It’s a widely known fact that coffee makes you poop. In fact, there’s a reasonable chance you are sitting on the toilet as you read these very words. But are you ready to have your mind blown? Coffee doesn’t make everyone poop.

According to a recent article in Pop Science, only 30% of people feel the laxative effect of coffee. This number is disturbingly low-flow. What’s worse, this isn’t even new information. It’s all based on a study published back in 1990! This means a thing I have held to be universally true for years (and across many Expo events) has been provably not the case for longer than I have been believing it. In the study, researchers surveyed 99 “healthy young volunteers” ages 17-27 and found that only 19% of the men that took part reported experiencing coffee’s laxative effect while 52% of the women involved reported feeling both the get up and the go from a cup of coffee.

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Back in the pre-grunge days of science when this study was first published, no one was really sure why coffee did what it do to the portion of the population it worked its magic on, but as we reported last year, we here in the enlightened future we now know that  “coffee helps the muscles in the small and large intestines contract, which helps speed up food’s wait time in the digestive tract.”

Now, 99 subjects is a bit of a limited sample size, so we here at Sprudge are going to answer this question once and for all, with your help of course. Take our poll [poll closed]:

poll closed

At this point I don’t even know what’s real anymore. Coffee and poops was up there in the paired pantheon of certainty alongside cheese and crackers, Garth Brooks concerts and Ugg boots, or Airbnbs with clever hand lettered phrase posters. Now? I don’t know what’s real anymore. Certainly gives you a lot to ponder on during your next visit to the world’s best thinking spot.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

Top image based on art from Taro Gomi’s Everyone Poops

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