Why Does Coffee Make You Go to The Bathroom?
For many people, coffee is a significant part of their morning routine. Whether it’s used to give them an energy boost in the morning or unwind at night, coffee is often an essential aspect of getting through the day. But while some people seem immune to its effects and can drink it by the gallon, other people find themselves running for the bathroom shortly after sipping even just one cup.
Many assume that this means something wrong with their digestive system – but is that really what’s going on? Are they just extra sensitive to caffeine?
Does coffee make you go to the bathroom? While not everyone has the same reaction to coffee, caffeine has been shown to speed up the digestive process, resulting in trips to the bathroom. Additionally, caffeine also has a laxative effect on most individuals, adding a sense of urgency to these bathroom visits!
Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating issue!
What Is Coffee?
To understand why coffee makes you go to the bathroom, you first need to know exactly what coffee is. The main ingredient is the coffee bean, which is a seed.
Coffee beans are roasted to give the beverage its distinct flavor and aroma. However, this also causes them to lose their water content, making them more concentrated than they were before (and therefore more potent).
What Is Caffeine?
Coffee contains caffeine, which is what gives it that extra boost. Unlike many other stimulants like nicotine and cocaine, caffeine doesn’t make you feel like you’re on drugs.
For most people, it simply makes them feel more awake and alert. It’s designed to be safe for consumption by humans we tend to metabolize it pretty quickly, so it doesn’t stay in the body for long.
What Happens When You Drink Coffee?
Caffeine affects the central nervous system, which is why it has a stimulating effect on us. In small amounts, it stimulates the brain and increases thinking ability – but too much of it can have the opposite effect and make you feel anxious or jittery.
And as we’ve already discussed, caffeine will raise your heart rate and blood pressure.
Why Coffee Makes You Use the Bathroom
While many people do find themselves running to the bathroom shortly after drinking coffee, this usually isn’t due to anything being wrong with them.
The truth is that caffeine will speed up the digestive process – so if you didn’t go to the bathroom as quickly as usual, you’d probably end up with a lot of uncomfortable abdominal pain and bloating.
On the other hand, if you already have an issue with constipation, then caffeine can make that even worse.
And since we’re on the topic of digestion, caffeine also has a laxative effect: it stimulates your intestines. It can lead to diarrhea, especially when ingested along with large amounts of water (a big cup of coffee and a bottle of soda will do it).
However, this is usually only evident if consumed in excess; drinking one or two cups won’t cause any problems.
Many people who claim that drinking coffee makes them have to go to the bathroom may mean that it gives them a stomach ache or bloating, which does feel like going to the bathroom for some people.
And if you have irritable bowel syndrome, then caffeine can undoubtedly worsen your symptoms. It also increases intestinal gas production and reduces its absorption, which means that you’re more likely to let one slip – especially since this is often linked with abdominal pain.
So Does Coffee Make You Go To The Bathroom?
As you can see, there are both pros and cons to drinking coffee when it comes to your digestive system – but overall, it’s mostly beneficial.
Drinking coffee is unlikely to cause any major issues unless you already have stomach problems. And of course, if you’re worried about the effects it might be having on your body, then you should talk to a doctor about it.
Just remember that caffeine has its upsides too – and coffee shouldn’t affect your digestive system unless you’re very sensitive to it.
What Happens To My Body When Drinking Coffee?
When you drink a cup of coffee, your body enters into what’s referred to as the “Coffee Response”. One of the main active ingredients in your coffee beverage is caffeine, which has quite a significant effect on your neurotransmitters.
First, it binds to adenosine receptors – these are specialized proteins that usually attach to adenosine molecules and play a significant role in regulating sleep.
Adenosine tends to slow things down, so when its receptors are filled with caffeine molecules, this causes your organs and blood vessels to speed up. It also opens up blood vessels more widely throughout the body, allowing more oxygenated blood to reach your brain. This boosts focus and concentration temporarily, giving you an energy boost.
But while caffeine has this effect on your blood pressure, heart rate, and muscles, it’s also affecting something else – your digestive system.
How Coffee Affects Your Digestive System
There are plenty of other ways coffee can affect your digestive system – let’s dive into them briefly.
Coffee Contains Chlorogenic Acid
Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which slows down the absorption of sugar in the body. This may cause some people to experience higher than normal levels of glucose shortly after drinking their morning cup of Joe, forcing things through at a faster pace than usual and making everything move through you more quickly.
It also means that if you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, drinking coffee with each meal could be problematic for you because there’s a chance that your blood will be sweeter than it should be. If you’re pre-diabetic, this could trigger signs of diabetes (increased thirst, increased appetite, frequent urination), and if you have diabetes, this can cause your blood glucose to go too low – which is dangerous.
Coffee Stimulates the Enteric Nervous System
Coffee stimulates the enteric nervous system (the part of the nervous system that regulates digestive function).
Stimulating this system can lead to an increase in stomach acid production and may also speed up peristalsis (the contraction of intestinal muscles, which forces food through your body more quickly).
This means that coffee can make digestion less efficient because your body is working harder than it needs to – but it could also have some beneficial effects on constipation since the contractions are helping things move along.
Coffee Can Increase Heart Rate & Blood Pressure
Coffee tends to increase your heart rate and blood pressure – all of which can affect your digestive system. For example, if you’re prone to acid reflux or make too much stomach acid (which will be explained further below), this could trigger symptoms like indigestion or heartburn.
This is because the digestive tract is far closer to the opening of the esophagus than it should be. If you’ve ever experienced these symptoms after drinking coffee, they were most likely caused by this reason!
It’s also worth mentioning that high blood pressure may cause some people to feel bloated or uncomfortable in their midsection, even though they don’t seem like they’re retaining any water (this bloating may be more noticeable after eating).
Coffee Is a Diuretic
Coffee is a diuretic – meaning it increases the frequency of urination. If you notice that you need to go potty more frequently after drinking coffee, it’s because this diuretic effect means that your body is losing water through the increased number of times it’s getting rid of urine.
Remember: when you go to the bathroom, your body gets rid of waste and extra things like salt and water. This can contribute to feelings of dehydration and dried-out skin, but it may also affect intestinal function because you’re not holding onto as much fluid in your digestive tract, which helps food move along smoothly.
Coffee Is a Stimulant
Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Stimulants work by blocking chemicals in your brain called adenosine.
Adenosine does many things in your brain, but mainly it slows down nerve cell activity. When adenosine is blocked from doing this, you experience increased energy and may wind up feeling more anxious or jittery as a result.
This can cause your gut not to work as well as it should because the enteric nervous system and the part of your brain that regulates stress are very closely linked together.
If coffee makes you go to the bathroom more frequently, it may be because of any combination of the reasons listed above – not just one! And if you notice other effects, like constipation or bloating, those are caused by separate mechanisms. They might have nothing to do with why your gut seems sluggish after drinking a cup of Joe.
It’s worth being aware of all the different ways in which coffee can affect gastrointestinal function but don’t worry too much about it unless these symptoms are severe enough for you to notice them every time after having a cup!
How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?
According to the Center for Science in Public Interest, a safe amount of caffeine a day is 300 milligrams for healthy adults. That means a regular coffee drinker should have no more than four cups daily.
That’s about equal to two standard soda cans or nine Hershey kisses. Consuming too much can result in adverse side effects such as headaches and nausea.