- How to Poop the Right Way (And Yes, There’s a Right Way)
- The Best Position To Poop In, According To Experts, Actually Makes A Lot Of Sense
- How to Make Yourself Poop
- 1. Take a fiber supplement
- 2. Eat a serving of high-fiber food
- 3. Drink a glass of water
- 4. Take a laxative stimulant
- 5. Take an osmotic
- 6. Try a lubricant laxative
- 7. Use a stool softener
- 8. Try an enema
- 9. Try a suppository
- 10. Get in a squat position to poop
- 11. Get some exercise
- 12. Try colonic massage
- 1. Sip and Sit
- 2. Get Moving
- 3. Wake Up Earlier
- 4. Try a Massage
- 5. Or Glycerin Suppositories
- 6. Focus on Food
- What to Know for Next Time
- 1. Load up on foods with fiber.
- 2. Or, take a fiber supplement.
- 3. Drink some coffee—preferably *hot.*
- 7. Or try a prescription laxative if things get really bad.
- 8. Try squatting over the toilet when you think you might be ready to go.
- 9. Give yourself a belly rub.
- 10. Make sure you’re properly hydrated.
- Poop Hacks: 7 Tips to Eliminate Like a Ninja
- 1. Get some fiber!
- 2. Do some coffee cleansing.
- 3. Drink more water!
- 4. Get a move on.
- 5. Try squatting.
- 6. Give yourself a gentle massage.
- 7. Don’t force it.
- Why You Have to Poop in the Morning, According to Science
- Signs of a Healthy Morning Poop
- According To Science, Humans Have Been Pooping Wrong For Years. Here Is How It Should Be Done.
- Sign-up today!
- According To Science, You’ve Probably Been Pooping Wrong Your Whole Life
How to Poop the Right Way (And Yes, There’s a Right Way)
Pooping. It’s one thing that you’d think you can’t really screw up that badly, right? But it turns out, you’ve likely been doing it wrong all along.
You’re sitting wrong
But it’s not all your fault. “Modern plumbing is set up more for our convenience and the aesthetic than how we’re designed,” says Robynne Chutkan, M.D., an integrative gastroenterologist and author of The Bloat Cure. Meaning: If we were really serious about bowel health, we’d just dig a hole in the floor and be done with it. “We were designed to squat to poop. When we squat, the knees press up against the abs, which increases intra-abdominal pressure to help stool evacuate. When we sit on a toilet, our legs are at a right angle and that doesn’t accomplish that,” says Chutkan. Instead, you need to strain to have a bowel movement, which can lead to all sorts of problems-like hemorrhoids and even a stretched-out sphincter, Chutkan says. (Umm…) She’s a fan of the Squatty Potty ($24, target.com), but says that if you’re super-flexible, you could even just pull your feet up onto the toilet seat as you sit on it to achieve the same intra-abdominal pressure. We won’t blame if you pass on this one.
You hold it too long
Everyone’s been there. You have to “go,” but you’re already running late to work or are out with only public toilets nearby and don’t want to deal, so you don’t. But Chutkan says, “Your bowel has its own nervous system that can be trained. When you’re getting a signal that you have to go and you don’t, it causes bowel confusion, which can lead to constipation.”
You take too long
If you’re holding it because you just don’t have time, you’re likely falling prey to another number 2 mistake-taking too long. “Don’t drag your phone, a book, a newspaper into the bathroom with you, because that’s also a form of bowel training. You’re saying, ‘We have all day,” when you really want to be efficient, in and out,” says Chutkan. (Plus, bringing your phone into the bathroom with you is one of the reasons it’s teeming with germs.)
You don’t take a peek
“I encourage people to TATAL-turn around and take a look,” says Chutkan. You’re looking at color, consistency, and shape: The ideal bowel movement is darkish brown (or greenish if you eat a lot of plants or this Burger King burger) and not too pale, solid but not too firm (or overly loose), and bulky (not too narrow or small). (Your pee is trying to tell you something too.)
