Does Coffee Make You Poop? (Explained)

Yes, coffee can make you poop.

About 29% of coffee drinkers feel this effect right after drinking coffee. This is just one of the many side effects of coffee.

Coffee is not just a stimulant; it can affect your body in lots of ways such as:

  • improving physical performance
  • heightens brain function
  • helps prevent diseases like Parkinson’s and liver disease
  • aids in weight loss

But coffee can also have its downsides too.

It can worsen anxiety and can be very addictive and too much coffee can even induce diarrhea!

Even without going overboard on your daily caffeine fix, you may have noticed that drinking coffee can affect your bowel movement. That’s because it can stimulate your colon and intestines to produce waste.

For all the joys coffee can bring us, this may be one that we can do without.

So, in this article, I will discuss how coffee can give you the urge to poop and how you can avoid this.

Read on to find out!

Is Coffee a Laxative?

Yes, coffee is a laxative!

It has a laxative effect but not all people experience this and studies aren’t sure how exactly coffee can make people poop.

While excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages can cause diarrhea, both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee can give people the urge to poop.

I’ve mentioned earlier that coffee can stimulate the digestive system, specifically the colon and intestines.

Furthermore, coffee also helps the production of a hormone called gastrin that speeds up your colon function. Hence, this can also contribute to coffee’s laxative effect.

The video below explores how coffee can affect your daily bowel movement:

Watch this video to know more about how coffee can give us the urge to poop right after drinking it.

Is it Bad to Use Coffee as a Laxative?

If you’re suffering from constipation, it may be tempting to just use coffee and get it over with.

Although coffee has a laxative effect, it’s not wise to use it as a laxative.

For one, coffee can affect people in varying degrees; some may not even experience these effects, while others are more sensitive to them.

People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, or GERD may particularly be more sensitive to caffeine intake. Ulcer, acid reflux, and other gastrointestinal conditions may also be exacerbated.

In addition, coffee is a known diuretic, which means it can dehydrate you and make your stool hard. This can give you the opposite constipating effect.

Using coffee as laxatives may also encourage people to excessively consume coffee, and this can lead to various side effects such as insomnia, irritability, and caffeine addiction.

How Do You Use Coffee As a Laxative?

Drink your coffee first thing in the morning.

It is said that your morning cup can trigger your body’s gastrocolic reflex, which makes your colon contract and think that you’ve just eaten a full meal, urging you to heed the call of mother nature.

As I mentioned, using coffee as a laxative is not a scientifically precise process. However, you may drink decaffeinated coffee to decrease the side effects of caffeine and still retain that laxative effect, albeit a little less now.

If you really want to use coffee as a laxative, I suggest choosing caffeinated ones because it stimulates the colon up to 23% more than decaffeinated coffee.

Can Coffee Cause Bowel Issues?

While coffee can trigger some symptoms of pre-existing conditions like Acid Reflux, it’s not the primary cause of bowel issues.

Some studies have shown that coffee can contribute to stomach acid buildup because of its acidic compounds.

But what really can cause some bloating, upset stomach, or cramps are the additives we put in our coffee.

Dairy-based creamers and sweeteners may not be the right fit for lactose-intolerant people. In that case, consider switching to vegan coffee creamers or healthier sweeteners.

What Kind Of Coffee Makes You Poop? 

If you want to avoid coffee’s laxative effect, you can use a darker roast instead!

Coffee beans are usually roasted in two ways: dark roast and light roast. Coffee that has been roasted for a longer time and at a higher temperature is generally less acidic. This can lessen your tummy problems when ingesting coffee.

Cold-brewed coffee is also a great alternative! It’s also less acidic than regular brewed coffee. The stark difference is because of the brewing process; cold brew does not involve any heat, but instead slowly lets the flavor seep in overnight.

Do You Poop More When You Drink Coffee or Espresso? 

Black coffee has a 30% higher chance of inducing bowel movements than decaffeinated coffee.

An average cup of black coffee contains about 0.095g of caffeine, and espresso contains around 0.063g.

As black coffee has more caffeine in it than espresso, it makes you poop more.

As a result, after a cup of coffee, you are more likely to experience the need to relieve yourself than after a cup of espresso.

How Long Does it Take After Coffee to Make You Poop?

It takes as short as ten minutes to as much as forty-five minutes for coffee to stimulate your colon and make you poop.

It is important that you drink coffee long before starting a journey if coffee usually makes you poop.

As they say, timing is everything. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you’ll know by now how heavily coffee can influence your bowel movement.

So, it’s always best to get a routine down pat!

Coffee affects your health in many ways. So you must be careful of how you choose to consume it.

Does Coffee Give You Diarrhea?

Yes, it is certainly possible that excessive consumption of coffee can induce diarrhea.

As discussed earlier, coffee also releases the hormone gastrin that aids in digestion. Coffee’s acidity can also contribute to bile production, which can make stools soft or watery.

In addition, caffeinated beverages can contain a ton of dairy and sugar products that can trigger your urge to poop.

Why Does Coffee Make You Poop But Not Energy Drinks?

You may be wondering why energy drinks don’t have a laxative effect when they also contain caffeine.

The answer is that it’s not caffeine that makes you poop, but other ingredients found in coffee.

Energy drinks lack the acidic compounds coffee has that triggers the gastrocolic reflex. That’s why, despite having caffeine in energy drinks, they don’t make you poop as coffee does.

The table below outlines the contents of coffee, tea, and energy drinks. You’d notice that energy drinks contain the most caffeine out of the three drinks and yet has no laxative effect.

ContentCoffeeTeaEnergy Drinks
Caffeine40 to 95 mg per cup15 to 30 mg per cup50 to 120 mg per can
Sugaroptionaloptional27 to 37 g per can
Energy Boosthigh and quickslow and minimalhigh and quick
Laxative Effecthigh minimal none
Antioxidantspresentpresentpresent
Preservativesnonenonepresent
Caffeine is present in all three drinks, but the culprit that causes pooping is something else.

Check out this article to see my detailed comparison between energy drinks and coffee.

Final Thoughts

Yes, coffee can make you poop but at the same time, it can have different effects on different people.

Others may be more sensitive and others may have stomachs of steel.

This means that coffee’s laxative effects may or may not work on you.

So if you have constipation, it’s still best to rely on actual medical laxatives. Depending on coffee as medication may end up compromising your health in the long run.

However, if you are a coffee junkie like me, the best thing to do is know your body.

Take note of how your coffee intake affects your bowel movement every day and make sure you’ve done your business before you go to work or school.

Instead of using laxatives, you can always turn to healthier habits such as drinking two liters of water daily and eating fiber-enriched foodsprobiotic substitutes, and liquid supplements. These will ensure that you have a regular and hassle-free bowel movement.

Working out regularly can also do wonders for your bowel movement!

At the end of the day, you can never go wrong with a healthy lifestyle.

Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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