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Does Decaf Coffee Make You Poop?

coffee in a white cup

If you’re a coffee drinker, then you probably already know that decaf coffee stands for coffee that has no caffeine in it. Many coffee lovers drink the low-octane version of coffee because caffeinated coffee gives them the jitters. Some coffee drinkers think that decaf coffee is also better for you, but that has yet to be scientifically proven.

The question at hand is, does decaf coffee make you poop? The answer is yes, it can make you poop. Decaffeinated coffee, just like caffeinated coffee, can increase bowel movement, so going to the bathroom after your first couple of cups in the morning is perfectly normal.

This may be surprising because decaf lacks caffeine, right? In this article, we’ll go into a little about decaf coffee and why it makes you poop just like a cup of regular joe can.

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Why Does Decaf Coffee Make You Poop?

While there are no scientific findings to support the fact that decaf coffee moves your bowels, research has shown that coffee can trigger a gastrocolic response where your hormones and brain play a role. After consuming that first cup of coffee in the mornings, your brain starts sending signals, and your hormone levels begin to change.

Those signals activate your nervous system and increase the motor movement in your colon. This seems to happen whether coffee is caffeinated or decaf.

woman holding a cup of coffee
Image Credit: Kira auf der Heide, Unsplash

Does Decaf Coffee Affect Everyone the Same?

While it is possible that decaf does make some coffee drinkers poop, it doesn’t affect every coffee drinker in that way. Just as every caffeinated coffee drinker doesn’t have a bowel movement after their cup of coffee, decaf is the same way.

What Are the Laxative Effects of Decaf Coffee?

Coffee, whether decaf or filled with caffeine, has a stimulating effect on your bowels. For some people, this could cause cramping, bloating, and diarrhea, but not for all coffee drinkers. Everyone is different, and some people who drink decaf coffee have no laxative effects at all.

a cup of coffee on a counter top
Image Credit: Matt Hoffman, Unsplash

Is Decaf Coffee Better for Your Stomach?

The answer to this question depends on how decaf coffee is prepared. If you add milk, cream, sugar, or other flavorings to your coffee, then there’s more of a chance that the coffee will aggravate your stomach. If you have problems with acid reflux, then decaf coffee, or any coffee for that matter, probably isn’t for you. It’s also thought that the first cup of coffee in the morning is the most apt to trigger bowel movements.

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Should You Avoid Drinking Decaf Coffee?

Are there some people out there who need to avoid drinking decaf coffee because it makes them poop? The answer to that question isn’t all that clear. If you have some type of stomach problem already, it might be better to switch to herbal tea instead of caffeinated or decaf coffee.

If you continue to have problems with bowel movements that are worse after drinking coffee, it’s time to stop drinking it. You can also make an appointment with your doctor to see if there’s an underlying problem that needs to be taken care of.

So, in answer to the question, does decaf coffee make you poop, the answer is yes. But, only for certain people. In other words, decaf coffee is just like anything else and affects some people differently than others. What about you? Does decaf coffee make you need to use the bathroom, or are you one of those coffee drinkers that it doesn’t affect at all?

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Featured Image Credit: Joakim Roubert, Pixabay

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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