Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop?

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? 6 Reasons Why!

Image Credit: JIP (Creative Commons License)

I thought it was only me. I thought I was the only weakling unable to metabolize Taco Bell food 9 out of 10 times. Why does Taco Bell make you poop? I’d often wonder in silence. 

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I found a term called “Taco Bell shit” on Urban Dictionary. Apparently, I’m not the only one. 

Taco Bell shit is described as “shit so large, so powerful, so smelly that it can only have been caused by eating Taco Bell.” I had a good laugh.

Laughs aside, I was genuinely curious why Taco Bell makes you poop. So I put on a thinking cap, grabbed a cup of coffee, and sat down for Google research. 

The first thing I realized was that a lot of people have had diarrhea after snacking at Taco Bell – there was more to it than just mere coincidence. And the second thing I noticed was that Taco Bell is often associated with loose motions as a racist, xenophobic joke or meme, which I don’t like and don’t approve of. 

Cutting to the chase, I have deduced a few reasons why Taco Bell food makes you poop. I researched and researched some more to come up with viable and probable reasons to answer the question of the century!

Let’s have a look!

Table Of Content

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop?

Taco Bell can make you poop for several reasons. The fructose and caffeine in their drinks and gluten, grease, and spices in their food can trigger a bowel movement. It could also be due to too much fiber from the beans or an allergic reaction to cheese or sour cream.

So, you see, we cannot put the finger on just one reason why Taco Bell makes you poop. It could be because you’re lactose intolerant, you can’t eat spicy, hot food, or your meal just had too much fructose, caffeine, or fiber! 

Moreover, not everyone reacts to the same things in their food. Therefore, there could actually be more than one menu item giving you the urgent need to find a restroom.

But before we discuss these reasons in detail, let’s discuss the hows and whys of pooping.

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The Science Of Pooping 

Poo poo, feces, or simply what’s left after your intestines absorb nutrients and fluids from food, the stool has one too many names.  

When the feces pass through the digestive tract, the small intestine secretes water to moisturize the poop, so it passes through your intestine easily. Later, that water is reabsorbed by the large intestine. 

So, when the correct amount of water is first secreted and then absorbed, the poop comes out solid and lumpy.

But if too much water was secreted or not enough water was absorbed, the stool becomes runny – also known as diarrhea. Likewise, if the water secreted is less but absorbed is more, you feel constipated. 

For this article, let’s concentrate on the first case – diarrhea. You see, there are 2 kinds of diarrhea: osmotic diarrhea and secretory diarrhea. 

Osmotic diarrhea occurs when the water in your colon contains so many non-water particles that they prevent the water from being reabsorbed. On the other hand, secretory diarrhea occurs when the small intestine is stimulated to secrete more water than necessary. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Might Be The Spice!

Credit: Norbert Nagel

A lot of items on Taco Bell’s menu are hot and spicy. The ingredients responsible for it contain a compound called capsaicin. So the peppers contain capsaicin, making them spicy. 

Capsaicin is also an irritant, the reason you feel a burning sensation when eating anything spicy. So, what capsaicin does is that it binds to and activates your TRPV1 receptors. 

TRPV1 has numerous bodily functions to perform, but one of its main tasks is regulating temperature. When the TRPV1 present in your gastrointestinal (GI) system is triggered by capsaicin, the GI system cramps up. 

What happens is that the GI system is stimulated more than usual and gets things going faster – making you want to poop right away!

And by the way, TRPV1 receptors are present in your anus too. So, the capsaicin that wasn’t absorbed by your body during digestion is excreted. That’s why it burns. 

If you believe the spice might be causing the issue, make sure to order milder sauce, keep the sauce on the side, or just forgo hot sauce altogether. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Could Be The Dairy!

Sour cream and cheese are the staple ingredients in any taco, burrito, quesadilla, chalupa, Crunch wrap, or Gordita. I can’t imagine these dishes without the cheesy, creamy toppings. 

