Does Iced Coffee Make You Poop? Know The Truth

Does Iced Coffee Make You Poop? Know The Truth

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Ever noticed if your “oh-so-delicious” iced coffee sends you scurrying to the nearest restroom more often than usual? There’s something you’re probably wondering: Does iced coffee make you poop? Let’s spill the beans on this somewhat delicate subject.

First off, let’s just acknowledge that this topic might raise some eyebrows, or even prompt a chuckle or two. After all, talking about poop isn’t exactly what you’d classify as ‘polite conversation’. But hey, we’re all friends here, right? And let’s be honest, it’s a question many of us have wondered in private. So why not get to the bottom of it (pun absolutely intended)?

Rest assured, we’ve brewed up a pot of research to answer your question.

Does Iced Coffee Make Me Poop?

Consider this: Everyone drinks coffee or iced coffee. However, it is only a few people who face the problem of excessive digestive disorder. This clearly means that the iced coffee isn’t the main issue.

Person holding starbucks Iced Coffee
Person holding Starbucks Iced Coffee

So, what exactly is the problem?

Iced Coffee can make you poop because of the level of caffeine in it and a few other aspects related to your consumption patterns and overall body health. Iced coffee can potentially make you poop but the reasons behind it are not linked to the cold temperature of the drink.

With that being said, let’s understand why your iced coffee is making you poop and how can you fix this problem without compromising on your favorite cold drink!

The Reason: Coffee’s Laxative Effect

Iced coffee contains certain compounds that have been shown to stimulate the colon, prompting a quicker passage of stool through the digestive system.

Digestive System
Digestive System
  • Caffeine Boost: Firstly, there is caffeine. It can boost not only your brain but also your bowels. This results in the movement of stuff in your intestines – like making you feel like you need to go poop. This sometimes gives you the feeling that you need to go poop sooner than you might expect.
  • Colon Activity: Caffeine acts like a mild laxative, sort of like a gentle push for your intestines. Caffeine speeds up activity in the colon somewhat like a mild laxative by increasing gastric acid secretion. This increase in stomach acid speeds up how fast things move in your colon.
  • Chlorogenic Acids: But wait, it’s not only caffeine’s fault. Coffee also has something called chlorogenic acids in it. These can also wake up your colon and make it more active, even if you’re drinking decaffeinated coffee (coffee with less caffeine). 

The Evidence: Multiple studies by National Library of Medicine and Frontiers in Nutrition found out that caffeine in coffee (both iced and regular) result in an increased digestive activity.

In addition to that, drinking cold liquids like iced coffee can trigger the gastrocolic reflex, which is a natural response where the stomach and colon become more active after consuming food or beverages. This can lead to an increased urge to have a bowel movement.

Does Everyone Feel This Way After Drinking Iced Coffee?

Well, not everyone experiences this effect. The body’s reaction to coffee, whether hot or iced, can vary greatly from person to person. 

Picture this: while some folks can chug several cups of coffee a day without so much as a grumble from their digestive system, others might find that even a tiny sip sends them sprinting for the restroom.

Can Too Much Coffee Lead to Diarrhea?

Drinking excessive amounts of coffee can indeed lead to diarrhea. This is because caffeine can stimulate the digestive system significantly, leading to faster-than-normal transit times in your intestines. 

If food and waste move through the intestines too quickly, it may not allow enough time for your body to absorb water, resulting in loose or watery stools – aka, diarrhea.

While everyone’s tolerance level for caffeine may vary, it’s generally recommended to limit your coffee consumption to no more than 3 to 4 cups a day to avoid the risk of diarrhea.

women sitting on toilet
Women Sitting on Toilet

What if I Drink Iced Coffee on an Empty Stomach To Avoid Pooping?

Empty Stomach
Empty Stomach

So, does iced coffee make you poop even on an empty stomach?

Yes, it quite possibly can. This is because your body digests food within 8 hours of consumption but you might feel an empty stomach even early. 

Although everyone’s body reacts differently to foods and drinks, you might find yourself rushing to the restroom regardless.

This is because it stimulates muscle contractions in the large intestine, which are similar to the contractions that occur after you eat a meal. So even if your stomach is empty, your intestines might not be so lucky.

How to Solve the “Poop Problem after Iced Coffee”?

Every problem has a solution, and so does this!

