There’s something incredibly comforting about heading to Taco Bell and picking up a variety of Mexican-inspired fast food. It’s quick, it’s salty, it’s cheesy, it’s crunchy, and it’s spicy; what else could you want from your take-out?
The near-endless combination of beans or beef, cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and crunchy or chewy wrapping means that Taco Bell offers a lot of variety and it’s also pretty affordable.
But, some folks find that after their meal they have to quickly run to the nearest bathroom. Today, we want to break down some components of a Taco Bell meal that can make you poop.
We’ll go through what they are, why they could be making you poop, and how to change your order so that you can enjoy your Taco Bell without the bathroom side effects.
So, why does Taco Bell make you poop? It could be one or more of the following issues: the spice from the capsaicin, a reaction to the cheese or sour cream due to lactose intolerance, too much fiber from the beans, or a reaction to the beef.
Read on to discover more about how certain foods in Taco Bell can make you poop and how to adjust your order so that you don’t have to run to the bathroom right away!
What Components In Taco Bell Make You Poop?
The thing about Taco Bell is that not everyone is going to react to the same things in their food, so there could actually be several menu items that are giving you that urgent need to find a bathroom.
Below I’m going to outline a few of the most common culprits.
It might take some trial and error on your part to figure out which ingredients are making you have to poop, but at least it will be a pretty delicious experiment while you figure it out!
Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Might Be The Spice
The first place to investigate if eating Taco Bell makes you poop is the spice level of the food that you’re ordering.
The spice in their food comes from a compound in hot peppers called capsaicin. This component is what gives spicy food that burning sensation.
Technically, capsaicin is an irritant to the human body, especially for those who have sensitive digestive systems or who don’t enjoy a lot of spice.
It produces a burning sensation on contact, which can stimulate a laxative effect in some people.
This laxative effect is one of the things in Taco Bell that could cause you to feel that urgent need to poop after eating your favorite meal.
If you think the spice might be an issue for you, you can always order mild hot sauce, keep the sauce on the side, or just forgo the hot sauce altogether.
If your Taco Bell experiment proves that the hot sauce and spice are what’s making you have to poop after eating, then it is best to avoid the dishes that are naturally spicy.
However, if you know that you can eat other spicy foods without issue, then your trigger might be one of the items below.
Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Might Be The Dairy
Cheese and sour cream are delicious components of any taco, chalupa, burrito, quesadilla, Gordita, or Crunch Wrap. Unfortunately, a large population in North America may have lactose intolerance.
And what is one of the main symptoms of lactose intolerance? The urgent need to find a bathroom ASAP after eating dairy, like cheese or sour cream.
The main issue with lactose intolerance is that folks who have it are missing the digestive enzyme that breaks down lactose.
When humans are children, their small intestines produce an enzyme called lactase that breaks down the milk sugar lactose.
As we age, we tend to stop producing as much or any of this enzyme. That means the milk sugars don’t get digested and pass through our digestive system.
As those sugars pass through, they can cause gas, bloating, indigestion, and, you guessed it, the need to poop! If lactose intolerance is your issue, then you will probably notice symptoms within 1-2 hours of eating your Taco Bell meal.
If you discover that lactose or dairy is your issue, then you can easily adjust your order by asking them to leave off the cheese or sour cream. Something to note here is that some folks may not react to both the sour cream and the cheese.
Cheese tends to have much less lactose than sour cream, so it can be easier for folks with mild lactose intolerance to digest. We would suggest doing an experiment where you have your regular Taco Bell order with sour cream and cheese.
Next time, order it with just cheese, and the time after that order it with only sour cream. And finally, order it with no cheese or sour cream at all.
Keep track of how you feel after each order so you can figure out what the culprit may be and so you don’t get rid of something delicious if it’s not making you poop.
Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Might Be The Beans
Another culprit that could be making you run for the bathroom after your Taco Bell meal could be the beans.
Generally, beans are a delicious and nutritious food. However, they are also packed with fiber, some of which can be tough for certain folks to break down.
Each cup of beans contains about 10 grams of fiber, which is a huge amount! Fiber tends to attract water in the digestive system and helps move things along.