However, do you know more than 60% of the population in North America has lactose intolerance? Those with lactose intolerance cannot fully digest the sugar (lactose) in milk. 

The main problem with lactose intolerant folks is that they’re missing the enzyme responsible for breaking down the lactose. 

So, as a result, they have diarrhea, gas, and bloating after eating or drinking dairy products. This condition is known as lactose malabsorption, which is usually harmless, but well, the symptoms can be uncomfortable. 

The urgent need to find a bathroom right after eating dairy is not convenient at all. 

Unfortunately, our bodies tend to stop producing this enzyme as we grow old. So, the milk sugars don’t get digested as easily. As those sugars pass through the digestive tract, they cause indigestion, bloating, and gas. And naturally, you’ll feel a strong urge to poop. 

If you think lactose is causing the problem, you can simply ask them to leave off the cheese and sour cream. 

Bear in mind that cheese has a lot less lactose than sour cream. Therefore, people with just mild lactose intolerance can easily digest cheese without any problem. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Could Be The Beans!

Another usual suspect that forces you to make a trip to the bathroom right after having a Taco Bell meal is beans. Yes, beans – that we all know and love as wholesome and healthy food. 

Beans are packed with fiber, and that’s great for your guts. But there’s one small hiccup – many folks have difficulty breaking down the fiber.

Just a cup of beans contains over 10 grams of fiber, which is crazy! 

And fiber is known to attract water in the digestive system to form a gel-like consistency, softening the stool and making it easier to pass. 

So, this is the reason some folks have to race to the bathroom as soon as they snack at Taco Bell. 

Beans also contain an oligosaccharide carbohydrate, which isn’t digested until it reaches the colon. In the colon, it becomes food for the bacteria that live in your digestive tract, causing some gassing and bloating. 

So, if you think beans could be the guilty party, all you have to do to eliminate this nuisance is ask them to leave the beans out of your dish. 

Even better, order a meal that doesn’t have beans in the first place. You could try Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Beef Quesarito, Beefy Fritos Burrito, Beefy Nacho Griller, and Crunchwrap. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Could Be The Beef!

Credit: Geoffreyrabbit (CC License)

Beef is a staple on many Taco Bell items and most likely the ingredient that’s making you poop non-stop. Red meat, like beef, contains fiber, and we have already discussed how fiber makes you poop. 

Just a quick recap: fiber helps draw water into the colon and add bulk to your stool’s softness, allowing it to pass smoothly through the digestive system. 

On top of that, many people don’t have enough stomach acid to properly break down and digest generous amounts of animal fat and protein. 

This one person on Reddit commented that it could also be due to the combination of beef and spice. So, perhaps, getting a milder beef taco next time would be a good choice. 

If you believe beef is making you poop at inconvenient times, you can ask them to replace it with seasoned chicken instead. 

Or you could try eating food that doesn’t feature beef at all, like Cheesy Roll-up and Cheese quesadilla.

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Could Be The Drink!

Credit: JIP (CC License)

What’s your favorite drink to order at Taco Bell? Mine is Diet Pepsi and iced coffee. Both these drinks are super low on calories, but do you know they come with a generous serving of caffeine? 

Caffeine sends a signal to your tummy to release gastrin. As a result, it kicks off a wave of contractions in the gut called peristalsis. So, what does peristalsis do? It moves food and liquid through the intestines.

And for some people, this leads to a trip to the washroom within a span of just a few minutes. 

Also, several studies have proved that caffeine activates contractions in the colon and the intestinal muscles. The contractions in the colon push the stomach’s contents towards the rectum, the final section of your digestive tract. 

Apparently, caffeine can make the colon over 60% more active than water and 23% more active than decaf coffee.

So, if you suspect it’s the drink that’s making you poop right after your trip to Taco Bell, you might want to experiment by giving it a miss. Just stick to a regular cup of water or orange juice. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Could Be The Grease!

