I remember one time when my little girl was running late for daycare. I chugged my scorching coffee, hopped in the car —and had the worst poop scare of my life. After that, I just had to know how to stop the coffee from making you poop!
I was sweating in the driver's seat stepping on the gas just to make it to the school’s toilet.
Drinking coffee could cause diarrhea and stomach cramps. You can always avoid this by drinking less coffee, grabbing a bite before a cup, or switching to decaf.
Why coffee makes you poop
Coffee can stimulate our bowel movements, and according to Insider, doctors are not exactly sure why.
One of the reasons why coffee makes you poop is because of caffeine.
Caffeine is a kind of stimulant found in coffee. It initiates a lot of things to happen inside our bodies.
In addition to increasing energy, may cause contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles. This can make bowel movements easier.
So how can coffee give you diarrhea?
Coffee causes your stomach to release gastrin. This causes a wave of contractions in your gut known as peristalsis.
Gastrin is a kind of peptide hormone. It is primarily accountable for enhancing gastric mucosal growth, and gastric motility, It is also responsible for the secretion of hydrochloric acid (HCl) into the stomach. Gastrin is present in the G cells of the gastric antrum and duodenum.
Participants in a study reported that drinking coffee made them want to poop. These participants were subjected to a test involving coffee and its effect. Their colon activity increased four minutes after drinking unsweetened black coffee, with the effect lasting at least 30 minutes.
Coffee contains several compounds that may cause diarrhea after coffee drinking. Here are some of them:
- chlorogenic acids
And adding milk or cream can make things so much worse, particularly if you are lactose intolerant.
Does decaf coffee make you poop?
Decaf coffee can still definitely have a laxative effect. This is because coffee, both decaf and regular, contain chlorogenic acid. This increases stomach acid levels and gastric acid production.
Coffee, regardless of its caffeine content, can cause you to poop. As it turns out, decaffeinated coffee has the same laxative effect on some people.
There isn’t a kind of coffee that doesn't make you poop.
Are coffee poops healthy?
Yes, and no. But it is better than pooping because of meds like Senokot or Dulcolax.
Even though they are non-prescription medications, stimulant laxatives such as bisacodyl like Dulcolax, senna like Senokot, castor oil, and phenolphthalein can be dangerous.
Feeling like you need to go to the toilet after drinking coffee can be uncomfortable. Nonetheless, it is a common response.
If you’re wondering, “Is coffee a natural diuretic?” the answer is yes. Scientists have discovered that coffee of any kind can stimulate the distal colon, which aids in the removal of waste from the body more quickly.
For some people, coffee can be both a diuretic and a laxative. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and is present in regular coffee, sodas, and energy drinks.
This is the reason why some people use coffee to lose weight. But then, diuretics just flush out water weight. This means that you’ll likely gain the weight back after drinking lots of liquids.
Just be aware that going number 1 or 2 too many times can cause dehydration and other health problems.
You can simply learn how to make black coffee for weight loss. Black coffee not only aids in weight loss but also has lots of healthy benefits.
Does coffee cause diarrhea?
Drinking more than two or three cups of coffee can often cause diarrhea. That’s because coffee and other caffeinated drinks have a laxative potential.
Whether you call it going to the bathroom or having a bowel movement, pooping is a regular part of all our lives. However, the process of eliminating waste from your body can change from time to time.
And sometimes for the worst.
Diarrhea on the other hand is characterized by loose or watery stools.
The most common symptom of diarrhea is passing three or more loose, watery stools in a day. People suffering from diarrhea may also experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- an urgent need to use the restroom
- abdominal cramps
How to stop the coffee from making you poop
There are a few ways to stop unwanted (and troublesome) pooping or diarrhea after coffee. This can be drinking less coffee or picking a low-caffeine roast.
Many people poop after drinking coffee. In point of fact, after drinking a cup of coffee, 29% of people feel the need to poop. Turns out it is worse for women which has a whopping 63% of affected individuals.
For anyone experiencing this symptom, it can be pretty inconvenient. Here are the ways how to not poop after coffee time. 👇
1. Choose the right roast
Changing the type of roast is one way to avoid going to the bathroom after coffee. The acids in coffee make you want to puke or poop.
If you've been drinking highly acidic coffees, try switching to a low-acid variety.
Low-altitude coffees, for example, are produced in Mexico and Brazil and have less acidic content than those produced in Indonesia.
The less acidic variants will taste different than the more acidic ones, it’s not exactly coffee that doesn't make you poop. However, they should keep you from needing to use the restroom as frequently.
You can opt for arabica beans. Arabica blends have a darker roast and are much more flavorful and tasty than Robusta blends.