This process could make some folks have to race to the bathroom a little more often if they’re not used to eating beans.
Beans also contain a carbohydrate called oligosaccharides, which aren’t digested until they get to your colon. There they become food for the bacteria who live in the digestive tract, which can cause some gassiness and bloating.
So if you find that after your Taco Bell meal you’re full of gas and running to the bathroom, it could be the beans in your order.
All you have to do to remedy this reaction is to ask them to leave the beans out of your dish and maybe add a little extra beef instead.
Or you could order a meal that doesn’t contain beans in the first place and you won’t have to worry about making any adjustments. There are lots of delicious options to choose from that don’t have beans.
Why Does Taco Bell Make You Poop? It Might Be The Beef
Another item in your Taco Bell meal that could be making you poop is the ground beef.
Some folks just don’t have the stomach acid to properly break down and digest large amounts of animal protein and animal fat, which can cause it to sort of fly through the digestive system.
It could also be the combination of spice and beef that is making you race to the bathroom, so perhaps getting a milder beef taco could be a good choice.
If you find that the beef at Taco Bell is making you poop, you can always ask to substitute it for beans (as long as they aren’t another trigger for you!) or seasoned chicken instead.
How To Substitute Your Taco Bell Meals To Protect Your Belly
Now that you’ve figured out which components in Taco Bell may be causing you some digestive upset, let’s take a look at how you can modify your meals so that you don’t have to rush to the bathroom after each visit.
- Swap your beef for beans or chicken. If you find that the beef is what is giving you some digestive trouble, see if you can substitute it for some other items on the menu like seasoned chicken or beans.
- Limit your hot sauce. If you are reacting to the spiciness from the capsaicin (remember that it’s an irritant to human bodies!), then you can always order mild or no spice in your Taco Bell meals. There are lots of options to choose from, just make sure you tell them no spice!
- Swap out the beans. Another common culprit for post-Taco Bell bathroom breaks could be the beans since they are loaded with fiber and indigestible oligosaccharides. If beans are giving you trouble, ask for more beef or sub for chicken.
- Avoid the beans. If you don’t want beans, you can also order menu items that don’t include beans, like tacos and other specialty items.
- Ask for no cheese. If you discover that lactose intolerance is your main issue, then you can ask to have it removed from your meal. Remember that you can test whether it is the cheese or the sour cream or both that are causing your issues. See my suggestions above!
- Ask for no sour cream. Sour cream tends to have more lactose than cheese, so sometimes folks who can enjoy the cheese need to ask for no sour cream in their meals. It’s pretty easy to ask for no sour cream. And remember, you can test to see whether you are reacting to the cheese, sour cream, or both.
Why Does Taco Bell Make Your Stomach Hurt?
We think it’s important to note that not everyone who eats Taco Bell immediately poops or gets stomach aches, but there are some folks who do.
And not everyone is going to poop right after eating their favorite meal, some folks may just get a stomach ache.
So, why does Taco Bell make your stomach hurt? It could be caused by too much dairy, too many beans, too much spice, or too much fat in the meal. I’ll outline the specifics in more detail below.
A lot of the same components that make people poop after eating Taco Bell can also make your stomach hurt, with or without the bathroom break.
The most common culprits that make someone’s stomach hurt after eating Taco Bell include:
- Too much dairy. Some folks with lactose intolerance are going to react with stomach aches, bloating, and gas instead of having to run to the bathroom.
- Too many beans. Beans are delicious, nutritious, and filling. They are also packed with fiber and a carbohydrate called oligosaccharides that can cause gas and bloating since it can be hard for people to break down in the digestive tract.
- Too much heat. The spicy component of hot peppers is called capsaicin and this plant compound is technically an irritant to the human body. That irritation is what causes the burning hot sensation when you eat something spicy.
- Too much fat. Fat can be tough to break down for some people, especially if you have any gallbladder issues. While Taco Bell is delicious, it can be quite high in fat due to the cheese, sour cream, and beef.
If you find that you end up with stomach pains after eating at Taco Bell, then you might want to look into whether one of these items is the culprit of your pains.
Once you figure out what is triggering your discomfort, you can adapt your order so that you can enjoy your meal without any pain.