You use tons of TP
You should be wiping pretty clean; if you need to go back for more and more, there’s probably still stool in the rectum, and you should hang out on the toilet a little longer, says Chutkan.
- By Mirel Ketchiff @mirelbee
Did you know there was a proper way to defecate, that might make it a little easier for you?
The modern toilet was created back in the western civilization for relaxing and luxury. However, being in the seated position is not healthy when it comes to poo. You can encounter problems when you sit on your toilet;
Sitting on the toilet is known as improper toilet posture. Sitting does not allow the rectum to relax fully when it’s time to go. Improper toilet posture gets in the way of pooping properly and that can create hard dry stool which are difficult to eliminate.
You strain to get those hard dry stools out and the pressure from pushing causes hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that are swollen because of excessive pushing.
3. Colon disease:
Improper toilet posture can lead to a buildup of fecal matter in the colon and our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, which leaves us without energy and could lead to colon cancer.
4. Urinary difficulties/infections:
Sitting makes it more difficult for women to urinate because the muscles are not completely relaxed.
5. Pelvic floor issues:
The sitting position causes pressure to be put on the anorectal Angle of the colon, which causes the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina.
So, what is the proper toilet posture you ask? Squatting. Squatting allows the body to completely relax the colon and allows for easier bath usage. When the knees are brought up to the chest the colon anorectal muscles are more open and relaxed, making it easier to go when you have to go. People use to squat to go to the bathroom before the western civilization developed to modern toilet for luxury.
Squatting while you go can offer many health benefits.
• Squatting makes pooping easier and faster
• Prevents any fecal being left behind to cause cancer
• Prevents any fecal from enter the small intestine
• Helps protect the pelvic floor and pelvic nerves that are responsible for prostate health, bladder control, and sexuality.
• Squatting protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming damaged.
• Squatting is also good for delivery in women. Avoiding all pressure on the uterus when using the toilet.
Thanks to Buy Non Gmo Seeds for this article
The Best Position To Poop In, According To Experts, Actually Makes A Lot Of Sense
When you’re in the bathroom and trying to do what comes naturally, you’re not thinking too much about the way in which you’re doing it. You’ve got a toddler standing there and scrutinizing you, or a sibling fight going on in the next room. So your mission is to get off the toilet as quickly as possible so you can get about the business of momming. And it turns out that the best position to poop in isn’t the one you might expect; there are better ways to get the job done.
Since the day our parents presented us with our first potty seat and gave us the overly enthusiastic Yay-You’re-a-Big-Kid-Now speech, we’ve been accustomed to going #2 in the #1 position: sitting down, feet on the floor, maybe leaning over a bit for an especially difficult BM. Although we’ve been conditioned to think of this as a natural position, gastroenterologists explain that it actually makes pooping more difficult, not less.
Kyle Staller, M.D., a gastroenterologist affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, tells Romper that sitting down to poop helps relax the puborectalis muscle enough to allow pooping, but that it still takes some effort on your part to push the waste through because the position of the rectum (known as the anorectal angle) is still kinked up. He describes it this way: “When the stool gets to the rectum, think of it as someone at the door you don’t want. Are you pushing against a closed door? Then you have to push hard, and you have to open the door.”
It seems that our ancestors had the right idea all along: Squatting to poop is both easier and more efficient.
To get an idea of what goes on when you go, think of your colon as a long, twisting tube with a final upside-down kinked curve between the end of the tube (the rectum) and the anus (as shown in this WebMD diagram of the colon). A muscle around the rectum called the puborectalis muscle acts as a barrier to keep poop from coming out when you’re standing up. Sitting down helps relax the muscle enough to allow pooping, but it still takes some effort on your part to push the feces through because the position of the rectum (the anorectal angle) is still kinked up.