Arabica beans have a low acid content, it is of higher quality, and are a kind of coffee that doesn't make you poop. So, try using Arabica ground instead of Robusta as a way how to prevent coffee poops.
2. Stay away from artificial sweeteners
The sugar alcohols found in artificial sweeteners you add to your coffee can make you poop.
Some artificial sweeteners can cause digestive upset and unwanted bowel movements.
Sugar alcohols found in artificial sweeteners such as xylitol, mannitol, and sorbitol can cause bloating, flatulence, and other digestive issues.
Even erythritol which is found in stevia can stimulate your digestion too much you feel like pooping. Other healthy sweeteners like honey or yacon can stimulate bowel movements.
If you use artificial sweeteners with sugar alcohols in your coffee, it is possible that the sweetener, not the coffee, is sending signals to your brain to go to the toilet.
3. Drink decaf instead
Caffeine is one of the reasons you feel the need to poop right after drinking coffee, and it's also why some energy drinks act as a laxative!
You will have less caffeine while still enjoying a cup of joe in the morning if you drink decaf coffee.
While decaf contains caffeine, it does not have the strong laxative effect as regular coffee.
If you’re asking does caffeine make you poop, that would be a yes. Caffeine, which is commonly found in coffee, contains properties that will make you want to poop.
While it is a milder effect than over-the-counter laxative medication, your morning coffee can cause you to poop, and sometimes almost immediately after drinking it!
Caffeine stimulates your mind so it makes sense that it stimulates other parts of your body such as your tummy.
4. Avoid creamers or dairy 🚫
The dairy products in coffee can be the reason why coffee makes you poop especially if you have lactose intolerance.
Did you know that lactose intolerance affects 75% of the world's population? When people with this disorder consume dairy products, they experience digestive issues such as diarrhea.
Coffee creamers may claim to be dairy-free, but they still have casein which can cause milk allergy and cause you to poop.
However, because of the minor symptom, many people are unaware that they have it. If you have lactose intolerance, it is possible to experience strong urges to go number 2 after drinking coffee.
Remove milk or creamer for a week to see if it affects your digestive system. If it reduces your need to use the restroom frequently, you should try to stop putting them in your coffee.
Not working? Well, don’t be bummed, because we still have tips number 5-9 below!
But if you need to, you can always use coconut creamer instead.
5. Time it right!
Drink coffee after your bathroom break to reduce the risk of wanting to poop. This makes sense because if you already pooped —there’s nothing more to poop.
People have a habit of going to the bathroom first thing in the morning.
If your morning routine includes going to the bathroom, you might just be following your body clock, and coffee isn't to blame.
To find out for sure, you can skip coffee in the morning to see if it still makes you poop on cue. If so, coffee has nothing to do with your bowel movements.
Aside from pooping, drinking coffee at the right time has lots of benefits.
If you need to poop every day, drinking coffee can assist you in ensuring that you have a bowel movement regularly.
So timing is a big thing here especially if you need to avoid going to bathroom after coffee. Stay away from coffee before a big event such as a product presentation with a client or a performance at school.
Or you can also drink coffee purposely so you can relieve yourself hours before the said meeting. Beats having to hold that poop and wear a grimace on your face in front of potential clients.
6. Eat before drinking coffee
Coffee causes an intense gastrocolic reflex (just a fancy way of saying it makes you want to poop) when consumed without food. Coffee and an empty stomach can be a lethal mix.
Okay, “lethal” is an exaggeration. 💀
This affects your stomach acid and causes bowel movements, which makes you want to use the restroom right away.
If you drink coffee only after eating something slightly heavy and stable, such as bread, fruit, or water, you will be less likely to experience the urge to poop.
7. Less coffee, less poop
The most obvious solution to avoid getting the urge to poop after drinking coffee IS TO DRINK LESS COFFEE.
I love coffee. Hate this idea.
But it does make sense. After all, it’s coffee that causes you to need to use the restroom more frequently.
Drinking more than two or three cups of coffee per day can result in diarrhea. You will experience fewer urges or avoid going to the bathroom after coffee if you cut back.
Limiting your caffeine consumption can be enough without totally giving up your daily cup of joe.
To avoid headaches you can withdraw from coffee gradually over a few days and try going without for a while.
8. Not too hot! 🥵
Not only coffee, but any warm beverage like tea or even just warm water will make you want to poop.
Experts say that hot beverages aid the contractions and relaxations in the digestive tract, which inevitably helps the stool pass.
Drinking coffee is more effective at inducing bowel movements than just drinking warm water.
We need to understand that water is an integral part of normal digestion. Large amounts of water are being released and reabsorbed by our digestive tract every single day.
A cold brew is a low-acid option that many people enjoy because of its smooth flavor. Even regular coffee served at a cooler temperature may result in fewer poop issues than a piping hot cup.
