When you click on a product on DrippedCoffee.com and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Does Decaf Coffee Make You Poop? – Find Out the Answer!

The sun is out. Your alarm just went off. You are enjoying your coffee. A few minutes later, you felt the sudden urge to rush to the toilet. By this point, you start asking – does decaf coffee make you poop?

While coffee can bring a buzz to some people, for others, it is their ticket to the toilet. It might not take long before you are on a porcelain throne. Some might even consider it as a solution to constipation.

Will decaf coffee make you poop? Why? And more importantly, what can you do to prevent such? Read on and learn from the insights I will share.

Does Decaf Coffee Make You Poop?

a hot cup of coffee with a smoke

YES, decaf coffee can make you poop! It can happen with coffee in general. Some people might assume that it is caffeine to blame. However, even if it is decaf, coffee has a laxative effect.

Drinking coffee activates colon contractions. As a result, the colon pushes its contents to the rectum, which is the last part of the digestive tract. The increase in the activity of your intestinal muscles after your cup of joe is the culprit for the need to poop.

No need to worry though. It is not the same for all people. According to research, it happens to roughly 30% to 40% of the population. More so, with habitual consumption, your body might be used to it, feeling the less urge to poop after enjoying your coffee.

Reasons Why Decaf Coffee Makes You Poop

Now that you know that decaf coffee can make you poop, you’re probably interested to know why. Below, we’ll have a quick rundown of the possible reasons.

Milk or Cream

pouring cream into a cup of coffee

A lot of people love drinking their coffee with milk and cream. It is a great way to enhance the flavor, especially for those who prefer the drink sweeter or milder. While it improves the taste, milk and creamer can also be the reasons why you will poop after.

As they contain lactose, milk and creamer can stimulate bowel movements. Such is because of the inability of most people to properly digest lactose after its consumption. It can also result in other problems such as stomach cramps and bloating.

Artificial Sweeteners

Like milk and creamer, artificial sweeteners can also make your coffee taste better. However, you might want to think twice before adding it to your drink. It changes the balance of your gut bacteria and can also be the reason for your sudden bowel movement.

Many of the artificial sweeteners contain compounds like sorbitol, maltitol, sucralose, and aspartame. One of their most common effects is improper digestion, which can also make you defecate.

Hormones

As with anything else in your body, hormonal reactions can trigger unpleasant responses, and that includes pooping. It stimulates the production of a hormone known as gastrin. The latter allows your stomach to generate more digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid. As a result, your stomach contracts to stimulate digestion and make you poop.

Another hormone that decaf coffee activates is cholecystokinin. It makes food move freely in your colon. It stimulates bowel movement as it makes your colon more active.

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome is a problem in the large intestine. Some of the most common symptoms include abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and cramping. This chronic condition can result in diarrhea, which will make you poop.

While a lot of foods and drinks trigger this condition, decaf coffee is one of the potential culprits. Nonetheless, there is minimal research and evidence that confirms the link between the two.

Acidity

Decaf coffee may have lower acidity compared to its caffeinated counterparts, but that does not make it any less of a problem when it comes to triggering bowel movements. This will stimulate the production of gastric acid, which can irritate your stomach.

When there is too much acid in your digestive tract, the stomach fails to break down food properly. It also negatively impacts absorption. This can trigger diarrhea, and hence, you might poop even if the coffee is decaf.

Here’s What You Should Do

Decaf coffee stimulates bowel movements. Nonetheless, you are not in a hopeless situation! If you still want to enjoy this drink without an immediate trip to the bathroom, below are some of the best things to do.

Choose Low-Acid Decaf Coffee

As mentioned above, acidity is one of the major reasons why coffee makes you poop. During the process of decaffeination, the coffee loses phenolic acid, which is the one that is responsible for its acidity. Even so, you should still specifically buy ones that are marketed as low acid if pooping is a problem.

With a higher pH level, coffee becomes less acidic. It is especially beneficial for people who have a sensitive stomach. It delays or prevents an unwanted reaction.

Most of the best low-acid decaf coffees are from regions in low altitudes, such as Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Sumatra, and Brazil. Aside from the location, they have been through special processing techniques, such as slow roasting, to minimize the acidity.

Use the Right Sweetener

Because artificial sweeteners are to blame for decaf coffee making you poop, it is best if you become smarter with your choice of additive to your drink. If possible, drink your coffee without any sweetener. It might take a while before your taste buds can adjust, but this is an easy solution worth considering.

Another good thing to do is to switch to natural sweeteners. Adding a dash of honey can work if you want your decaf coffee to be a bit sweeter without making you poop.

Ditch the Milk and Creamer

As it is with using sweeteners, you might also want to let go of milk and creamer in your usual cup of coffee. It can prevent your stomach from being upset, especially if you are lactose intolerant. In turn, there is nothing that can trigger a run to the throne.

If you still want milk in your coffee, it is time to explore other alternatives. Some of the best non-dairy substitutes worth considering are almond and coconut milk.

Go For a Cold Brew Coffee

In recent years, various coffee styles and methods have been introduced. Among others, one of the most popular is the cold brew method. It may sound complicated, but it is an easy process that you can do without a trip to a fancy coffee shop.

To make cold brew coffee, you will first need to grind the decaf beans. Next, add water to the grounds and let it sit overnight. During the steeping, the coffee creates a strong brew by infusing in the water. After at least 12 hours, strain the coffee and enjoy.

Cold brew coffee is smooth and sweet, eliminating the need for artificial sweeteners, creamer, and milk, among other ingredients that can trigger bowel movements. It is also a great way to make your decaf coffee less acidic.

Find the Perfect Time

Proper timing is also a great solution to prevent pooping after drinking decaf coffee. It differs from one person to another. It is best if you experiment to determine the times that you are more prone to pooping after your coffee.

For a lot of people, their natural toilet time is in the morning. It is often a part of a daily routine. With this, you might want to try skipping your coffee early in the day. Try having it in the afternoon instead and see if the trick works.

If you still suffer from the same problem, then timing might not be the culprit. It could be the other things mentioned above.

In some cases, coffee is being used by some individuals to deal with constipation. Find out more about coffee enema, and if this is a safe practice.

Final Thoughts

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Whether you are starting your day or need a pick-me-up in the afternoon, you cannot go wrong with this drink. However, while caffeine can provide the buzz that you need, it can be bothersome to some people. Decaf is a great alternative. Nonetheless, even if your coffee is decaffeinated, there is still one potential problem—pooping.

It is not just caffeine that is responsible for bowel movements after consumption. You have other things to blame, such as the fact that coffee can lead to a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome and can affect your hormones. Not to mention, the acidity can also be the suspect. More so, using artificial sweeteners, milk, and cream are also significant triggers.

Tired of running to the bathroom after enjoying your decaf coffee? Some of the most promising solutions include drinking low-acid decaf coffee, changing your sweetener, forgetting about milk and creamer, going for a cold brew, and changing the time you drink coffee. While the results can vary from one person to another, such are some of the best things to do.

Avatar for Krista Haws

Known among her friends as 'the caffeine fiend', Krista loves all things coffee. From an extremely short, strong espresso to a 3 day cold brew, Krista loves them all.

Leave a Comment