Dr. Staller adds that using the squat position — knees up above the hips, leaning forward slightly, as if you were squatting over a hole — relaxes the puborectalis muscle completely and straightens out the, um, poop chute, allowing waste to empty out quickly and thoroughly. “Straightening the rectum is very helpful,” he explains.
Assuming an optimal position can help prevent or relieve constipation, a painful condition which affects 10 percent of the population, Staller adds. “Constipation may never kill you, but it may make you want to die sometimes,” he says. Proper pooping can save you money as well; a report published by the National Institutes of Health stated that Americans spend more than $800 million on laxatives every year.
Although clinical research on the subject has been rather limited so far, the findings are still promising. One small Israeli study asked male volunteers to time how long it took them to eliminate under three conditions: sitting on a standard toilet seat, sitting on a toilet lower to the ground, and squatting. The men recorded much faster times when squatting as compared to both seated positions. What’s more, they didn’t need to strain as much, and they felt more thoroughly emptied out.
Achieving optimal poop position can be as simple as resting your feet on a low stand and leaning forward slightly to keep your knees above your hips. The famous Squatty Potty is specially designed to put your body in the proper spot, and similar stools are also available. Staller tells Romper that any device that helps elevate your knees should help. “It’s not that I recommend that everyone do it, but if you’re having trouble, changing position can help,” he explains. “There’s nothing from a gastrointestinal perspective not to use it.”
The squatting movement (ahem) does have its detractors. Northwestern University gastroenterologist Darren Brenner, M.D., told a reporter at Men’s Health that while changing poop position is a “harmless, potentially healthy” technique to try, there just isn’t enough evidence to conclude that it’s medically necessary for everyone.
In short, becoming a toilet squatter may not be a life-changer for you, but it might just make things more comfortable and save you some time. Then you can use the time you save for important business, such as reminding your kids for the hundredth time to flush.
Sikirov, D. (2003). Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 48(7), 1201–1205. doi: 10.1023/a:1024180319005
Kyle Staller, M.D., gastroenterologist affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital
This post was originally published on 7/17/2019. It was updated on 8/30/2019.
How to Make Yourself Poop
The following quick treatments can help induce a bowel movement in a few hours.
1. Take a fiber supplement
Fiber supplements are readily available and effective at inducing bowel movements if a low-fiber diet is the cause of your constipation. They work by adding bulk, or volume, to your stool. This helps push stool through your intestines and out of your body.
You can buy fiber supplements on Amazon. Here are a few common ones:
- calcium polycarvophil (FiberCon)
- psyllium (Metamucil, Konsyl)
- methylcellulose (Citrucel)
2. Eat a serving of high-fiber food
Try these foods that are high in fiber:
- whole-grain bread or cereal
- fibrous veggies and fruits
- rice and beans
Be sure to drink lots of water with these foods, as it will further help push your stool through your system.
3. Drink a glass of water
Proper hydration — typically at least eight 8-ounce glasses of clear liquid per day — is necessary for normal bowel movements. If you’re constipated and haven’t been drinking an adequate amount of water, consuming a large glass of water or other clear liquid may trigger a bowel movement.
4. Take a laxative stimulant
Laxative stimulants are designed to force a bowel movement by squeezing the intestines. You can get stimulants over the counter at your local pharmacy. Some popular options include:
- bisacodyl (Dulcolax, Ducodyl, Correctol)
- senna-sennosides (Senokot)
5. Take an osmotic
Osmotic laxatives work slightly differently than stimulant laxatives. They’re designed to help move fluids through the colon. Some examples include:
- magnesium hydroxide (Phillips Milk of Magnesia)
- polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX)
- magnesium citrate
- lactulose (Kristalose)
With a doctor’s prescription, you can obtain higher-strength polyethylene glycol, also called PEG (Golytely, Nulytely).
6. Try a lubricant laxative
Lubricant laxatives such as mineral oil add a slick coat to your intestine’s walls, allowing stool to move through your colon and out of your body more easily. Take mineral oil no more than two hours after your evening meal. Expect results within six to eight hours.
