I love coffee, I think there’s something about the act of making it, choosing it and there is an etiquette to drinking it. Don’t get me wrong I’m true to my roots and will always choose tea to unwind with, but when it comes to socialising, business or post workout Coffee is my go-to drink.
But I’m not here to talk about the joy and delicacies of coffee, I’ll leave that to the professionals, instead I want to talk about why it makes us need the bathroom.
The fact is, coffee is a stimulant for the mind, this is the result of the caffeine in the coffee, it will keep you awake during your afternoon slump and in turn, many believe that the caffeine is what makes them need the loo, but remember for every 100g of coffee there is 40mg of caffeine and although a brewed tea has just half of that amount (20mg of caffeine in 100g of tea) your not always left running for the toilet, so what’s the deal?
Coffee contains a chemical called “chlorogenic acid” and it’s predominantly found in coffee, black tea and prunes. This natural chemical is what stimulates the bowels gastrocolic reflex, this reflex is stimulated by serotonin (the happy hormone) which in turn is produced when eating or drinking, in this case coffee.
So can I use it like a stimulant laxative?
The quick answer is yes and no. Drinking coffee for the sole reason to keep regular is not good, the bowel will become dependent on outside stimulation and becomes lazy; even though it is healthier than stimulant laxative. I understand everyone needs a little help now and then and making a strong coffee should not be a problem for those times but always ask yourself a question of why was I constipated in the first place, this will be prevent any long term problems and will stop you from needing the extra help .
What if I order decaf will I still have the same effect?
The answer is yes, decaf only removes the caffeine so it doesn’t hinder you from sleep, or other medical issues. It will still contain chlorogenic acid.
IBS D and Coffee
If you suffer from IBS it is best to be avoided. With regards to those who suffer with IBS you already have a hyperactive gastric reflex and drinking coffee will only exacerbate the flare ups, and make finding a toilet in T-minus 8 seconds a challenge to say the least. It can also cause bloating and inflammation which nobody wants.