You wake up, get yourself some breakfast and pour yourself a hot cup of coffee. Your morning ritual has been getting you through day after day, giving you the bolt of energy you need. But you may have noticed a part of your routine that seems to follow your morning coffee – a strong desire to poop.
Coffee has long been known to cause near “laxative” effects by speeding up your digestion, and maybe that’s another major reason why people consume it in the morning as well. But have you ever taken the time to consider why coffee is sending you to the bathroom? Well, that’s what we’re here to explain.
Why your morning coffee makes you poop
Researchers from Georgia Regents University were curious about the reasons behind why coffee makes you poop, so they decided to compile some data. They had 12 adult participants wear probe sensors to measure colon and rectum activity. The participants wore the sensors for up to 10 hours while they consumed caffeinated, decaffeinated and hot-water beverages and a 1,000 calories burger meal.
Researchers found that the burger meal created the most activity in the gut but the caffeinated beverages were a close second. In fact, caffeinated beverages created 60 percent more activity than hot-water and 23 percent more than decaffeinated beverages.
We all know that coffee is a stimulant, and that’s why it keeps us awake, but the coffee itself plays a role in your need to visit the bathroom.
The theory behind why coffee makes you have to go is that when consumed, coffee stimulates the stomach – specifically the hormones that stimulate gut contractions. When these hormones are activated acid is secreted into the stomach, which prompts the feeling of a bowel movement.
Other researchers also suggest that your morning routine, as a whole, can play a role in your desire to poop. Your colon is most active in the morning due to the body’s circadian rhythm. By having breakfast food along with coffee you are adding extra stimulants, which cause more colon contractions.
How to minimize coffee-induced bowel movements
Sometimes needing to immediately have a bowel movement after drinking coffee can be a nuisance – maybe you’re running late, or the feeling hits you on your drive into work, for example.
The good news is you can minimize the effects of coffee. Researchers suggest that the best time to consume coffee is two hours after waking up. It may seem counterproductive because you need your morning coffee to stay awake, but it has also been recommended that for optimal caffeine effects, you should consume coffee when cortisol is lower (roughly around 10:30 a.m.).
To reduce the effects of coffee even more, try not to drink it with food or prior to exercise. This can add further stimulation, causing you to bolt to the bathroom even quicker.
Why your bowel movements may not be normal
When it comes to bowel movements it’s hard to know for sure what’s normal or not because we’re all different. A person’s unique diet, physical activity and age can all contribute to how often – or not – they visit the bathroom. You may believe that as long as your stool is somewhat solid and a healthy color, it doesn’t matter how much you go. Continue reading…
What your poop is telling you about your health
You may prefer not to talk about it. In fact, if you’re older than five years of age, the topic of conversation is liable to offend family, friends and workmates if not woefully amuse them. But scatological humor aside, the subject of stool warrants plenty of attention. That’s because your poop says a lot about your health. Continue reading…