Caffeine is a great energy booster, but it can also stimulate the urge to defecate. Studies have shown that it can activate contractions in the colon and intestinal muscles (4). Research has revealed that caffeine makes the colon 60% more active than water and 23% more active than decaffeinated coffee (1). So, what is the science behind coffee and poop?It turns out that coffee can make you poop regardless of its caffeine content.
In fact, decaffeinated coffee has the same laxative effect on some people. Artificial sweeteners containing sugar alcohols such as xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and erythritol (prevalent in stevia) can cause bloating, flatulence and other digestive problems. If you put artificial sweeteners with sugar alcohols in your coffee, your sweetener may be making you want to go, not the coffee itself. Yes, both decaffeinated coffee and caffeinated coffee will make you defecate, but the caffeine in coffee will help you defecate more. So, if you're really hoping to move, go get the caffeinated Joe mug.
Caffeinated coffee may make people more eager to defecate than decaffeinated coffee. However, this study shows that when manufacturers eliminate caffeine from coffee, people may still feel like defecating after drinking decaffeinated coffee. Many people assume that coffee poops because it can contain a lot of caffeine, depending on how the coffee beans are roasted. Any coffee that causes more motility in the colon or rectum will make the reaction to coffee stronger. At the same time, many people living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) feel that coffee worsens their bowel symptoms. Coffee, both decaffeinated and caffeinated, contains chlorogenic acid which causes higher levels of stomach acid and increased gastric acid production.
A previous study from 1998 found that caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and a 1,000 kilocalorie (kcal) meal caused more colonic contractions than water alone. It is believed that these compounds help push food through the digestive tract faster after drinking coffee. Coffee is a complex drink that contains more than 1000 chemical compounds, many of which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since eating food also stimulates the colon, drinking coffee with a meal is unlikely to make much of a difference, if any. Coffee has been shown to improve liver health, lower the risk of colon cancer, improve cognitive function, decrease the risk of cardiovascular death (CHF, heart attack, stroke), type II diabetes, Parkinson's disease etc.
Some people may be more sensitive to coffee while others may not feel no effect on your stomachs from coffee. IBS patients may not respond to coffee consumption especially if they have IBS with a predominance of constipation. In fact, 29% of people (and a whopping 63% of women) feel like defecating after drinking a cup of coffee. While many researchers have studied the laxative effect of coffee and caffeine, current results are contradictory. Something in coffee can also trigger the release of hormones that aid digestion which would speed up bowel movements. So there you have it - drinking both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees can make you poop! However, if you're looking for an extra boost to get things moving along then opt for a cup of caffeinated Joe!.