Shit Happens: You, Coffee, and the Call of Nature

For some people, nothing works until they get their morning cup and bowel movement. So, what is there with pooping and coffee?

Three out of 10 people have the experience of pooping and coffee going hand-in-hand, according to an article in Washington Post. It doesn’t even matter if you’re taking regular coffee, decaf, latte, or anything in between.

But what exactly does a hot cup of joe have that triggers the bowels?

[H/T The Washington Post]

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The reason why your Java is such a great laxative may be attributed to a number of things or a combination of everything, so to speak.

Coffee is a great stimulant, and it triggers the production of hormones and actions within the body. The hormone motilin increases intestinal contractions. Gastrin causes secretion of acid in the stomach and intestinal movement.

Coffee is also an acidic drink, increasing gastric acids in the stomach which signals your body to take a dump. Couple that with your morning routine and your body’s natural cycle, your morning cup will be the last push for you to go do your business.

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For those who are insisting that it’s the caffeine in your cup, well, they’re kind of right. Even though decaf induces the same effect, research by Dr. Satish Rao, M.D., Ph.D. shows that caffeinated coffee is 23 percent more intense.

Dr. Rao, the director of the Digestive Health Center at Georgia Regents University, says that caffeine, as a stimulant, plays a role in your colon activity but is not the only one responsible. Coffee drinkers be warned, too much coffee may cause diarrhea. All that acid can’t be good for the body.

If you don’t feel that your pooping and coffee are related, bear in mind that it only affects 30 percent of the population and the effects diminish over time with habitual consumption of coffee.