Caffeine Addiction And Digestive Function
Many people wont want to hear all of these bad things written about their good friend coffee.
Its worth asking though, what kind of friend would do this much damage to your digestion and by extension your overall wellness and wellbeing?
Caffeine addiction is a very common problem in Western societies. Aside from well known issues with heightened stress and sleeping disorders, much fewer people know about digestive problems from coffee.
Can you get away with a cup or two a day without obvious issues? Maybe.
But then again, anyone reading a website on gastrointestinal problems is probably aware that they have an issue or two, even if its not that obvious yet.
Wouldnt it be better to address some of the causes of those digestive symptoms before they become even more obvious and less easy to deal with?
Besides, if youre not addicted to coffee, then it cant hurt to replace it with a healthier alternative for a couple of weeks and see whether problems like stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating and farting are reduced.
Why Coffee Makes You Need The Toilet
Coffee is known to stimulate the digestive system, but researchers suggest there could be various different reasons for this reaction. One factor is believed to be the high caffeine content in coffee, compared to other hot drinks such as tea.
“Coffee is one of many food substances that is high in caffeine and the caffeine in the coffee can lead to the gut symptoms experienced,” says Dr Bridgette Wilson, a registered dietitian from City Dietitians in London. “Other common foods that are also high in caffeine include tea, energy drinks, cola beverages and dark chocolate.”
Various studies support the theory that caffeine has a laxative effect. In one study, researchers gave participants either water or caffeine powder dissolved in water and measured their anorectal function. The results suggested that ingesting caffeine led to stronger anal sphincter contractions and an increased desire to poo.
“Caffeine is a gastrointestinal stimulant which means that it speeds up peristalsis ,” says registered dietitian Caroline Bletcher. “Therefore it speeds up transit through the bowel, resulting in symptoms such as diarrhoea and stomach cramping.”
However, research has suggested there may be other factors at play too. Both caffeinated and decaf coffee stimulate the production of a hormone called gastrin, which signals the stomach to release gastric acid. As gastrin promotes digestion, it may contribute to our urge to go to the toilet after drinking coffee.
Coffee Can Cause Colon Contractions
The colon experiences three types of contractions that work together to brew up and ultimately eject poop. These contractions are influenced by muscular, neural and chemical factors, and the occurrence, timing and frequency can vary from person-to-person. Coffee can stimulate this colonic activity within just minutes of consuming it.
Studies have shown that drinking coffee is more effective than water at inducing bowel movementsthats saying something since water is an integral part of normal digestion with large amounts being released and reabsorbed by your digestive tract every day, said Staller, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. Caffeinated coffee is 60 percent more effective than water at stimulating colonic motor activity and 23 percent more impactful than decaf.
According to another study, participants also said coffee gave them the urge to poop. Their colon activity increased within four minutes of drinking unsweetened black coffee, an effect that lasted at least 30 minutes.
Science doesnt liewhen that coffee hits your stomach, the stomach lining triggers either a nervous system or hormonal response that causes the colon to start contracting and moving the stool in the colon toward the rectumand thats why youre running to the bathroom after just a few sips of coffee.
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How Can Coffee Cause Constipation For Some People
As we know, coffee can stimulate the gut and have a laxative effect. But for certain people who may be particularly sensitive to caffeine, this can lead to loose bowel movements, diarrhea and dehydration, Largeman-Roth says.
But here’s the thing: When you’re dehydrated, your large intestine will absorb as much water from food waste as it can, which slows the passage of your stool through your GI tract, creating hard and sometimes painful poops, she explains.
What’s more, caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee more by helping your body expel extra salt and water, according to the National Library of Medicine . But getting too much caffeine can result in dehydration, which, as we know, can back up your bowels.
To make matters worse, the things you add to your coffee mug â like milk and sugar â can also clog you up.
“While a couple of tablespoons of milk are very unlikely to cause an issue, if you’re drinking from a very large tumbler, and half of it is filled with milk, this could be a problem,” Largeman-Roth says. “The same is true if you’re adding several sugars to your coffee,” she says.
How To Stop Coffee From Making You Poop
Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about how to stop the coffee from making you poop, from keeping an eye on acidity to understanding how caffeine content affects your body.
Buckle up, coffee lovers sh*t’s about to get real.
A strong cup of coffee can create a laxative effect that has you bolting out of morning meetings at work, rushing to the bathroom with a quickness.
Here, we’ll take a look at exactly why your morning latte has the side effect of making you poop, and we’ll dig into some tactics that you can try to lessen the effect that coffee beans have on your digestive system.
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How Does Coffee Make You Poop
Even though there may be different reasons why coffee makes you poop, we still can decide on the idea of why it happens. According to the studies, coffee can cause movements in the distal colon. It is a part of the human digestive system that is responsible for pushing wastes quicker from our bodies.
