Does coffee make you poop?
Dear Readers—we’ve been traveling this road together for a long time now, so let’s not beat around the bush. We owe it to each other to be real, to be genuine, to be entirely forthcoming. We’ve got nothing to hide, right?
Furthermore, I feel like I’ve been doing this long enough and have gained enough of a following that I can finally start letting the Table sink to my level, that I can finally just say what’s on my mind without offending the sensibilities of my Readership.
So, I’m just going to come right out with it without any embarrassment or shame: does coffee make you poop? I mean, it makes me poop. I had some coffee a little bit ago and I had to go. Not just right now, I mean—I went earlier.
It seems like every time I drink a cup, in fact, I have to visit the bowl within an hour. This, of course, begs me to ask if you’ve ever experienced this phenomenon.
Does coffee make you poop? Well? Does it?
I know that seems like an odd question, but it’s one that many people want to know, but are simply too afraid to ask. But now, with many thanks to the Internets, you can find the answer while avoiding embarrassment:
Yes, coffee does make you poop.
Here’s the scoop.
Coffee: the Science of a Moving Beverage
Coffee is a diverse substance which contains many different compounds which are known to affect the human body and its chemistry. The bean itself contains many chemicals which have been known to be psychotropic. In addition to these many effects, coffee is known to be a powerful stimulate for a condition known as peristalsis.
(The dictionary defines peristalsis as “the succession of waves of involuntary muscular contraction of various bodily tubes, esp of the alimentary tract, where it effects transport of food and waste products.”)
Because of coffee’s influence on peristalsis, it is said to prevent constipation by increasing movement.
While coffee is known to be a laxative in this capacity, it can also produce excessively loose bowel movements which could lead to diarrhea. This stimulation effect on the colon due to coffee consumption can be found in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees, so the state of the coffee has very little to do with it.
If one is feeling the effects of coffee in an uncomfortable manner, then he/she may often be advised to change from caffeinated to decaffeinated coffee, but the chances of this shift working in one’s favor is pretty low. Observation has it that the peristalsis stimulating effect of coffee still remains active even if one had a decaf.
It should also be noted that in addition to being a diarrhetic, coffee is also known to be a diuretic.
Laxative for Alternative and New Age Healers (or, “Dr. Feel-Good”)
Being coffee is a diarrhetic that activates the colon and “gets things moving”, indeed, many alternative therapists and natural doctors recommend people undergo caffeine or coffee enemas to clean out the colon every once in awhile.
Practitioners of alternative medicine appreciate the ability of coffee to make us poop and thus coffee enemas are quite popular among their practices. The coffee enema, according to them, is the best way to cleanse one’s colon. As holistic medicine stresses the importance of having a clean colon in order to both prevent and cure diseases and other bodily ailments, coffee plays an important role in the treatments.
Some people even use it as a constipation remedy.It can cause you to have loose stool so be careful about drinking too much if you already have an upset stomach. Many people report it helps them stay regular because they drink their morning coffee and then head off into the bathroom to do their duty.
It’s worth mentioning, however, that there is no verifiable documented proof to support these claims and I’m will to be that 75% of mainstream medicine practitioners do not advocate these claims at all.
Side Effects and Other Small Print Miscellany:
Experts point to the fact that if one is experiencing problems with his/her consumption of coffee (nausea, light-headedness, faint heartedness, dizziness, dehydration, excessive bowel movements, etc.), then the best thing to do is to reduce the intake to a very small quantity or remove it from your daily routine all together (though I would never endorse such behavior).
French Press It to Push It
Believe it or not, coffee actually used to be much more potent as a laxative a few decades ago than it is now. Our parents and grandparents—much the way they believed that carrots helped them see in the dark and that eating bread crust made their hair curly—believed that coffee was an essential way to stay regular (“not decaf”).
This isn’t a very vocalized belief nowadays, but it’s not because this old wives tale is false.
The difference between then and now lies—it might surprise you—in the popular brewing techniques of the times. Back in the day, brewers (like percolators) kept the coffee beans near the bottom of the brewing pan, while nowadays, the coffee and the beans are hardly kept in touch due to the use of the modern drip technique.
So, if you’re hoping that your morning coffee will subsequently lead to your morning constitutional and it just isn’t, you may want to avoid brewing with the Chemex, Hario V60, or even the automatic drip and, instead, opt for the Clever or French press.
The French press is bound to push it out.
See there? Slow pours and the so-called third wave of coffee isn’t all it’s cracked up to be after all.
A Pretty Girl Singing a Pretty Song about Her Love of Coffee… and Poop
Since there’s no saving this post from completely going down the tubes, it’s time to wrap it up. But before I do, I’d like to leave you with this—a pretty girl singing a pretty song that I find particularly… moving: