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TFA Explains: Why your morning coffee makes you poo

by Nigel Chiwaya on April 17, 2012

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Stop me if this has happened to you before: you’re awoken by your alarm clock in the morning and you shamble out of bed to get your morning coffee. You start to feel more alert as you drink the cup while you get dressed. Then, right before you have to leave for work you get a powerful urge to use the bathroom. What gives?

The Magic Bean

The coffee bean is a magical little plant that has many powers. The caffeine in it makes you alert (if a little jittery), and coffee is known to contain antioxidants, help prevent cancer and might even decrease the risk of diabetes. But it also does something else.

It stimulates other parts

You know coffee is a stimulant (that’s why you drink it every morning). It works by blocking the cells in your brain that induce drowsiness. But it also stimulates your gastrointestinal tract, kicking your colon and sphincter into action. In fact some people can start feeling the effects as soon as four minutes after drinking a cup of joe.

It’s not just you

But don’t think you’re some sort of freakshow; this is an entirely natural thing. In fact, In a 1990 study on the effects of coffee, 29 percent of tested subjects (and 63 percent of female subjects) indicated that they felt the need to use the bathroom after drinking coffee.

But now that you how coffee works, don’t start drinking it when you’re having a hard time…err…going. Remember that coffee kicks your system into overdrive, so your body will absorb liquids out of your waste and can actually make it harder to do your thing. But for those of you that are regular, think of it as another way that coffee  gets you ready to start your day.

photo via dongga BS

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