It is recommended to limit caffeine intake to no more than 400 milligrams per day, which is roughly equivalent to 4 cups of coffee. If you are facing any digestive issues, limit your consumption to 2 cups a day and see if the problem resolves. Consuming more than this amount may increase the likelihood of experiencing a laxative effect. 

Can adding milk or cream to my iced coffee reduce its laxative effect?

Milk and cream, being dairy products, can sometimes slow down digestion due to their fat content. This could potentially lessen the laxative effect of your iced coffee. However, it’s not a surefire solution. Why?

Adding milk to Iced Coffee
Adding milk to Iced Coffee
  • Adding milk or cream to your iced coffee may help reduce its laxative effect but the results can vary greatly between individuals as some people have a faster metabolism rate compared to others.
  • If you’re lactose intolerant, it’s best to steer clear of adding any dairy products to your iced coffee as it can worsen the problem.

The Best Time to Drink Iced Coffee Without Feeling the Urgent Need to Poop

To save yourself from unwanted lavatory excursions, aim to drink your iced coffee at these specific times:

  • Mid-Morning: Your body’s cortisol levels are typically lower between 10:00 AM and 12:00 PM, which means your body is more likely to properly process the caffeine in your iced coffee. And yes, you guessed it, fewer bathroom breaks.
  • Early Afternoon: A little post-lunch pick-me-up, anyone? Drinking iced coffee between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM can give you that energy boost without upsetting your digestive system.

Fiber in Your Diet vs. Iced Coffee: Which One Can Help You Poop Better?

First off, let’s talk about what makes you ‘go’. The all-star in this poop-promotion game is, without a doubt, dietary fiber. It adds bulk to your stool and helps it move through your intestines smoothly, like a well-oiled machine. This is why mom always told you to eat your greens. They’re packed with fiber and can help keep things running smoothly down under.

Food with a High Fibre Content Labelled
Food with a High Fibre Content Labelled

Remember: A diet rich in fiber is a surefire way to promote regular bowel movements. But where does iced coffee factor into this equation?

Now, here is where it gets fascinating. While iced coffee doesn’t exactly contain fiber, it does have caffeine. Caffeine can stimulate the muscles in your digestive system to contract, which speeds up bowel movements. So, in a way, iced coffee can act like a sort of laxative.

Fiber:Adds bulk to your stool and helps it move smoothly through your intestines
Iced Coffee (Caffeine):Stimulates the muscles in your digestive system, speeding up bowel movements

At the end of the day, it’s not really a competition. Both fiber and iced coffee have their roles to play in your digestive health. Just remember to enjoy your iced coffee in moderation, and don’t forget to eat your veggies!

Tips for Reducing the Laxative Effect of Iced Coffee on Your Body

If you’re one of those folks who find themselves rushing to the bathroom after enjoying your favorite iced coffee, you’re probably wondering: “How can I still enjoy my icy cold brew without the…er…unexpected side effects?”

Here are a few tips that could help you reduce the laxative effect of iced coffee on your body:

1. Lower the Caffeine Content

Choosing a coffee with a lower caffeine content, like a decaf, could be a solution. But hey, if you’re one of those people who need that caffeine kick to jumpstart your day, this might not be the best option for you.

Read our guide to the caffeine content in different types of coffee to learn more.

2. Pair it with Food

Drinking coffee on an empty stomach can increase its laxative effect. So, pairing your iced coffee with a good breakfast or snack could help. Besides, who doesn’t love a good pastry with their coffee?

3. Drink it Slowly

Drinking your iced coffee too quickly can shock your digestive system, leading to a rush to the nearest restroom. Take your time, enjoy the flavors, and perhaps your digestive system will thank you for it!

4. Stay Hydrated

Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it can make you pee more, leading to dehydration. And guess what? Dehydration could speed up the transit of stool! So, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.


So, dare we ask, “Does iced coffee make you poop?” Well, the answer is a resounding “YES”. It’s clear that it’s not the icy temperature of the beverage causing your dash to the restroom, but rather the caffeine content. Just remember, every ‘body’ is different, and some may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine. A good rule of thumb is to listen to your own body and adjust your coffee consumption accordingly. It’s all about balance, right? You want that caffeine kick, but not the sprint to the loo. So, go ahead, enjoy that iced coffee, but perhaps with a bit more awareness of the potential…erm…consequences.

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