Pooping and coffee. Coffee and pooping. If you’re part of the 30-ish % of people who get the urge to purge your bowels after your morning cup, coffee’s ability to make you go poo has not gone unnoticed by you, dear reader. But why does something so wonderful do something so unpleasant? Don’t worry, science is on it like flies on…poop
- A group of people were awkwardly asked if they felt like coffee normally made them feel like pooping. Scientists divided the group into “Nope, no pooping here” and “Yes! Coffee! Pooping! That’s me!”.
Brave, brave soulsScientists placed special instruments inside of peoples’ colons to measure movement (of where the poop is, y’all) and pressure. Yup. Because science!
- The people with the probes were then given regular coffee, decaf coffee or hot water. The probes measured muscle movement and colon pressure to see which beverage caused the most action.
- The people who said that coffee made them feel like pooping did, in fact, have more movement in their distal (lower) colons after drinking coffee (but not hot water) than people who said they didn’t notice the poo a’ flowin’ post java.
- There was no (significant) difference between colon action in people who drank regular vs. decaf.*
- Colon action started within 4 mins, which is way faster than it takes for the coffee to actually get to the colon (weird, right?!).
*There was a significant difference in the amount of awesomeness in those people though. Come on, decaf? Lame.
- Yes, coffee does indeed make you poop (well, 30% of you).
- You can get the same benefits from decaf (but really, decaf? I guess if you want to be miserable in other ways…).
- Scientists aren’t really sure what it is in coffee that creates the poop action (technical term). Some ideas are that coffee might cause stomach acid to be made, or release something in the stomach called an exorphin.
- Coffee = poop is most common in women (Boooo? Yay? hard to decide where I come down on that one…).
Need further stimulation? Check out the original study from the journal Gut.
To poop or not to poop, what does coffee do to you? Comment below!