All of us, when we drink a cup of coffee, feel, within minutes, the need to go to the bathroom . Why does it happen? Why does coffee exert a power over our bladder? To answer the question, the HuffPost news portal spoke with some experts. Check out, now, what the professionals said about this intrinsic journey that starts with a simple sip.
the first sip
As the HuffPost news portal reported, everything you swallow goes straight into your stomach. In the meantime, any food you eat – whether liquid or solid – can stay in your stomach for five minutes to more than an hour. Obviously, liquids are quicker to digest than solid foods and that’s exactly why we feel, for example, a sudden urge to urinate when drinking coffee.
According to Lisa Anderson, associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at the University of Minnesota, United States, the body begins to work on digesting a cup of coffee immediately when the stomach is empty. “In this case, the fluid passes through the stomach, kidneys and bladder in a rapid interval of time. This only occurs with coffee, which is different from some other beverages”, explains the professional.
“The small intestine uses osmosis to absorb fluid, using energy to suck up sodium and other electrolytes,” Anderson told HuffPost. “Since the polyphenols and other molecules present in coffee are all lipid-soluble, this means that the liquid is more easily lining the gastrointestinal tract.”
“Once the fluid reaches the bladder, our body’s sensors begin to signal that our bladder is filling up,” Anderson said. “This triggers signals to the urination center in the brainstem, which is in the same region as other centers that perform other types of alert, such as indicating thirst or hunger.”
Coffee speeds up the digestion process because caffeine provides extra stimulation to the detrusor muscle, a smooth muscle in the bladder wall that contracts when urination is needed. For experts, this process becomes even faster if you have an overactive bladder.
“Caffeine irritates the bladder, and when the bladder is irritated, it starts to contract,” said Rena Malik, urologist and director of pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “This contraction is what gives you that feeling we urologists call ‘urgency,’ which is the sudden urge to go to the bathroom that you can’t put off.”
According to Malik, those who consume large amounts of coffee may develop some resistance.
coffee and more coffee
Caffeine is a diuretic, therefore, according to information made available by the HuffPost portal, this means that the kidneys suck more fluid from the body than was consumed, which can probably lead to dehydration.
“Caffeine’s diuretic properties depend on the level of consumption,” Anderson said. “You generally need to ingest more than 400 mg of caffeine to have a significant impact on your body’s fluid balance.”
For Malik, the best way to find out if his body is dehydrated from the high doses of coffee ingested, is to check the color of his urine. “If it’s dark yellow, you need more fluid in your system,” said the professional.