7. Use a stool softener
One common cause of constipation is dehydration, which can cause hard stool. Using a stool softener, such as docusate sodium (Colace) or docusate calcium (Surfak), can moisten the stool by pulling water from your intestines. This allows the stool to exit your body more easily.
8. Try an enema
There are several types of enemas that you can try. Enemas work by softening stool enough to produce a bowel movement. Some common types of enemas include sodium phosphate (Fleet), soapsuds, and tap water enemas. Learn about proper ways to administer an enema.
9. Try a suppository
Rectal suppositories also help encourage bowel movements by softening stool. Try a glycerin or bisacodyl suppository, which you can find at your local pharmacy.
10. Get in a squat position to poop
Bring a small footstool into your bathroom the next time you need to poop. Placing your feet on a stool in front of the toilet while you poop — so your body is essentially in a squatting position instead of in a seated position —can help you pass stool without straining.
11. Get some exercise
Light exercise, such as walking or jogging, can encourage bowel movements by increasing blood flow throughout your abdomen.
12. Try colonic massage
Massaging the colon can help stimulate the bowels.
On a perfect race morning, you’d wake up, have breakfast, and use the bathroom—at least once, maybe twice—and then head to your starting corral feeling great, not worrying whether you’ll have to stop along the way for an emergency Number 2.
Runner’s World How to Make Yourself Poop: And 999 Other Tips All Runners Should Know amazon.com $15.99 $12.24 (23% off)
But sometimes, your routine fails you. Maybe you’re traveling and in a different time zone, maybe your diet’s been a little off, or maybe you’ve just got a nervous stomach. Some mornings, you just can’t go, no matter how much you know it’s essential for a good run. Or, you know you have to head to your race soon, but you’re stuck wondering how to make yourself poop.
So what do you do now? We looked at the research and talked with Felice Schnoll-Sussman, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a New York City Marathon finisher, to find out. Here’s what science says about how to get yourself to go.
1. Sip and Sit
Jonathan RH via Flickr and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
Many of us swear by our morning cup of joe to get our bowels moving—and although scientists aren’t sure exactly why coffee works this way, at least one study has found that it does seem to induce “a desire to defecate.” (It’s unlikely that caffeine is responsible, because even decaf coffee had this effect.)
But Schnoll-Sussman says that any warm beverage can help stimulate a bowel movement, including a cup of tea or even hot water. “The warm liquid acts as a vasodilator,” she says. “It widens blood vessels in the digestive system and helps increase blood flow and GI activity.”
Schnoll-Sussman advises runners to drink a hot beverage in the morning and then sit on the toilet for a while. “Just the act of sitting there for few minutes can bring on the urge to go, even if you don’t feel like you have to right away.”
2. Get Moving
Maria FuchsGetty Images
Physical activity can bring on a bathroom break, which is one reason a warm-up can be so important before a race. “Before you head out the door for a hard workout, I would suggest exercising lightly to help stimulate a bowel movement,” Schnoll-Sussman says.
If you’re trying to unload in the comfort of your own home or hotel room, try jogging up and down the stairs or doing some jumping jacks or dynamic stretches. Already at the race start? Warm up with some strides while you’re still near the porta-potties.
3. Wake Up Earlier
Matt Dutile/Getty ImagesGetty Images Amazon Science-Backed Solution Squatty Potty amazon.com $24.99
“Make sure you’re getting up early enough on race morning to go through your whole morning routine, including time for the bathroom,” Schnoll-Sussman says. People racing in a different time zone, she adds, should try to stay as close to their body’s natural schedule as they can.
If you’re from New York and you’re racing in Portland, that might mean getting up and having your breakfast on East-Coast time—even if it’s a few hours before your race. On the other hand, if you’re a Californian racing Boston, you’ll already be waking up several hours earlier than you’re used to. “That’s a little bit trickier,” Schnoll-Sussman says, “but in this case it’s also important to wake up with plenty of time to spare, so that your body has extra time to digest your breakfast and feel the urge to go.”
