Do you ever wonder why you have the urge to relieve yourself after drinking a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, or just drinking coffee often? We review a recent study that provides more insight into the mystery.
However, there are some myths that require busting before revealing the facts. First: If you thought your sweet, sweet caffeine factored into your pooping schedule, think again. An old study from 1990 in the journal Gut, disproved caffeine’s affect on your bowels when it found that both caffeinated and decaf coffee led to the same bathroom sprint.
Also not a factor is the warmth of coffee. Think about it, do you ever have the urge to go after drinking a cup of tea or soup? Similarly, you wouldn’t experience an urge to go to the loo after having orange juice if the claim is that the acidity of coffee makes you poop.
So then what is it about coffee that makes you want to poop?
Well, according to a study conducted using 12 individuals, coffee is shown to activate our colonic activity. Its magnitude is similar to a meal, 60% stronger than water and 23% stronger than decaffeinated coffee. However, what we thought was interesting is that the participants were also given decaffeinated coffee but the results were the same. The the answer to this observation is not clear at this point. However, the overarching concern is whether coffee is good for you despite the fact that it makes you poop. Many studies indicate that coffee can be healthy when you consume it in moderation. Not every person who drinks coffee will need to poop right away. This means that there is still some outstanding data required in order to provide a clear answer to the question of whether coffee does in fact make you poop, or whether there are specific lifestyle factors that, together with caffeine, that activates the colon. For now, we will accept that coffee does have an effect on our colonic activity but don’t go reaching for that coffee cup just yet! Just like with everything else, we should consume coffee in moderation.
What are your experiences on coffee and bowel movement?