Do you find that almost immediately after a cup of coffee, you need to run to the loo? It turns out, you’re not alone. In fact, one study found that just under 30% of participants need to use the toilet within 20 minutes after drinking coffee.
While it may not be convenient, especially if you’re more likely to drink coffee on-the-go, it is entirely normal, especially if you have a sensitive bowel or a condition like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Why coffee makes you need to poo
So, there are a couple of reasons but it mostly comes down to caffeine. Of course, coffee can be a great energy boost in the morning but it can also stimulate the urge to go number two. According to studies, caffeine can activate contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles.
These contractions in the colon then push contents towards the rectum, the final stage in your digestive tract leading to your race to the loo!
Additionally, if you like a milky coffee or even just add a dash, this could be problematic for you too. Almost 65% of people worldwide cannot digest lactose properly (I KNOW) and for those people, the urge to run to the toilet could be a combination of their lactose intolerant and caffeine or simply just lactose intolerance rearing its ugly head.
Finally, if you have IBS, caffeine can actually cause a flareup for you, leading to more toilet instances and bowel discomfort. Experts recommend that people with IBS try to drink coffee with milk alternatives or opt for tea instead.
When is the best time to drink coffee?
So, there’s no way to stop the effects that coffee has on you permanently but there are actually times in the day that are best to get your caffeine hit and sorry to say, it’s not in the first hour of the day. In fact, waiting an hour or two can make a big difference to your health and mean that you can plan for that morning rush (to the loo) a little better.