For some people, coffee can be a great way to help move the bowels. But it's important to remember that good gut health requires more than just coffee. A balanced diet with plenty of fiber, regular exercise, and drinking enough fluids every day are all essential for staying regular. If you find that coffee helps you defecate, you can certainly enjoy it with a cup.
But is coffee a diuretic or a laxative? The answer is both. Regular coffee contains caffeine, which is a diuretic. For people who feel the urge to have a bowel movement after drinking coffee, it also acts as a mild laxative. If it works for you, it may be healthy to drink coffee as a laxative, according to Dr.
Deutsch. Consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is generally considered safe without any adverse effects, which is approximately the amount in four cups of coffee. However, sustained consumption of higher doses can lead to caffeine dependence. Dr.
Farhadi recommends considering your timely coffee poops as a good thing. And honestly, having a regular defecation schedule sounds like enough reason to have another cup. Dr. Martindale also suggests coffee, along with other dietary changes, when advising patients with chronic constipation. Interestingly, decaffeinated coffee can also stimulate bowel movements - not just regular coffee containing caffeine.
Any coffee that causes more motility in the colon or rectum will make the reaction to coffee stronger. In addition, coffee contains colon-stimulating agents theophylline and xanthine that cause the colon to move faster than it would otherwise. While part of this can be attributed to caffeine's laxative effect, there are many other chemicals in coffee and scientists aren't quite sure which one is doing what. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, or two energy shots. But given the popularity of coffee, it's surprising that we know so little about how it affects the gastrointestinal tract, said Dr.
Farhadi. We know that coffee starts what is known as the gastrocolic reflex, which is when the stomach wakes up from coffee and starts to contract. Many people assume that coffee poops because it can contain a lot of caffeine, depending on how the coffee beans are roasted. IBS patients may not respond to coffee consumption, especially if they have IBS with a predominance of constipation. It is unclear why coffee can stimulate bowel movement, but the speed of this effect suggests that it is brain-mediated. Switching to low-acid coffee helps digestion in people prone to acid reflux by eliminating the main trigger.
Yes, both decaffeinated and caffeinated coffee will make you defecate - but the caffeine in coffee will help you defecate more.