In turn, it leads to the movement of peristalsis, which is a series of contractions and relaxations of intestinal muscles. As a result, it leads to bowel movements and makes you poop more frequently.
It can be one of numerous substances and chemicals that can be found in coffee that causes bowel movements. The point is that there is no certain answer to the question. However, the main point is that it is one of those components that stimulate the muscles of your digestive system and makes you poop.
Note: I Refuse To Try Pumpkin Spice Latte Sue Me
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You know the old saying, Too much of any good thing can be bad for you? Coffee is so delicious and wonderful that there HAS to be downsides to it!
In this post, were going to take a look at coffee side effects to answer the question Is coffee bad for you? once and for all.
Set aside your passion for coffee for a moment so you can critically examine the side effects of coffee listed below.
Even if you know everything there is to know about coffee, you may learn a few things about the potential drawbacks of coffee
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What Is It About Coffee That Makes Me Have To Poop
Basically, coffee stimulates the digestive systemresearchers just aren’t exactly sure why or how, though caffeine is the biggest suspected culprit.
Caffeine is a “pro-motility agent,” says Niket Sonpal, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Touro College of Medicine. “Anytime you or I eat, your stomach stretches and sends a signal to your colon saying, ‘Hey, something is coming in, something has to go out,'” he says.
Your body sends those signals through a process called peristalsisessentially muscle contractions throughout your intestines that move food through your system. And coffee speeds up that process, says Rudolph Bedford, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
In addition to speeding up those contractions, Bedford says caffeine also causes the colonic muscles to relax. And when those two gastrointestinal marvels pair together, well, all bets are off in terms of timing your poop schedule.
It’s for this same reason that Bedford says people experience acid reflux when drinking caffeine, but in that instance it’s the sphincter muscle in the lower esophagus that relaxes and leads to reflux.
Aside from the caffeine, the acidic nature of the brewed beverage causes the body to produce more bile , which can build up in your gutthe excess bile is why some people actually get diarrhea from drinking coffee.
Why Exactly Does Coffee Make You Poop
Amazingly enough, we actually dont know why coffee makes you poop. We know that coffee initiates what’s known as the “gastrocolic reflex“that’s when your stomach “wakes up” from the coffee and starts to contract. This continues all the way down from the stomach to the small intestine to the colon, where you will eventually have your bowel movement. The effect is the same in men and women.
There’s some thought that the acidity of coffee is what also helps to stimulate your bowels. Coffee, both decaf and caffeinated, contain chlorogenic acid, which triggers higher stomach acid levels and higher production of gastric acid. The overall acidity bump makes the stomach move its contents out more quickly than usual. But, once again, it’s not clear which of the hundreds of chemicals found in a cup of Joe are responsible for that boost. Lastly, we know there is a role in the actual beans and oils in coffee that helps you poop.
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Should I Stop Drinking Coffee If It Gives Me Diarrhea
You dont have to stop drinking coffee if it gives you diarrhea. Making wise changes and tweaking your coffee drinking habits here and there would allow you to enjoy your coffee every day. Remember moderation is the key.
Quitting coffee is not the answer to your coffee causing diarrhea. Instead, you can take small steps and can still enjoy your morning chocker.
You see, excessive caffeine, acid from coffee, dairy, and sugar all are the culprits in one cup of coffee. You can tackle these by making sure your caffeine intake for the whole day is not more than 400 mg. Whether your source is tea or any energy drink, just keep track that the caffeine should be in moderation.
Plus, when you will start choosing plant-based and non-dairy options for milk and cream for your coffee, you will see an improvement in your bowel movements.
Also, dont forget to pair your coffee with a breakfast item to give you an extra boost of energy and not cause acid reflux in your gut.
But if you still face acute diarrhea or want immediate results, you can immediately stop consuming coffee altogether. This will halt all the bowel movements and intestinal contractions which lead to diarrhea.
These caffeine withdrawals symptoms include:
Your Stomach Is Sensitive To Coffees Acids
Our digestive systems run on acids. Theyre the fuel of the machine that breaks down what we consume. Weve got to have them!
However, too much gastric acid can be a problem, causing some not-so-fun symptoms.
Most of these issues manifest in the form of bloating, belching, and general discomfort. Though considered mild symptoms, theyre quite annoying.
Many articles out there claim that drinking coffee can lead to acid reflux, an involuntary series of muscle movements that send gastric acid up into the esophagus. However, this connection has long been disproven .
If you find yourself with similar discomforts when you drink acidic drinks like fruit juice or alcohol, its worth cutting out acidic foods and drinks for a few days to see if you notice a difference.