4. Try a Massage
A UCLA study suggests that putting gentle pressure on the perineum—the area between your genitals and anus—may help break up and soften stools for people who have been suffering from constipation.
While it’s not yet a common treatment prescribed by doctors (and it wouldn’t be her first line of advice for runners who don’t typically have pooping problems), Schnoll-Sussman says that it may be helpful for people with specific types of blockages or medical conditions. “It might be worth a try if you’re in a bind,” she says—and while it will probably be a bit awkward, it certainly can’t hurt.
5. Or Glycerin Suppositories
Takahiro Yamagiwa via Flickr and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution
Some runners confess to using glycerin suppositories on particularly desperate race mornings. But Schnoll-Sussman would not recommend this, especially if you have never tried one before.
“The time it takes for a suppository to take effect is very variable from person to person,” she says. “It could work in 15 or 20 minutes, or it could take several hours—so if you do it race morning, you risk having to start the race before it works.” If a runner did want to use one, Schnoll-Sussman would suggest using it the night before a race, or at least not trying it for the very first time on race morning.
6. Focus on Food
Isabelle Rozenbaum & Frederic CirouGetty Images
If you’re worried about taking a quick-fix supplement, or other methods just aren’t doing the trick, turn to foods like raspberries which have 8 grams of fiber per cup. Grab a handful of almonds on the go. The powerhouse nuts contain magnesium—which researchers found may help relieve constipation. Or, reach for the age-old cure of prunes. Packed with fiber, they’ve been proven to help you go. One study found that eating about 10 prunes every day for three weeks improved stool frequency, so adding them to your diet well before race day might help avert a crisis.
What to Know for Next Time
Dennis MacdonaldGetty Images
Getting enough fiber is important in the days and weeks before a race for keeping digestion regular and preventing constipation. But on race day, consuming more fiber than usual can cause diarrhea, so don’t eat (or drink) large amounts the morning of, especially if you’re not used to it.
Staying hydrated is also key—especially if you’re flying on a plane or otherwise traveling. “Constipation occurs when the stool is too dry to move through the body easily, so drinking plenty of water can always help move things along,” Schnoll-Sussman says. Filling up on H2O the days before your race, and drinking that warm beverage first thing in the morning, is the best way to make sure you’re able to go when you need to.
Amanda MacMillan Amanda MacMillan is a Prevention associate editor.
A person’s accomplishments accumulate over years and decades. Something else accumulates, too — their poop.
The quantities of poop that people leave behind during an individual bathroom break can vary widely, depending on age, body weight, diet, exercise and other factors.
But how much poop does the average person produce in their lifetime?
Moving one’s bowels is part of the normal digestive process for most animals; after nutrients are extracted from food and liquid, waste is eliminated as urine and feces. Human stool, when healthy, is usually made up of about 70-percent solids and 30-percent fluids, Kim Barrett, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego, told Live Science. Personal bowel habits notwithstanding, on average, both men and women move their bowels about once per day and produce a daily average of 14 to 17 ounces (400 to 500 grams) of feces, Barrett said.
Researchers have even identified the speed at which humans generally produce their poo: about 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) per second, Live Science previously reported. Constipation — being unable to move one’s bowels — can lead to longer, or more uncomfortable bathroom sessions. However, the amount of time a person typically dedicates to unobstructed defecation is about 12 seconds per stool, and is uniform across many animal species regardless of their size, according to David Hu, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Patricia Yang, a Georgia Tech doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering.
The amount of poo produced by a single person starts to add up when you calculate poop production over years and decades.
Starting with an average daily amount of about 14 ounces (400 grams), the total poop production in a week’s time would be about 6 lbs. (2.8 kilograms). In a year, a single person would yield about 320 lbs. (145 kg) of poop — just a little more than an adult panda weighs.
