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Why does coffee make you poop?

[Reading level: B2 – Upper Intermediate]

Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Along with increasing energy, caffeine may trigger contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles. This can lead to an easier bowel movement.

 

Many people love their morning cup of joe. Not only is this caffeine-fueled beverage a great pick-me-up, it’s also loaded with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients. What’s more, some people find it can jump-start the other end of their body.

 

 

In fact, one study found that 29% of participants needed to use the bathroom within twenty minutes of drinking a cup of coffee.

 

This article helps explain why coffee can make you poop.

 

Caffeine can activate your colon

Coffee is one of the best sources of caffeine on the planet. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that helps you stay alert. A single brewed cup provides approximately 95 mg of caffeine.

 

While caffeine is a great energy booster, it may also stimulate the urge to poop. Several studies have shown that it can activate contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles.

 

Contractions in the colon push contents towards the rectum, which is the final section of your digestive tract.

 

Research has shown that caffeine makes the colon 60% more active than water and 23% more active than decaf coffee. However, studies have shown that decaf coffee can also stimulate the urge to poop. This indicates that other compounds or factors are responsible.

 

Chlorogenic acids and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamides are both compounds of interest. Studies have found that they can stimulate the production of stomach acid. Stomach acid helps churn food and move it quickly through the gut.

 

Several other factors may explain why your morning cup of java can make you poop. For example, the act of drinking can make the colon more active. This is called the gastrocolic reflex. It’s the same reflex that activates the colon after you eat a meal.

 

While coffee isn’t considered a meal, it may have a similar impact on your bowels.

 

 

On the other hand, coffee-induced bowel movements may simply be a coincidence.

 

This is because the bowels are twice as active when you first wake up, compared to while you’re asleep, so they’re primed and ready to go.

 

Your body’s internal clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, helps regulate many processes, including bowel movements.

 

That said, it’s still not clear how much of an impact these other factors have on stimulating your colon. More research in this area would help determine their significance.

 

Coffee can stimulate hormones

Coffee has also been shown to stimulate hormones that help push food through the gut.

 

For example, it can increase levels of the hormone gastrin. Like caffeine, gastrin makes the colon more active.

 

One study found that drinking regular or decaf coffee raised gastrin levels by 2.3 and 1.7 times respectively, compared to drinking water.

 

What’s more, coffee may raise levels of the digestive hormone cholecystokinin (CCK). Not only can this hormone increase the movement of food through the colon, but it’s also linked to the gastrocolic reflex, which makes the colon more active.

 

Milk or cream may promote bowel movements

Freshly brewed coffee is naturally free of additives and preservatives. However, over two-thirds of Americans stir in milk, cream, sweeteners, sugar or other additives.

 

In particular, milk and cream may promote bowel movements, as they contain lactose. Close to 65% of people worldwide cannot digest lactose properly.

 

People who are lactose intolerant experience symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps or diarrhea soon after consuming dairy.

 

This means lactose can trigger the urge to poop in people with lactose intolerance.

 

Does coffee make everybody poop?

According to one leading study on this topic, 29% of participants experienced an increased urge to poop within twenty minutes of drinking coffee.

 

Surprisingly, 53% of all the women in the study were affected by this urge. Women may be more prone to this symptom, as digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are more common in women than in men.

 

While the post-coffee urge to go appears to be common, it doesn’t affect everyone.

 

In addition, it’s not clear if this symptom fades away in regular drinkers.

 

People with IBS and older adults may be more prone to it because their bowels are more sensitive to the effects of coffee.

 

Those who are lactose intolerant may also be affected by this symptom if they add milk, cream or other dairy products to their coffee.

 

The bottom line

Coffee contains a variety of compounds that may stimulate your bowels. These include caffeine, chlorogenic acids and N-alkanoyl-5-hydroxytryptamides. Adding milk or cream may further increase this effect, especially if you’re lactose intolerant. However, it’s unclear which of these has the greatest impact. If you struggle to go to the bathroom regularly, a cup of coffee may be the solution.

 

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-does-coffee-make-you-poop#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7

WORD BANK:

stimulant /ˈstɪm.jə.lənt/ (n): chất kích thích

trigger /ˈtrɪɡ.ɚ/ (v): gây ra

contraction /kənˈtræk.ʃən/ (n): cơn co thắt

colon /ˈkoʊ.lən/ (n): đại tràng

intestinal /ˌɪnˈtes.tɪn.əl/ (adj): thuộc về đại tràng

bowel /ˈbaʊ.əl/ (n): ruột

morning cup of joe (n): một cốc cà phê yêu thích

pick-me-up /ˈpɪk.mi.ʌp/ (n): thứ khiến bạn tỉnh táo

antioxidant /ˌæn.t̬iˈɑːk.sɪ.dənt/ (n): chất chống oxy hóa

jump-start /ˈdʒʌmp.stɑːrt/ (v): khởi động

poop /puːp/ (v): đi ị, đi tiêu

brew /bruː/ (v): pha (đồ uống)

energy booster (n): chất tăng lực

rectum /ˈrek.təm/ (n): trực tràng

digestive tract (n): đường tiêu hóa

decaf coffee /ˈdiː.kæf/ (n): cà phê không chứa caffein (đã lọc caffein)

compound /ˈkɑːm.paʊnd/ (n): hợp chất

stomach acid (n): axit dạ dày

churn /tʃɝːn/ (v): khuấy trộn

gut /ɡʌt/ (n): ruột

java /ˈdʒɑː.və/ (n – informal): cà phê

gastrocolic reflex (n): phản xạ dạ dày

induce /ɪnˈduːs/ (v): gây ra

prime /praɪm/ (v): châm mồi

circadian rhythm /sɝːˌkeɪ.di.ən ˈrɪð.əm/ (n): nhịp sinh học

stimulate /ˈstɪm.jə.leɪt/ [B2] (v): kích thích

intolerant /ɪnˈtɑː.lɚ.ənt/ (adj): không dung nạp

bloating /ˈbloʊ.t̬ɪŋ/ (n): đầy hơi

stomach cramp /ˈstʌm.ək kræmp/ (n): co thắt dạ dày

diarrhea /ˌdaɪ.əˈriː.ə/ [C2] (n): tiêu chảy

dairy /ˈder.i/ [B2] (n): sữa

urge sb to do sth /ɝːdʒ/ [C2] (v): thúc giục ai làm gì

irritable /ˈɪr.ə.t̬ə.bəl/ [C2] (adj): dễ bị kích thích

prone to sth /proʊn/ [C2] (adj): dễ bị làm sao


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