If acid seems to be the issue, heres what you can do to still enjoy your coffee:
- Find low-acidity, stomach friendly coffees. If it seems youre only slightly sensitive but you still want to try reducing acids, opt for coffee beans that are known to be lower on the acidity scale. Coffees grown at low altitudes typically have lower acid levels.
- Cold brew. Cold brewing coffee in cold water reduces the acid levels of the final drink as much as 66%. Once youve brewed the concentrate, you can still cut it with hot water to enjoy a hot mug like normal.
Its the caffeine that really upsets most stomachs.
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How Much Caffeine Is In Coffee Anyway
So how much coffee is needed to get results? The above-referenced study used a black Colombian coffee containing 150 milligrams of caffeine, a fairly average caffeine content for an 8-ounce cup of joe. A 12-ounce tall drip coffee from Starbucks contains about 240 mg of caffeine, and single-shot latte drinks approximately 90 mg. In the end, the effect will vary by the individual.
Does Decaf Coffee Make You Poop And Cause Diarrhea
Many people drink decaf coffee to enjoy coffee without the effects of caffeine. Now, one of the things that caffeine does is stimulate the bowels. Thus, you may wonder if decaf coffee doesnt affect our digestion. So, you may ask:
Does decaf coffee make you poop and cause diarrhea? Yes, decaf coffee makes you poop and causes diarrhea. This is because decaf coffee still irritates the gut and softens the stool, making you poop. Also, most decaf coffee contains sugar, leading to diarrhea when excessively consumed. Thus, be sure to keep your consumption in moderation.
While it has a lesser laxative effect than coffee with caffeine, it still induces laxative effects. Thus, you need to understand how it affects your digestion to make sure you stay safe while you enjoy drinking this coffee.
In this article, well walk you through all the things you need to know about decaf coffee and how it affects our digestion. This way, you can learn how to enjoy drinking decaf coffee while avoiding the risk that follows it.
Without further ado, lets get into it!
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Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners
Some sugars and artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect.
Fructose is a component of table sugar and occurs naturally in fruits. The body can only digest a certain amount of fructose at one time. Consuming more fructose than the body may cause diarrhea.
One source estimates that approximately 3040% of people have trouble absorbing significant amounts of fructose.
Some fruits contain more fructose than others. Some examples of foods high in fructose include:
Give Cold Brewing A Go
Cold brew coffee is this magic elixir with66% less acid and caffeine. The cold water simply doesn’t extract as much as hot waterso the end result is quite different.
It tastes smoother, sweeter, and more aromatic. Not everyone likes that it doesn’t have the same acidic bite or bitter caffeine notes, but it’s absolutely worth trying.
And here’s why cold brew is almost a silver bullet when it comes to stomach pain from coffee
- It’s easy on the tummy. 66% less acid and caffeinesolves a lot of problems right there.
- It can be drank both cold and hot. Most people add ice to make iced cold brew, but you can absolutely dilute the concentrate with hot water instead for a mostly-normal hot coffee.
- You can get really creative with it. From cold brew lemonade to homemade iced cold brew lattes, you’ll never run out of fun ways to drink your cold brew.
- It’s really easy to make at home. Just mix coarse coffee grounds and water, wait twelve hours, and strain. Easy!
Getting an upset stomach from coffee is a bummerwe know the feelingbut there are several things you can try to fix before you give up on our liquid magic altogether.
You should obviously never drink coffee on an empty stomach, but if you’re looking for a more impactful fix, we’re big fans of the cold-brew route.
It’s so easy, but the trick isn’t in the techniqueit’s in the beans.
Always start with freshly-roasted, specialty-grade coffee beans. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bad-tasting cold brew you hate .
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Why Coffee Can Cause Constipation And What To Do About It
While most people count on coffee for quick energy, many also rely on a morning cup of joe to get things going in the bathroom.
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“Coffee is a GI stimulant,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of âSmoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen: 100+ Delicious Recipes for Optimal Wellness. “âIt increases gut motility, which means that it accelerates contractions that help move contents of the gastrointestinal tract forward and out of the body,” she says.
Still, for others, coffee can stunt your stool schedule. Yep, a daily brew can also block your bowel movements. If you get plenty of fiber, exercise and water, and you still experience unexplained constipation, your coffee might be the culprit.
Read on to learn how coffee can contribute to constipation and what you can do to manage it .
Talk to your doctor if you experience constipation that lasts more than a few days.
The Final Word On How To Stop Coffee From Making You Poop
You love your morning cup of joe, but hate how it makes you run to the bathroom we get it. Trying a darker roast, lessening the amount of caffeine in your coffee, and switching up your creamer or sweeteners can all stop the coffee from making you poop.
If coffee just gives your digestive system a small boost, you’re in the clear doctors say that this isn’t a bad thing.
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