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Stop Running to the Bathroom: How to Reduce the Urges After Drinking Coffee

Why Coffee Makes You Poop:

Caffeine Content:

One of the most obvious reasons why coffee makes you poop is the caffeine content. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase the activity in your colon and accelerate bowel movements.

In fact, caffeine is known to have a laxative effect on the body, which is why many people choose to drink coffee as a natural remedy for constipation. However, too much of a good thing can have negative consequences, and caffeine is no exception.

If you’re already dealing with diarrhea, drinking coffee can make things worse.

Coffee Acids:

Another factor that can contribute to coffee’s poop-inducing effects is the presence of certain acids, such as chlorogenic acids.

These acids can stimulate the production of gastric acid in the stomach, increase the rate of digestion, and cause the intestines to contract, which can result in faster bowel movements. For individuals who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), these acids can be particularly troublesome as they can irritate the digestive system and exacerbate symptoms.

Dairy, Sugar, and Extras:

While coffee on its own can have a laxative effect, the addition of certain dairy products, sweeteners, and creamers can exacerbate the problem. Lactose intolerance, for example, is a common condition that can cause digestive problems when consuming dairy products, which may lead to diarrhea.

Similarly, sweeteners such as sorbitol and fructose can cause bowels to loosen and lead to diarrhea, and creamers that contain milk or fat can slow down digestion and make stool harder to pass.

How to Stop Coffee from Making You Poop:

1. Drink Less Coffee:

One of the easiest ways to reduce the urge to poop after drinking coffee is to drink less coffee.

Consuming large quantities of caffeine in one sitting can cause bowel movements to accelerate, so decreasing your caffeine intake can help to regulate your bowel movements. Alternatively, you can switch to low-caffeine beverages such as tea.

While most teas contain a small amount of caffeine, they are often less harsh on the digestive system than coffee.

2. Switch to Decaf:

Another way to reduce coffee’s laxative effect is to switch to decaf coffee.

Decaffeinated coffee contains significantly less caffeine than regular coffee, which means that it will have a milder effect on the digestive system. However, it’s important to note that decaf coffee still contains some caffeine, so it may still stimulate bowel movements to some extent.

3. Stop Using Milk or Creamer:

As we mentioned earlier, dairy products can worsen the effects of coffee on the digestive system. If you’re lactose intolerant or have other digestive problems, you may want to avoid using milk or creamer in your coffee altogether.

Instead, consider using non-dairy alternatives such as almond milk or coconut milk.

4. Drink Coffee After Your Regular Bathroom Time:

Timing is everything when it comes to coffee and bowel movements.

If you’re someone who has a regular bowel movement routine, try drinking coffee after you’ve gone to the bathroom. This will help to reduce the chances of coffee accelerating bowel movements at an inconvenient time.

5. Avoid Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach:

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can cause the stomach to produce more acid, which can irritate the digestive system and cause diarrhea. If you’re prone to experiencing these effects, try eating a small amount of food before drinking coffee.

This will help to slow down digestion and prevent the acid in coffee from irritating your stomach.

6. Go for Low Acid Coffees:

Finally, opting for low-acid coffees may be a good option for individuals who are particularly sensitive to coffee’s effects on the digestive system.

Low-acid coffees are made from beans with lower acidity levels, such as Arabica, Robusta, and beans grown in regions such as Brazil, Nicaragua, or Sumatra. Darker roasts are also typically lower in acidity than lighter roasts.


In conclusion, coffee can have a laxative effect on the digestive system due to its caffeine content, coffee acids, and additives such as dairy and sweeteners. If you’re looking to reduce the urge to poop after drinking coffee, you can try drinking less coffee, switching to decaf, avoiding dairy and sweeteners, timing your coffee consumption differently, eating before drinking coffee, or drinking low-acid coffee.

With some experimentation and tweaking, you can continue to enjoy your morning cup of coffee without running to the bathroom. In conclusion, coffee can have an inevitable impact on the digestive system due to its caffeine content, coffee acids, and additives.

However, there are several ways to minimize the urge to poop after drinking coffee, such as drinking less coffee, switching to decaf or low-acid coffee blends, avoiding dairy and sweeteners, timing coffee consumption differently, eating before drinking coffee, and practicing caffeine moderation if experiencing constipation. It’s crucial to understand how coffee impacts your bowel movements and explore solutions that work best for you to continue enjoying your favorite beverage without interfering with your daily routine.

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