Most people reach for a cup of coffee when they’re feeling sleepy. Did you know that you can also count on your favorite java if your digestive system is sluggish? This does not really come as a surprise because coffee is a stimulant, and it can stimulate not only your nervous system, but your GI tract as well!
Before we tackle the accelerating effects of coffee on the digestive system, it’s important to note that although the well-loved beverage offers certain benefits gut-wise, it can also cause some problems. But if you are planning on taking coffee in moderation — say, only a couple of cups a day — then unnecessary effects can be limited or dodged.
It Helps Make You Regular
We all know that consuming fiber-rich foods, drinking plenty of fluids and being physically active can keep constipation at bay. Are you aware that you can also enjoy regular bowel movement with the help of coffee?
Again, it has something to do with the fact that coffee, particularly its caffeine content, is a stimulant — it speeds up the movement of things. Naturally, the intake of coffee can accelerate the digestive system. This is exactly the reason why coffee has a laxative effect — it stimulates the emptying of the bowels.
But Some People End Up Constipated
However, it’s not always that the consumption of coffee can ward off constipation. In fact, in some cases it can actually cause constipation!
So what causes this? Let us not disregard the fact that coffee also has diuretic properties — it hastens the removal of water in the body by means of the kidneys. In other words, the intake of coffee can make you pee a lot. This, in turn, robs your colon of water. As earlier mentioned, one of the ways to stave off a bout of constipation is by drinking plenty of fluids. With your colon deprived of water, it’s not unlikely for constipation to strike.
The more cups of coffee you consume per day, the more water you pee. In other words, you are very much likely to suffer from constipation the more coffee you consume!
Drink Coffee and Observe
If you have been an avid coffee drinker for a long time now, then you already know whether or not coffee can trigger a bowel movement or leave you constipated. It’s also important to take note of the amount of coffee you consume per day as it has a direct effect on your GI tract bowel movement-wise.
Also, do observe the consistency of your stools. It is possible for you to still be regular even when drinking coffee, but you may notice that your stools are harder than usual, courtesy of the diuretic properties of coffee.
Another Perk and Some Other Downsides
Experts say that the consumption of coffee can help hamper the absorption of sugar by your digestive system. This is excellent news most especially for people who are trying to keep their blood glucose levels within the normal range! Also, it can be beneficial for people who are trying to lose excess pounds. With coffee’s stimulating effect on the metabolism plus its ability to limit sugar absorption, we have a clear winner here!
But especially in excessive amounts, coffee can bring some unwanted effects on the digestive system. For instance, it may exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux especially when it’s taken on an empty stomach. Also, experts add that the intake of coffee may keep the body from retaining certain minerals, such as calcium, zinc and magnesium.
Does the intake of coffee make you rush to the bathroom or have no bowel movement for days? Don’t feel embarrassed to share in the comments section below the well-loved beverage’s effect on your digestive system!