If you’re a regular coffee drinker, then you’ll know that coffee doesn’t just give you the boost you need to get you going in the morning.
It also gives you the boost you need to get you going in the morning, especially if you’re drinking the good stuff.
The laxative powers of coffee are so well known that you can purchase hundreds of variations of “Coffee Makes Me Poop” mugs online.
You shouldn’t…but you can.
Most people chalk it up to caffeine, but it turns out that we don’t really know why it happens.
Which is why scientists did what scientists do best when it comes to a mystery – they gave coffee to rats.
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston fed their rats a tiny cup of joe for three days straight, with different groups getting both caffeinated and decaf coffee.
Then, the researchers checked the downstairs plumbing of the rats with a physical examination and probe, focusing on the muscles that contract and help guide food (and eventually waste) through the gut.
Lastly, they also studied how muscle tissues from the gut directly reacted to coffee in the lab. Their results were clear: muscles in the small and large intestine were more able to contract post-coffee, meaning things could move faster along the gut.
They found that coffee has a stimulating effect on the gut, but it isn’t caffeine-dependent. The rats who drank decaf experienced the same urge to poop.
In addition, many soft drinks contain plenty of caffeine, but they don’t cause the same bodily reaction.
Still, the study was good news for coffee drinkers, and “research has suggested that coffee can positively affect our overall colon health and lower the risk of colon cancer”.
That, the fact that your co-workers now find you more bearable, and the sweet relief of regular bowel movements.
For more on this rather delicate topic, we go to the Washington Post:
It’s possible that the acidity of coffee is the key: Coffee has a compound called chlorogenic acid that triggers higher stomach acid levels and also higher production of gastric acid. It could be that the overall acidity bump makes the stomach dump its contents out more quickly than usual. Something in coffee may also trigger the release of hormones that aid digestion, which would speed up bowel movements. But it’s not clear which of the hundreds of chemicals found in a cup of coffee are responsible for that boost.
Personally, I don’t care what causes it. I’ve watched enough embarrassing adverts about “staying regular” to know that a morning bathroom session is a good thing.
And if it doesn’t involve bran, even better. That’s bran as in “All Bran Flakes”, not Bran Stark, although he can stay out of it, too.
While we’re on the topic – coffee might make you crap, but there really is no reason to drink crap coffee. Life’s too short for that kind of nonsense.
Because we appreciate the finer things in life, we’re enjoying Importers Coffee, which is the oldest coffee brand in the Western Cape. The company imports top quality coffees from the world’s leading equatorial coffee growing regions.
To get your daily cup (or five) you can stop by their famous shop in Newlands, grab a cup at Café du Cap (113 Loop Street), or stock up on their pods and beans to use at home.
You can even win one of their coffee machines, as well as 100 coffee pods to get you up and running, by entering our competition on Instagram.
It’ all very simple – just head here to enter.
May your coffee always be high quality, and your gut well looked after.
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