Bodywork

The Rise of the Coffee Enema: Don’t Try this at Home. Please.

What’s one thing college kids and health nuts apparently have in common? Butt chugging. And a total lack of common sense.

Before you stick this culinary beauty where the sun don't shine, are you sure you've exhausted every other health tip?     Photo: mafra13/Thinkstock

The act of butt chugging, or ingesting a drink through the rectum, gained nationwide exposure in 2012 after a frat guy at the University of Tennessee was rushed to the hospital with a blood alcohol content level of .40 percent. (The legal BAC for driving in Tennessee is .08 percent.) Even worse was how the kid’s BAC got so high: a Franzia enema. Yes, Franzia is that boxed wine that costs $13.99 for five liters of “fruity and friendly,” crowd-pleasing cab.

That poor Pi Kappa Alpha dude taught us all that some things, such as alcohol can be absorbed into the bloodstream much more quickly through the rectum than through the mouth. Perhaps that’s why health nuts and stars of TLC’s “My Strange Addiction” have turned to shooting coffee up their bums. They somehow believe coffee’s natural antioxidants and caffeine will work better if they bypass the digestive system. Among the coffee-enema benefits coach and personal trainer Ben Greenfield lists on his website:

-Clean and heal the colon…

-Detoxify the liver…

-Reduce many types of chronic pain…

-Help eliminate many parasites…

-Help with depression, confusion, and general tension…

-Increase mental clarity and energy levels, while reducing moodiness or anger…

-And much more…

Well, ladies and gents, the scientists have spoken, and all of those claims are a load of BS. To start, while caffeine is absorbed slightly faster through the butt, you’ll absorb 3.5 times less caffeine anally than you would if you drank it.  

And Korean researchers say that coffee enemas have “no proven benefit” and carry a “considerable risk of provoking unwanted complications.” Those complications include proctocolitis, an inflammation of the rectum and colon more popularly associated with food poisoning, and STDs. And rectal burn. Not because some people’s butt coffee was ‘90s McDonald’s hot, but because coffee contains chemical compounds that can scorch your insides.

And there’s more. "Whenever you are inserting something into the rectum there is a danger of causing a tear in the lining," Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, assistant professor of medicine and a gastroenterologist at NYU Medical Center, told ABC News.com. She said she would never recommend coffee enemas because of the possible complications and total lack of an upside. "Overusing enemas can sometimes lead to dehydration and it can basically lead to a decrease in bowel function." 

So, folks, keep it in your cup. 

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