Originally appeared in the article, "Yes, Caffeine Can Seriously Impact Your Gut Health—Here’s How," by Alondra Segoviano in Well + Good on June 1, 2022.

Whether you absolutely love the taste of your morning latte or you simply need a pick-me-up during the workday, we can all agree that caffeine offers energy-boosting benefits that keep us coming back for more.

Surprisingly enough, however, caffeine may also offer gut-boosting benefits that can help with gut motility—when food travels through the digestive tract through a series of muscular contractions called peristalsis—and in a handful of other ways. “Caffeine can potentially change the makeup of the gut microbiome by reducing the growth of harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of good bacteria,” says Ali Rezaie, MD, a California-based gastroenterologist and Author of The Microbiome Connection. “[Caffeine] can also regulate the movement of the gut and bowel movements which improve the gut microbiome.”

Like so many things in life, however, the relationship between caffeine and gut health is all about moderation—as well as one's specific microbiome and caffeine sensitivity. According to Dr. Rezaie, caffeine also has the potential to negatively impact your gut, which can lead to undesirable side effects.