why does coffee make me poop
why does coffee make me poop

Why Does Coffee Make Me Poop?

It’s actually not a coincidence that the energy and focus you get from your latte is quickly followed by an urgent need for a bathroom. It’s not just you, millions of people drink coffee every day and experience the same effect. So here’s why coffee goes right through you.

For Some, Coffee Causes More Movement in Their Colon

There hasn’t been any large-scale studies on coffee and bowel movements but there are some studies and experts who suggest several ways coffee can have an impact on your bathroom habits. Your morning coffee can stimulate colonic muscle movement and enhance the contraction and relaxation of your intestinal muscles that cause bowel movements. As noted by one study, this effect of caffeinated coffee is quite similar to that of eating a full meal. It is also about 60% stronger than that of drinking water and just 23% stronger than drinking decaffeinated coffee. This may also be evidence that caffeine is in fact not the culprit behind the connection of coffee and your bathroom breaks.

Other effects of coffee on your poop include looser stools. This is because through the promotion of contraction/relaxation of your intestinal muscles, coffee gives less time to your colon to do one of its main functions, which is to reabsorb water from fecal matter to help produce well-formed stools. [1] [2]

Coffee Isn’t The Only Thing That Can Make You Poop


If you don’t drink your coffee black, there’s a good chance your morning drink includes dairy. Those people who are sensitive to dairy may experience the same effects. Try drinking your coffee black or with non-dairy creamer. However, be aware that excess sugar and even sugarless sweeteners like sorbitol can also cause diarrhea.

If You Have To Poop Every Morning, It May Not Be Coffee At All

Some people experience the need to go #2 every morning. However, this may not be related to your coffee addiction. It is possible that it is just your gastrointestinal tract waking up after being inactive all night. It’s called the gastrocolic reflex, which occurs when food or drinks enter an empty stomach. Signals are sent to your colon letting it know to make more room. However, people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) can experience a more pronounced reflex.  [3]

Don’t Worry, You’re Not Alone


While more research is needed, it is clear that a lot of people experience the same effects from coffee. A small study showed that coffee stimulated intestinal bowel movement in 29% of people [4]. Aside from coffee itself, your bowel movements can be affected by high amounts of sugar, sweeteners, dairy and IBS.

Now you know. Don’t be embarrassed to talk and learn about your stool and bowel movements, your health depends on it!