Coffee – it really gets you going.

Okay, we’ve been on this wee blogging adventure for a few weeks now. I feel like we are friends enough that we can approach this sensitive topic….

Why do we have to poop when we drink coffee??

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Around 30% of people experience this effect. 

I’m sorry to say, I have bad news for you. No one actually knows the real reason that you get that urge to poop after your morning cuppa. However, there are some ideas floating around so I’m going to take you through some of these.

Studies have shown that only minutes (four to be exact) after having your morning coffee that your body starts to get moving. Again, no one is 100% sure why this happens. We know it isn’t due to the caffeine though, as the same effect has been seen when people drink non-caffeinated beverages.

Whatever it is in the coffee though, seems to activate your lower colon (also known as your distal colon). The coffee stimulates the productions of a hormone called gastrin, which is made in your tum. This hormone makes your stomach produce more acid which is a signal to your body that there are things to get rid of in there. It also seems to cause contractions of your stomach and intestines which has the same effect again.

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What is totally inside your body right now (and reacting to that coffee you just had). 

You may think that drinking more coffee would cause you to eventually lose all control of your digestive system, but actually, the more coffee you drink the less this effect is seen. Not only this but regular coffee drinkers also become immune to the diuretic effect (coffee=peeing) and don’t pee anymore than non-coffee drinkers.

These results may also be due to a psychological effects of your daily routine. Say you get up in the morning and drink a cup o’ coffee and then need to poop – this could be solely down to the time of day and your everyday routine rather than the actual coffee in hand.

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I’m hoping no one is using this as toilet reading material…

It’s also important to remember that milk can have this effect too on people who are intolerant to dairy – so this can be the cause in some people.

So, there you have it. Even if coffee doesn’t have this laxative effect on you – you know more now than you did four minutes ago.

 

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Adenosine and Caffeine, the impostor!!

Monday morning rolls around and it’s tough. Even after two full days to laze around and rejuvenate yourself – that early morning alarm kills. So you do what you always do, press dismiss, grit your teeth and reach for that cup of joe.

Caffeine is a vital part of coffee and is one the main reasons that people drink it so often and in such large quantities. Have you ever wondered how it stops you from being sleepy and why you need to keep drinking it to feel its effect?

The human brain consists of a variety of chemical reactions to keep it and you going throughout the day. It does this through a bunch of different chemicals. These molecules need to bind to their assigned receptors in order to work. Adenosine – a neuromodulator that helps you relax and wind down- builds up in quantity throughout the day which is why you (hopefully) wake up feeling refreshed and are ready to be tucked into bed by late.

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Adenosine binds with its receptors in the brain.

Caffeine however is a sneaky one. It is the same shape and size as adenosine and so when it enters the mix they compete. Caffeine binds to the same receptors which therefore blocks adenosine’s effects, stimulates your nerve cells and stops you from feeling tired.

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Caffeine enters the picture and steals adenosine’s spot.

There is a catch though with long term caffeine use, your brain cottons on and creates more adenosine receptors to combat it – meaning you have to have more caffeine in order to keep the sleepiness away.

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More receptors means more caffeine to keep you feeling alert.

Caffeine also has a half life of six hours inside your body which means after six hours it has half the effect that it did initially which is another reason why you need to keep having more throughout the day to keep you awake.

So now you know what is going on in your brain and why you feel so alert as you sip on your morning brew.

#SCIENCED