Believe it or not, this question of coffee making you pee or poop a lot, is asked quite a bit. I also get asked does coffee make you fat? Well I will answer that one in a separate article. For now let's answer the important question of pee or poop!
Our digestive system and urinary system, are so designed that all food, and all drink eventually becomes body waste. We get rid of body waste either through sweating or by going to the loo. The question should I think be slightly more specific. By that I mean, will it by itself make us pee or poop more?
Coffee is something that some people drink to simply enjoy the quiet moments of our day. Now some people drink coffee to help jolt their systems, or prevent sleep when we still need to work, or stay awake. Coffee is a drink that is drunk at any time during the day. People to tend to avoid it late in the evening, so as it does not impact on their sleep.
Does Coffee Make You Urinate More?
if you avoided coffee altogether, you still need to get rid of fluids. Passing urine is mainly how that is done. However, there is clear evidence, that caffeine is a diuretic. That does mean that it will increase the amount of urine produced by the body. Now to understand this better, that increase is only if the body has not had coffee for several days.
So if you are new to drinking coffee, or have not drunk any coffee for 3-4 days, then initially more urine will be produced. However, if you are a regular coffee drinker, then the body gets used to the additional caffeine, and after a day or so, then no extra urine is produced.
Here is a video that explains really well why drinking coffee or alcohol, may make you pee more.
Does Coffee Make You Poo More?
Now I know this is not the most pleasant topic to discuss, but it is a question that is asked by more people than you may think. There are quite a few people out there, who actually experience this, when they first start drinking coffee.
It is however a problem usually associated at the start of your coffee journey.
On average though, around 3 out of 10 people, including regular coffee drinkers will need to poop after their morning cup of coffee. So if this happens to you, then at least you are not alone.
There are a couple of different explanations for this, especially in the morning time. People simply attribute their morning activity to coffee. It could however be the case, that this is simply the first thing that have taken that morning. In other words if they drank a glass of orange juice, it could have a similar effect.
In other words, it isn't what you drink or eat, it is just the fact that something has been eaten. When your tummy receives food, it will naturally stretch, and that stretching triggers what is called the "Gastrocolic Reflex." For mortals like you and I, that means going to the loo.
Coffee - The Stimulant Effect
People drink coffee for a whole range of reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that they believe, it helps wake them up in the morning. They then associate that drink with having to go for a poop. What if those same people drank grapefruit juice in the morning? Would that have the same impact?
The fact remains, that there has simply never been any detailed or large investigation into this question. Most of it remains a myth. Drinks like tea and coffee contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, as in it wakes us up, or stops us from sleeping. It "may" also then stimulate things at the other end as well.
Now that said, if you like your coffee to be of the decaf variety, then that also makes people want to poop. So again the question has to be asked, is it really the caffeine? That would seem unlikely. Many people like their coffee to taste slightly bitter. That bitterness comes from the acid in coffee. So perhaps it is this, that stimulates the bowels.
Video From the American Chemical Society Coffee vs Poop
What is Gastrin?
The most likely cause is one known as "Gastrin." When you drink any type of coffee, this speeds up the release of a hormone known as "Gastrin." That assists the stomach to produce acid, and that in turn encourages movement in the intestines.
There is no doubt that many people all over the world enjoy their morning cup of coffee. There is also little doubt that most of them will then have to take a trip to the loo. It seems highly likely that this is down to Gastrin. In other words acid is created in the tummy, and when that happens, we need to be close to a toilet.