The American Chemical Society explains coffee's weirdest side effect.

Lindsey Murray
August 11, 2015

It’s no secret that coffee can lead to an urgent need for the bathroom. But what is it about your morning cup that makes you have to poop?

According to a recent video from the American Chemical Society, coffee's laxative effect is not fully understood. Many people blame the caffeine in coffee for moving their bowels, but the experts explain that if that were true, soda and energy drinks would have the same effect.

Instead, it's more likely the result of a complicated interaction between your digestive system and the  chemicals naturally found in coffee. First, the acid in coffee causes your stomach to itself produce more acid, and this in turn, increases the speed at which your stomach empties into the the intestines. Coffee also boosts the production of hormones that help move things along in your large intestine. What's unknown however is which of the 1,000+ chemical compounds found in coffee are responsible for this part.

Another fun fact: only about 3 in 10 people are affected by coffee in this way. So if coffee makes you poop, consider yourself special, the experts advise.

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