Your morning cup of coffee can help give you an energy boost, but it can also make you run for the bathroom!
If coffee is having too much of a laxative effect and causing you to rush to the toilet then you might feel like you aren't in control.
This can start making you nervous every time you have a hot coffee.
In this guide we'll explain why this happens, and how to stay in control - while also giving you some tips on how to keep your digestive system healthy.
Why Can Coffee Make You Go To The Bathroom More Often?
The first thing you need to know is that this situation isn’t unique to you, and a lot of people are experiencing the laxative effect from coffee, especially after your morning cup of coffee.
There's a few reasons why this happens:
Caffeine, which is commonly found in coffee, is a laxative.
While it it's a more mild laxative compared to over-the-counter medication, your morning coffee can make you poop, and sometimes, almost immediately after consuming caffeinated coffee.
Stimulates Your Digestive System Moving
Coffee stimulates peristalsis in some individuals.
Peristalsis is the process of muscle contraction in the gut, which encourages the movement of food in the intestines and can lead to bowel movements.
So, your digestive tract determines the effect of coffee on your body. Some people will experience the laxative effect and have coffee poops, while some do not.
Coffee also contains chlorogenic acids apart from caffeine. These acids promote the production of stomach acid and can speed up digestion.
This can be good to avoid a bloating stomach, but too much of it can cause irritable bowel syndrome.
Dairy, Sugar, And Extras
Lastly, coffee isn’t the only culprit when it comes to your frequent trips to the bathroom.
Those creamy, sweet delicious additions you use in your morning cup of coffee can also cause the problem.
For example, dairy products, creamers, and sweeteners in coffee makes you want to poop sometimes.
How To Stop Coffee From Making You Poop
A cup of coffee can make you poop easily. However, if you don’t enjoy the free trips to the bathroom, you can try these fixes:
1. Drink Less Coffee
The most obvious answer is to lessen your coffee intake. After all, coffee makes you want to go to the bathroom more frequently.
By limiting your caffeine consumption, you will experience fewer laxative effects. You can drink tea in the morning instead since it has lower caffeine levels.
However, if you can't give coffee up, you can try the following fixes.
2. Switch To Decaf
Caffeine is one of the reasons why you have the urge to poop right after coffee, and it's why some energy drinks also act as a laxative!
By drinking decaf coffee, you will have less caffeine while still enjoying a cup of joe in the morning.
However, while decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine, decaf coffee will not give you the laxative effect as a regular coffee.
3. Stop Using Milk Or Creamer
Do you know that 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant? People with this kind of disorder experience digestive problems, such as diarrhea, when they consume dairy products.
However, many people are not aware that they have it because of the minimal symptom. If you are one of them, it might be the reason why you are experiencing laxative effects after coffee.
Try removing milk or creamer for a week and see if it has any effect on your digestive system.
If it lessens your urge to go to the bathroom frequently, then you should try to stop adding them to your coffee. If not, there are other foxes you can try.
4. Drink Coffee After Your Regular Bathroom Time
It is a common fact that people tend to go to the bathroom in the morning.
If your routine includes visiting the bathroom in the morning, you might just be going with your body clock, and coffee isn’t the culprit.
Try skipping coffee in the morning and see if you still feel the coffee make you poop. If yes, then coffee has nothing to do with your bowel movement routine.
5. Avoid Drinking Coffee On An Empty Stomach
Coffee and an empty stomach are a deadly combination. If you drink coffee without any food, the drink triggers a gastrocolic reflex intensely.
This impacts your stomach acid and forces bowel movements, which urges you to go to the bathroom right away.
Try having coffee after having something slightly heavy and stable, such as bread, fruits, water, and others., you will less likely experience the laxative effect.
6. Go For Low Acid Coffees
As mentioned, the acids found in coffee makes you want to poop. So one way to stop this drink from making you poop is to alter the type of coffee you consume.
If you have been drinking highly acidic coffees, you should start switching to a low acid variety.
For example, Countries like Mexico and Brazil produce low-altitude coffees, which have less acidic content than those coming from areas like Indonesia.
While they may have a different taste than acidic ones, they should stop you from going to the bathroom frequently.
Stop Being Reliant On Coffee To Poop!
Coffee can facilitate regular bowel movement, and many people drink it every morning for this reason.
While having coffee in moderation isn’t going to hurt you, relying on it to poop regularly can harm your gut.
If you are constipated, don’t self-medicate. It would be best to let your doctor know of your situation than to drink heaps of coffee in the morning.
Many people experience constipation because of dehydration. Coffee acts as a diuretic, and drinking a lot can dehydrate you.
If you are constipated, your doctor might recommend you drink less caffeine and more water to keep your gut healthy.
If you rely on a lot of coffee to poop, keep an eye out for any side effects that may indicate your consumption is too high for your tolerance.
For example, if you experience recurring stomach problems, feel shaky, and have trouble sleeping at night, it might be best to lessen your intake.
Lastly, everyone metabolizes caffeine differently.
Fast metabolizers can quickly clear caffeine from their system, while slow metabolizers retain it for longer, putting them at a higher risk for heart attack and high blood pressure.
Low Acid Coffees: Do They Reduce Diarrhea?
Many people react to the acid found in coffee. That’s why drinking low acid coffee (or decaf coffee) can sometimes lessen its laxative effect. Here are some low acid coffee drinks to try:
Stop Coffee Making You Poop FAQs
Does drinking coffee with an empty stomach can cause diarrhea?
It depends on your digestive tract.
For example, while drinking coffee on an empty stomach can trigger a gastrocolic reflex and induce diarrhea in some people, others just don’t seem to have this reaction.
Should I stop drinking coffee if it gives me diarrhea?
Other factors apart from drinking coffee can also cause diarrhea, such as the dairy component you add to your drink.
If you have narrowed down the cause of your diarrhea and it points to coffee, try the solution mentioned above. If nothing works, it’s time for you to quit it.
Does milk in your coffee make you poop?
If you are sensitive to dairy or lactose intolerance, the milk in your coffee will make you poop. Otherwise, it won’t be a problem.
Should I drink coffee when I'm constipated?
Yes, drinking coffee in moderation while constipated is okay. However, don't rely on caffeine to keep your bowel movements regular, and consult your doctor if it persists.
It is completely understandable if you still love coffee, even if it makes you go to the bathroom too often.
But you don't have to suffer constantly; you can try the tips mentioned above and see if any of them fixes the problem.
However, if it doesn't disrupt your daily life, your coffee drink might just be giving your digestive system a little push.