. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2022. PMID: 31751078.