In the U.S., the average life expectancy for men is about 76 years old, and for women, it is around 81 years old. Therefore, a man living to age 76 would produce about 24,320 lbs. (11,030 kg) of poop over his lifetime, and a woman living to age 81 would produce about 25,920 lbs. (11,757 kg) — so a lifetime of a woman’s poop weighs about as much as three adult male hippos.
(Image credit: Live Science)
Recently, the stark reality of how much poop humans can produce prompted action from officials at Denali National Park and Reserve in Alaska. Years of unregulated pooping by visitors to Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, left an estimated 152,000 to 215,000 lbs. (69,000 to 98,000 kg) of feces deposited on the mountain between 1951 and 2012.
Another unpleasant reality is that 4.5 billion people around the world do not have access to household toilets that safely dispose of their waste, according to the United Nations. And each year, over 200 million tons (181 million metric tons) of human waste goes untreated, with more than 90 percent of sewage in the developing world released directly into oceans, lakes and rivers.
At least 1.8 billion people worldwide depend on a drinking water source that is contaminated by fecal residue; poor sanitation leads to disease outbreaks and public health crises that affect millions of people each year — many of them children. However, improving access to clean water and implementing better sanitation practices, such as feces containment and treatment that enables its safe disposal, could prevent approximately 842,000 deaths each year, according to reports from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Original article on Live Science.
Let’s look on the bright side: Of all the digestive issues out there, constipation isn’t necessarily the worst thing your stomach could do to you. But that still doesn’t make it pleasurable, and you deserve real relief.
Luckily, there are a few ways you can speed things up, if, say you’re heading out for a morning run or have a long car ride ahead of you. The best part: Most are totally natural things you likely do every day anyway—and they’re doctor-recommended methods for how to make yourself poop.
Try one of these 10 tricks the next time you’re feeling more backed up than usual, and are hunting for answers for how to relieve constipation fast.
1. Load up on foods with fiber.
Fiber-rich foods with a high water content, such as raw carrots, apples with the skin or peel on, and avocados, are all great sources of fiber to help get things moving, says Christine Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic.
“When consumed, these foods create an osmotic gradient,” says Dr. Lee—that means they force more water to be pulled into the colon during digestion, which then helps ease and prevent constipation by helping things flow a little more smoothly.
2. Or, take a fiber supplement.
You can get the same effects from a psyllium husk fiber supplement, says Dr. Lee. Look for a daily supplemental dose of 6 to 9 grams of fiber, which are available over the counter.
Just remember: Eating a nutritious diet (which should naturally include some natural fiber found in food) is key, even if you decide to take a fiber supplement. You can’t just add a spoonful of Metamucil to your bottle of cola and expect your digestive system to work properly.
3. Drink some coffee—preferably *hot.*
This is often the first idea that comes to mind if faced with the dilemma of how to make yourself poop. Warm beverages in general, particularly a hot cup of coffee or tea, in the morning, can help to get things moving, says Dr. Lee.
But coffee in particular is a must for anyone looking for how to poop immediately in the morning (especially runners, Dr. Lee notes, as it’s much more convenient to empty your stomach before you hit the pavement). The heat from the coffee can stimulate movement, but the coffee itself and its high levels of caffeine are also “known to stimulate colon motility,” says Dr. Lee.
Coffee can work warm or cold. But other cold caffeinated beverages like iced tea or caffeinated sodas won’t have the same effect.
4. Get a little exercise in.
Ever been in the middle of a run when you needed a bathroom—STAT? You’re not alone. That’s because “hiking, walking on uneven grounds, jogging, and biking can all increase your metabolism, which in turn increases intestinal motility,” says Dr. Lee.
Also important: If you’ve been busier than usual and have gotten into an exercise dry spell (and you’re noticing some bathroom issues) it might be a clue as to why you’re not pooping as much as you’d like. Making sure to incorporate even short regular workouts into your routine could be the secret solution you need, she says.
