health

The Reasons Why Coffee Makes You Poop Are Actually Pretty Fascinating

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content at LittleThings. She grew up in upstate New York and Oregon and now lives in Queens, NY. Ileana graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After graduating, she attended the Columbia Publishing Course in New York City, then worked as in marketing at Oxford University Press. Since transitioning to editorial, she has written for sites like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Unwritten. She has also worked for local newspapers and magazines in upstate New York. In her free time, you can find Ileana watching Law and Order: SVU, eating ice cream, and spending time with her dog.

When I started drinking coffee as a teen, I loved the taste and the caffeine rush, but it always bothered me that coffee would cause cramps and have me rushing off to the bathroom.

It didn’t seem like enough of a problem to stop drinking coffee, so I eventually got used to it. It took me a long time to learn that this is actually one of the wonderful benefits of coffee: it helps you poop.

This is why some people like to drink coffee after dinner — it helps with digestion and gets things moving.

But why exactly does coffee make you poop?

Many people know that drinking coffee leads to a bowel movement, but most of us don’t actually know the science behind why this happens.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you should know exactly what coffee and caffeine are doing to your body.

Keep reading to find out the real reason why coffee makes you poop!

[H/T The Washington Post]

coffee pot

According to The Washington Post, 30 percent of people feel the urge to poop after drinking a cup of coffee. But why?

Many people think the need to poop comes from the caffeine in coffee, but decaf coffee has the same effect without the caffeine.

Plus, nobody feels the need to relieve themselves after drinking soda, so what’s the deal?

coffee to go

Well, scientists have found that coffee stimulates the distal colon, which is the last part of the colon.

This means that when the distal colon is stimulated, it pushes waste out of the body more quickly — giving you the urge to poop.

But why does coffee stimulate the distal colon? According to Men’s Health, coffee can also stimulate hormone production.

Motilin (a hormone that stimulates intestinal contractions), as well as gastrin (a hormone that causes acid secretion in your stomach) may both play roles in coffee’s pooping effect.

drinking coffee

The Washington Post reports that the chlorogenic acid in coffee can increase the production of gastric acid in the stomach.

When the gastric acid levels increase, you stomach turns over its contents more quickly, pushing them into the intestines, and then eventually to the colon.

pouring coffee

Scientists also speculate that some of the other chemicals in coffee may speed up bowel movements, but it’s not entirely clear which chemicals are responsible.

Although caffeine may not be the main culprit in making you poop, The Huffington Post reports that caffeine can have a laxative effect because of the way it stimulates muscle contractions in the large intestines, especially in people with more sensitive guts.

coffee poops

Are you part of the 30 percent of people who find that they regularly have to poop after downing a cup of joe?

If you think this kind of science is fascinating, please SHARE this article with your friends and family!