Here’s why drinking alcohol affects your pooping schedule — because you needed to know

Ever notice how things in your gut tend to get a bit weird after you’ve had a boozy night out? Maybe you have untimely diarrhea or you’re simply stuck on the toilet the next morning for a lot longer than usual. Sound familiar? Don’t worry. It’s pretty normal and it’s likely not a big deal, but there are a few general things you should probably know about how your bowel movements are affected by alcohol consumption.

First of all, know that post-cocktail diarrhea is pretty typical. Alcohol makes everything in your digestive tract work a little bit faster than usual and it also loads your body with a lot more fluids than it’s used to.

 Dr. Ali Keshavarzian, director of digestive diseases at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, tells BuzzFeed, "The increased transit time means there’s less time for absorption of water in the colon, so the stools are watery and come out as diarrhea."

That also means your normal pooping schedule is probably going to be thrown out the window. You’ll likely have to rush to the bathroom earlier than your normal allotted poop time, so it’s a good idea to stick close to a restroom because watery stool is harder to, um, control. Ever seen Bridesmaids? Yeah, you know what we mean.

There are a few other factors to take into consideration, one of them being the kind of food you eat when you’re drunk. Are you a greasy pizza kind of girl? A falafel queen? An ice cream sandwich fiend? More often than not, we end up reaching for the richest, cheesiest, fattiest foods we can get our paws on when we’re a bit tipsy (come on, you have to admit that fresh strawberries just don’t taste that good when the bars are closing). Indigestion and/or diarrhea may be in your near future if this is the case, so don’t be alarmed when your BM routine briefly gets thrown out of whack.

Of course, if you have any preexisting gut issues, like a form of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), the alcohol will cause an even greater amount of inflammation in your gut, so proceed with caution. If your weird poop symptoms persist for more than a couple days, reach out to a doctor immediately and see what else is going on down there. Although booze isn’t the best thing for your intestines, it shouldn’t make you suffer for an extended period of time.

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