Does Caffeine Act as a Laxative?

Caffeine is a drug that can have many effects on your body 3. For instance, because it can cause your gastrointestinal muscles to contract, caffeine has a laxative effect. While some individuals may use the caffeine in coffee for this effect, too much caffeine can also cause sufficient fluid loss to dehydrate you.

How It Works

Caffeine speeds up your overall metabolism, including the processes of digestion and elimination. In small amounts, it stimulates digestive activity and bowel movements, and in large doses, caffeine can cause:

  • pain
  • nausea
  • diarrhea

Nutrient Loss

Not only can large amounts of caffeine cause fluid loss and dehydration through diarrhea and increased urination, they can also result in the loss of important vitamins and minerals you obtain through dietary sources. Calcium and vitamins like those in the B family are examples of essential nutrients that can be lost. This can result in long-term detrimental effects on your body if you are in the habit of consuming large amounts of caffeine regularly.

Other Side Effects

Caffeine has many other side effects, such as:

  • headache
  • elevated blood pressure
  • bladder irritation
  • sleep disturbances
  • anxiety
  • increased stomach acid
  • gastric reflux
  • heartburn

If you have chronic heartburn, gastritis or peptic ulcers, you should avoid caffeine. In addition, by overstimulating the adrenal glands, caffeine can cause you to suffer from persistent fatigue.

Additional Information

The amount of caffeine varies widely among different products. Oral medications can contain 200 milligrams of caffeine per dose 3. You should not take more than 1,600 milligrams in 24 hours, according to Drugs.com.

The Wrap Up

In small amounts, it stimulates digestive activity and bowel movements, and in large doses, caffeine can cause pain, nausea and diarrhea. While some individuals may use the caffeine in coffee for this effect, too much caffeine can also cause sufficient fluid loss to dehydrate you. While some individuals may use the caffeine in coffee for this effect, too much caffeine can also cause sufficient fluid loss to dehydrate you.

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