9. Muscle control
When all else fails, and no toilet is in sight, you’ve got to stand up walk a few paces and clench your butt cheeks. (Yes, I’m serious.)
This last tip is more of a way for you to hold your poop when the above tips didn’t work. You could be in an important meeting or a review before finals that you just can’t miss.
This is an effective way how to not poop after coffee —or at least to put it off until you are ready to sit comfortably on your throne. 🚽
As you can see, there are numerous reasons why coffee causes you to need to use the restroom, ranging from the compounds in the coffee to the milk and sweetener you add to it.
How to prevent diarrhea from coffee
It’s important to learn how to prevent diarrhea from coffee daily. Sometimes, the effect of drinking coffee is not just having the urge to poop. It can be something more uncomfortable like diarrhea.
When this happens, you can follow these tips. 👇
Minimize coffee if you have IBS
The caffeine in coffee can cause diarrhea if you have Irritable bowel syndrome.
Caffeine is one of the foods that can increase intestinal motility. You may be hypersensitive to these faster contractions if you have IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS is a common, long-term digestive condition. Stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation are all possible symptoms. IBS that causes diarrhea is commonly referred to as IBS-D.
IBS-D is characterized by abdominal pain, other IBS symptoms, and frequent bowel movements.
Your IBS symptoms may change over time, unfortunately, the condition is often lifelong. IBS can be successfully managed with the right strategies.
But yeah, it is a bummer that because of coffee you may experience IBS symptoms such as stomach pain and diarrhea.
Hunger causes diarrhea after coffee
Coffee consumption, while you’re hungry, raises the level of acid in the stomach. Aside from bloating and vomiting, it could surely make you…*farting noises* 💩💩💩💩💩
Although many people reach for a fresh brew before breakfast, doing so on an empty stomach may exacerbate negative effects. You could end up experiencing stomach cramps and diarrhea.
Having coffee with your meal or after can make a big difference even if it is just a slice of bread.
Diarrhea after coffee can be due to lactose intolerance. And most of us can’t have coffee without a little bit of half-and-half or milk.
The condition is also known as lactose malabsorption. This is usually harmless, but its symptoms can be very very unpleasant.
If you can’t have dairy, there are still a lot of other things you can add to coffee.
Those who are lactose-intolerant are unable to fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. As a result, you could experience diarrhea, gas, and bloating when you drink coffee with dairy products mixed in.
Okay, black coffee it is! ☕☕☕
What in coffee makes you poop?
Caffeine isn’t the only reason why coffee makes you poop. The culprit can also be the additives in coffee.
Does caffeine make you poop? Yes. But the temperature of the drink and all the other stuff you put in coffee like creamer and milk can make you want to poop.
I also mentioned chlorogenic acids and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamine which are both acidic compounds in coffee. Acidity in food can lead to watery stools and diarrhea.
Why does one sip of coffee make me poop?
When you drink coffee the gastrin released by your stomach causes contractions which makes you want to poop.
Coffee has a laxative effect and scientists have discovered that coffee of any kind can stimulate the distal colon (yes even decaf). This event speeds up the process of waste removal in the body.
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 any of the tips and solutions mentioned above.
If nothing works, it’s time for you to quit it. I’d rather accept that diarrhea is constant. 😂
Does iced coffee make you poop more than hot coffee?
No. But it doesn’t mean it won’t make you poop.
The body has a rapid reaction to cold drinks. However, the cold temperature can still irritate the bowel, potentially causing diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.
If truth be told, cold water empties faster from the stomach. Meaning, it is absorbed faster by the body.
On the other hand, drinking hot water aids in the breakdown of food more quickly than drinking cold or warm water. Drinking something hot or warm helps to maintain regular bowel movements, it even reduces the risk of constipation.
Is there some medicine to stop coffee from making you poop?
There isn’t a specific medicine to keep pooping after drinking coffee at bay.
But if you really must, then you can take diarrhea treatments like bismuth subsalicylate and loperamide. These are meds like Pepto Bismol or Imodium.
These medications can help relieve occasional episodes of diarrhea and are useful to keep on hand in case you need to keep yourself from pooping.
Just make sure not to make a habit out of it, and ABSOLUTELY DO NOT take more than eight doses or 240 ml in a day. it‘s also not advisable to use it for more than 2 days.
How to drink coffee without pooping
Whether you’re suffering from diarrhea after coffee or you just have somewhere important to go it is important to know how to stop coffee from making you poop.
You can try to limit yourself to a cup of coffee a day or just drink it black. If the symptoms are really bad you have the option to take meds too.
Which of the techniques to avoid going to bathroom after coffee would you like to try? Let me know in the comments below! 👇