5. Try massaging your perineum—no, really.
A technique in which you massage your perineum (the stretch of skin that separates the vagina from your anus), by pushing repeatedly on the skin with your index and pointer finger, can help to ease constipation because of the pressure points contained in that area, according to a 2015 study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. (Similarly, massaging the same area can help promote down-there relaxation during childbirth to prevent tearing, per the study.)
In the study, participants who massaged the area to promote bowel movements experienced improved bowel function, compared to the group that didn’t do the hands-on technique. Also: 82 percent of those who did use the technique said they’d continue to use it long after the study was over. While more research is needed, it’s definitely worth a try the next time you’re backed up and at your wit’s end trying to figure out how to make yourself poop.
6. Try an over-the-counter laxative.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 (you might recognize it as MiraLAX) is made up of compounds that are not digestible and not absorbable—which means they cause a diarrheal effect, says Dr. Lee.
At lower doses, it can help prevent constipation, and at higher doses, it can induce diarrhea. So you can adjust the dose you take if you want to get things moving just slightly without them getting disastrous, she says.
7. Or try a prescription laxative if things get really bad.
Lee also recommends talking to your doctor about trying prescription laxatives if none of the other methods have worked. “Prescription drugs are effective, but they can be expensive, so they should generally be left as a last resort after you’ve tried these other methods,” she says.
Another downside of laxative medications: Your body can get used to them, so eventually you might not be able to go poop without them if you use them too often.
8. Try squatting over the toilet when you think you might be ready to go.
The squatting position can be mimicked by putting a stool under your feet to raise your knees up, says Peyton Berookim, MD, a gastroenterologist and director of the Gastroenterology Institute of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Squatting modifies the anatomy by relaxing the muscles in that area while also elevating the part of your colon that makes for easier emptying of the bowel. “The closer you are to a full squat, the easier it will be to poop,” he says.
9. Give yourself a belly rub.
No really—applying moderate pressure and massaging your abdomen in a clockwise direction can help you move your bowels, says Dr. Berookim. Colonic massage has been shown to improve constipation, he says.
This can be performed by applying moderate pressure along the horseshoe shape of the colon in your right lower quadrant. Then continue moving up to the rib cage, across the stomach and underneath the ribs to your left lower quadrant, which is the point where stool is emptied.
10. Make sure you’re properly hydrated.
“One of the most common causes of constipation is dehydration,” Dr. Berookim says. “When the body is poorly hydrated, it will compensate by withdrawing water from the large intestine (colon) resulting in hard stools.”
A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 ounce of water for every 2 pounds of your body weight, he says.
Poop Hacks: 7 Tips to Eliminate Like a Ninja
Everybody poops. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, not everybody poops when they want to. Be it full-blown constipation or just a general feeling that you can do better, use this quick and somewhat dirty list of bowel movement best practices as tips to eliminate like a ninja.
1. Get some fiber!
Indigestible material that acts like an intestinal sponge, fiber absorbs water and expands, in turn giving mass to existing stool while making it softer and easier to pass.
It’s easily found in an assortment of natural and healthy foods (fruits, grains, and vegetables), and one can always bolster their diet with fiber supplements. Be forewarned: too much fiber can result in excessive bloating, gas, and explosive results.
2. Do some coffee cleansing.
A trusted go-to for many, coffee is a natural stimulant that offers a swift kick to your digestive balls.
As with fiber, avoid overdoing it. If one cup doesn’t help you out, don’t be so quick to reach for another one. Coffee is a diuretic, which makes you urinate more. Excessive amounts can cause dehydration, which leads to constipation, so…
3. Drink more water!
Already hinted at in the first two tips, water is important to having a healthy poop. Would you rather pass a moist brownie or a dry cookie? It’s an easy fix, so if you’ve got 99 problems, dehydration should not be one of them.
4. Get a move on.
If you’re feeling a little stagnant, focus less on the bowel and more on the movement. Go out for a jog, do some yoga, or hammer out some squats and jumping jacks. Yes, you may feel bloated and waddling in the beginning.
