Coffee, for me, has become a necessity. It’s a part of my morning ritual. I’m pretty sure there’s more caffeine running through my veins than blood. Okay, that was an exaggeration. Yet, I can’t stress how important it has become for me as I’m sure it has for you as well. Not to mention the fact that it contains so many antioxidants and nutrients. A kick from some freshly brewed robusta beans gives me the energy needed to face the day. I tried going without coffee in the morning once. I slept on the bus on my way to college. I missed my stop and missed my first class. Yet there are times when I wish I could find a good substitute. For instance, did you know that coffee can make you poop? yes, it’s true! Why does coffee make you poop though?
For a long time, it was believed that the caffeine in the coffee is what makes us poop. But it has been found that even decaf coffee can do the same. Scientists do not even unanimously agree that coffee does make you poop. The studies done have shown conflicting results. Yet, some people believe that it does and even use coffee to keep their bowel movements regular.
Why does coffee make you poop?
Well, the phenomenon has been attributed to a number of reasons. For instance –
- It has been observed that caffeine can stimulate contractions in the colon and intestinal muscles. These contractions push the waste towards the rectum and this results in bowel movements.
- The fact that even decaf coffee can result in bowel movements, however, says that other compounds present in coffee are also responsible for the urge to poop.
- Some researchers have argued that coffee (both caffeinated and decaf) increases gastrin levels, a hormone that induces movements in the colon.
Be that as it may, if you are one of those people for whom coffee works as a laxative, there are several other alternatives you can try, such as –
- Green tea is calorie-free and contains less caffeine than coffee. It also has antioxidants and other healthy bioactive compounds. Since it has L-theanine, there will be no anxiety or jitters that you get from coffee.
- Dark chocolate also contains caffeine that will keep you alert and awake. Further, it has been found to aid digestion and improve brain function. It can also improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.
- Matcha tea is sorta like green tea, except that, unlike tea, whole leaves (dried and powdered) are consumed. It contains a higher concentration of caffeine than green tea and has antioxidants. Some studies show that it can protect your liver and even prevent cancer.
- Chicory root powder is often added to coffee to give it a different taste and texture. It contains no caffeine but in terms of taste, is closest to coffee.
- Chai is a traditional Indian tea that is brewed with both water and milk. It contains enough caffeine to give you a kick in the morning. It is a sweet and spicy beverage with a nice aroma that you’ll definitely like. It can improve heart health, decrease blood sugar levels, improve digestion and even help you lose fat.
- Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink that is naturally caffeinated and strong enough to wake you up. However, it will not give you the jitters that you get from coffee. It is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. It can give your energy a boost and even improve physical performance. It will improve focus and might even help you get rid of belly fat.
I personally am a fan of chai tea and often start my day with a hot cup of chai. Try them all and see which ones you like!