Why does coffee make you poo? | The Sun

IT IS a truth universally acknowledged that a sip of coffee can jump-start your bowels as well as your brain.

You might not stop to think about the hows and whys when you're sprinting to find the nearest the bathroom.

But the question of why coffee gives you the urge to poop might pop into your head in moments of repose.

If that's you, just keep reading.

1. Why does coffee make you poo?

There's a number of things a cup of Joe does to your that activates the need for a number two.

Writing for nutrition platform ZOE, specialist gastroenterology dietitian Sammie Gill said a sip of the stuff can stimulate the release of stomach acid, as well as of enzymes in your pancreas that break down food.

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It also increases activity in your large intestine by triggering gut muscle contraction that basically get things moving.

All these combined can encourage bowel movements when you indulge in your morning brew.

And it's not just the caffeinated kind that can have this effect.

It's less intense, but research shows that decaffeinated coffee can also give your gut a kick.

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But according to Healthline, the poo-inducing effects of coffee might also be a coincidence.

That's because your your gastrocolic reflex – the wave of movement that pushes stuff through your gut to make room for new food – is strongest in the morning, meaning your bowels are 'primed and ready to go' when you wake up.

Oftentimes, it might not be the coffee itself that gives you the urge for a number two.

If you love a good glug of milk or cream in your brew, that could cause some stomach upset and diarrhoea if you're lactose intolerant.

Whatever the reason, the sudden urge to poo after your morning cup of Joe can get inconvenient, especially if you're out and about or about to have a work meeting.

There are a number of small routine tweaks you can make that might help matters.

2. Is coffee good for you?

Though early studies into the stuff raised the alarm about coffee's effect on our health, more recent research suggests it has a number of health benefits.

According to Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, moderate coffee intake -that between two and five cups a day – is linked to a lower likelihood of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and endometrial cancers, Parkinson’s disease, and depression. 

But he said certain people, such as children and pregnant women, should abstain from the brew, as well as people who have panic or anxiety disorders.

Meanwhile, founder of ZOE, Tim Spector, has extolled the virtues of coffee when it comes to gut health as the beans are packed with polyphenols.

And diet guru Dr Michael Mosley, a cup of the stuff can even give you a boost before your workout and help burn fat.

3) When should I drink coffee?

Experts suggest you don't pour yourself a coffee as soon as you wake up, as that could decrease its energising effects.

According to Healthline, the best time to have one is mid to late morning.

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For example, if you get up at 6:30am, your optimum coffee window is between 9:30 and 11:30 am.

If you want to avoid the inevitable dash to the loo, it's worth delaying your caffeine kick to later in the day, or at least after the time you regularly go to the bathroom.

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