Q:

Does coffee act as a laxative?

A:

Quick Answer

The caffeine in coffee acts as a laxative by causing contractions in the digestive system, eventually producing a bowel movement. Other caffeinated beverages such as tea and soda may also produce these effects.

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Full Answer

Coffee is also a diuretic, which helps the body eliminate salt and water. However, coffee should not be used as a laxative because diuretics make stools harder and more difficult to pass. Doctors recommend insoluble fibers such as whole-grain breads and cereals to help ease constipation. Insoluble fibers add bulk to stools since the fibers don't dissolve in water. This makes the stools easier to pass through the intestines.

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