It’s no surprise that most items on Taco Bell’s menu are greasy, as with most fast food chains. 

Unfortunately, greasy food will trigger gastrocolic reflexes in the gut. In most cases, food with large amounts of unhealthy fats increases the pressure of contraction of the gastrocolic reflex. 

Moreover, fatty foods are not absorbed properly. They often make their way down to the colon, where they get broken down to fatty acids, causing the colon to produce fluid and trigger diarrhea. 

So, these are just a few reasons why you feel the urge to use the bathroom right after eating fried and greasy food at Taco Bell. 

Well, to the surprise of nobody, Taco Bell has more than one item on the menu that fits the bill. 

According to USDA, the daily intake of saturated fat should be limited to less than 10% of the calories consumed per day. So, assuming a regular person consumes 2000 calories daily, the food should ideally contain no more than 22 grams of saturated fat. 

And guess what? There are at least 27 items on Taco Bell’s menu that contain at least 10 grams or more of saturated fats. So if you’re someone like me who prefers combo or value meal packs, you will max out the daily intake of saturated food in no time. 

So, what can you do? Try sticking to just one item at a time while ordering at Taco Bell. 

While researching on the subject, I came across several people who shared their poopy experiences after a Taco Bell meal. On the contrary, there were just as many people who strongly believed it was all just a joke, a meme – a racist one at that. 

I have pooled together some of the comments below for you to see. They’re quite entertaining. 

Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? Real Answers By Real People!

“Taco Bell does not cause any more pooping than any other fast food chain. These rumors come especially from drunk/hungover people who’ve combined Taco Bell with booze or people with a weak digestive system.”

 “If greasy food, spicy food, or food consumed when you’re drunk makes you shit, you’ll shit. Or else, you should be fine.”

“Well, because Taco Bell is greasy as hell. If your body isn’t used to eating grease on a regular basis, it will have a hard time digesting it.”

“Spiciness has nothing to do with the poop. Just ignore the gringos. Taco Bell is milder than mayonnaise.

“Like most fast food, Taco Bell is terribly greasy and fatty. Therefore, it can cause some gastrointestinal distress.”

“Taco Bell sells spicy food. A compound called capsaicin can cause you to have digestive problems in my experience.”

“Most people don’t need to poop right after Taco Bell. otherwise, the FDA, local health authorities, and news outlets would be all over them.”

“You are perhaps sensitive to the spices they use there.”

“In my experience, you get diarrhea easily when you order food with refried beans.”

“I love Taco Bell, but I believe they changed the meat ingredients some 20 years ago. Their current meat has oats as filler, to which I’m severely allergic.”

“Taco Bell doesn’t trigger poop for me. But it does give me heartburn and activates my acid reflux.”

“The only Taco Bell item that doesn’t cause diarrhea for me is their beef fajita soft tacos. It includes just chunks of beef and flour-based tortillas – so, I’m able to cope.”

“Taco Bell’s ground beef caused me to poop. Steak and chicken don’t do it. There’s this certain additive present in ground beef.”

“What triggers poop most likely is all that grease. The taco meat alone is so greasy.”

“I feel the immediate urge to poop only if I’m crazy enough to eat the sour cream or many varieties of mayo-based sauces they smother their food with.”

“I know a lot of folks say it’s just a joke, but there are way too many people seriously reporting these issues.”

“Nope. Taco Bell never bothered my stomach.”

“I can only assume some peoples’ diets are so bad that their system can’t handle hot sauce and beans.”

“I’ve only seen these kinds of issues in Taco Bell and Chipotle threads. I sniff racism here.”

Final Words: Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop?

If you didn’t skim through the whole article, I strongly recommend you do so, for there are many reasons why Taco Bell makes you poop. 

The following items present in one or other Taco Bell food could be why you have a strong urge to poop ASAP:

  • Spice
  • Dairy
  • Beans 
  • Beef
  • Caffeine 
  • Grease 

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