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Why does coffee make you poop: A Rundown

Dave Carter

July 27, 2020

Coffee is an everyday staple for several millions of people worldwide, with sources indicating that there are over 150 million daily coffee drinkers. And we don't blame them because a cup of coffee energizes most of us to start the day right. However, most people will notice that a timely bowel movement often accompanies their daily coffee ritual, making poop in coffee the norm. So, why does coffee make you poop? To help you find the answer to this, we have listed the various causes, explanations, and other information about pooping coffee.

One study discovered that coffee could stimulate bowel movements in your colon in just 4 minutes for almost 30% of the respondents, indicating that many people experience the effect of the coffee poop phenomenon all too fast and often.

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Why does coffee make you poop: The Causes​

Nothing beats brewing your fresh morning cup from your high end coffee machine, brightening up your mornings. However, after a while, you may suddenly feel bowel movement or muscle contractions in your colon, indicating it's time to drop the bombs away. To help you avoid overstaying in your bathrooms during the morning or after drinking a cup of joe at any time of the day, it pays to know the causes.

The following are the different causes that turn coffee to poop:


One of the main culprits that stimulate your colon and irregular bowel movements after drinking coffee is its acid content. A single coffee bean contains large quantities of chlorogenic acid that can have a laxative effect on many people. It causes higher acidity levels in the stomach when you digest the acidic compound, stimulating the bile production and forcing your gut to empty its content into the colon faster.

High Caffeine Content

The caffeine content is perhaps the leading cause of why many people are running to their bathrooms after drinking coffee. It is the main component that gives you energy, keeping you awake and alert. However, some of the caffeine's stimulant properties also have a laxative effect on your colon's muscles, speeding their movement rate. Caffeinated drinks stimulate the movement of your colon muscles, promoting peristalsis, which triggers bowel movements, ultimately making you want to relieve yourself. Studies proved that intaking coffee has a more substantial laxative effect than drinking water or drinking decaffeinated coffee.


Coffee may also initiate the release of cholecystokinin from your colon, which is a hormone that plays a part in the stimulation of bowel movements.

Milk or Cream

Although plain brewed coffee does not contain any additional preservatives or additives, many people opt to add sugar, sweeteners, cream, or dairy in their morning cups. Coffee may enhance bowel movements faster when it contains dairy products because of lactose, which is notorious for making people defecate.

Studies even proved that nearly 65 percent of people globally couldn't digest lactose properly. The presence of lactose can have a drastic effect on lactose-intolerant people, letting them face symptoms such as stomach cramps, bloating, or even diarrhea, ultimately triggering the urge to visit the bathroom.

Is it normal to poop after drinking coffee?​

After enjoying your favorite drinks from the drip coffee to an intricate macchiato, you may often experience the sudden urge to visit the bathroom and relieve yourself. You may worry and ask yourself, is it normal to defecate after drinking coffee? Yes, numerous individuals feel the need to relieve yourself after drinking their morning fix, so don't worry as you are not alone. Although the reasons for this are not well understood, many experts believe that the primary cause is the presence of exorphins, gastrin, and cholecystokinin in the drink.

Gastrin, exorphins, and cholecystokinin can have hormonal effects on a person. These compounds bind to the opiate receptors of your stomach and stimulate muscle contractions in the lower colon, initiating bowel movements between 4 to 20 minutes after a person consumes the caffeinated drink. Other factors, such as dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and other additives in the drink, can have a laxative effect on specific individuals.


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Coffee and bowel movements: Effects on the digestive system​

Everything is going great; you have just learned how to use a coffee maker and mastered the coffee grounds to water ratio in making the best brew for better morning fixes. However, have you noticed that every time you indulge in a fresh morning cup, shortly after you have the unexplainable urge to visit your bathroom? Here, we explore some common effects that the caffeinated drink has on our digestive system, including:

It Stimulates Colonic Movement

The caffeine in your coffee makes your colonic muscles contract, promoting peristalsis, a coordinated contraction and relaxation of your intestinal muscles, ultimately causing an irregular bowel movement.

Aids in Digestion

For the longest time, coffee has been known as 'digestif,' which refers to a drink that can aid in the digestive process after consuming a meal. Drinking a cup of joe can help break down the food you consume more efficiently because of the caffeine stimulating the release of stomach acid, which is needed to aid in digesting proteins.

Why is coffee a natural laxative?​

Coffee drinks are considered natural laxatives because of its high caffeine content, acting as a stimulant that induces bile production that initiates bowel movements in your colon. According to IFFGD (International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders), other factors that can contribute to this caffeinated drink's laxative effects are the addition of artificial additives, like sweeteners, milk, and cream.

Is coffee good for constipation?​

Yes, drinking coffee can be an excellent natural remedy to ease constipation because of its high caffeine content. It can stimulate a person's muscles in their digestive system to contract, causing natural bowel movements, helping you defecate with ease. However, caffeinated drinks can be dehydrating, so when you consider drinking a cup of coffee to ease constipation, you can opt for decaf coffee instead.

How coffee makes me poop​

Does coffee or espresso have more caffeine? Why does it matter, you ask? That's because the number one culprit that makes you relieve yourself when you drink your favorite coffee drinks is caffeine, so it pays to know the different coffee bean types, and other factors to ensure you are consuming less. But you may wonder how does it work?

Caffeine sets a chain of reactions of muscle movements throughout your stomach. It is known as peristalsis, where the colon muscles squeeze wastes through a person's digestive tract and into the end of their colon, giving people the sudden urge to let it all out. A great way to avoid experiencing the urge to defecate is drinking decaffeinated coffee.

Is coffee a laxative​

Technically, coffee is not a laxative itself, but it does exhibit a laxative effect in most people, and the most believed cause for this is the high presence of caffeine in the drink. Although decaf coffee is also known to have a bowel stimulating effect, so whether it is the drink or the caffeine is still unclear.

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Taking it to the extreme: diarrhea after drinking coffee​

Caffeine-containing drinks such as coffee are known to have a laxative effect on most people. It can worsen the symptoms of chronic illnesses such as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), including diarrhea. Overconsumption of coffee can also cause diarrhea, so when you have a sensitive stomach, avoid drinking too many caffeinated drinks.

We hope this article helped you answer why does coffee make you poop. The next time you plan on brewing your favorite caffeinated drink, cut back on the artificial additives or opt for decaf coffee to lessen your chances of visiting the bathroom during mornings.


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