Keep your eyes on the prize—at the very least, you’ll get in a quick workout instead of sitting around and wondering if you’ll ever poop again.
5. Try squatting.
Sitting upright while pooping is arguably one of the biggest challenges many digestive systems must overcome in order to take care of business. A forward hunched position is said to provide better alignment for a more easeful (if not at first slightly awkward) elimination.
Can’t manage to squat on your toilet? Try squatting beforehand for a few minutes before sitting down, or find a way to raise your feet up a few inches off the ground (yoga blocks FTW).
6. Give yourself a gentle massage.
If you’re sitting on the throne with a quiche stuck in the oven, try thickly rolling up a towel, placing it under your navel, and folding forward over it. Gentle, constant pressure might be the soft pat on your back necessary to help pass that bubble.
No towel? Frame your navel with both fists, palms facing in and thumbs up. Avoid poking or prodding, and do not attempt AT ALL if you feel any sharp or intense pains.
7. Don’t force it.
Please, oh please, do not try to squeeze one out. A gentle push from toning your abs with a slow exhale through pursed lips is perfectly acceptable. Don’t go full Schwarzenegger at the end of Total Recall—there have been many horror stories of hemorrhoids, hernias, and burst blood vessels.
If anything, use your time on the toilet as an opportunity to relax and meditate with focused awareness…on letting go…of poop.
What poop hacks do you practice? Share them in the comments below!
Why You Have to Poop in the Morning, According to Science
How many times a day should you poop? It’s a very real medical question with a fairly precise answer: Ideally once a day, preferably in the morning. (Note, this is for adults, not baby poops.) The morning bowel movement is the best of all bowel movements, if it isn’t morning diarrhea, a common occurrence that could be a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Morning poops are great because the human body is best equipped to evacuate during this time. So, please, when you have to poop in the morning, don’t hold them in.
“In the morning, when we first wake up, an internal alarm clock goes off in our colon, and the colon starts contracting more vigorously,” says gastroenterologist Dr. Sarina Pasricha. “In fact, the colon contracts and squeezes three times as hard in the first hour we are awake compared to when we are sleeping.”
When people are asleep, the small intestine and colon work to process all the food leftover from the previous day. About 30 minutes after waking the urge to poop sets in. Morning routines like stretching, drinking water, and of course, coffee helps to move digestion along. About 30 percent of people report the need to go after a hot cup of joe.
“Drinking early morning coffee works synergistically with gut motility to create healthy bowel movements,” Pasricha says. Another effective trick is a glass of warm salt water (with a little lemon to improve the taste). While it won’t “detox” your body as some claim, it definitely helps to get things moving.
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Still, that’s not to say everyone should be pooping every morning, or that there’s no such thing as pooping too much. Anywhere from three days a week to three times a day is considered normal. Constipation is common, especially when traveling (an estimated 40 percent of people experience constipation while on vacation). Occasional morning diarrhea happens, too. But if you have diarrhea every morning, you should check with a doctor, as it could be a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or another health concern.
What can you do to have a regular and healthy morning poop? Diet and exercise make the biggest difference between weekly and daily dumpers, and traveling can disrupt a person’s digestive cycle as well. Regular sleep is also important. “Sleep disturbances alter the natural colon peristalsis,” Pasricha warns. “People can have irregular bowel movements. Uninterrupted deep sleep is important in maintaining healthy pooping behavior.”
Ultimately, taking a morning poop is not vital for a person’s health, Pasricha says. But it sure is a healthy way to poop. “Typically the best time of the day to have a bowel movement is in the morning. However, some people may not have morning bowel movements and this does not necessarily mean there are any issues,” Pasricha. “It is okay not to have morning bowel movements as long as people are having regular daily bowel movements.”
Signs of a Healthy Morning Poop
Bowel movement frequency is an important sign of health. A healthy daily routine should include:
- About one poop a day.
- A poop about 30 minutes after waking is normal (although no one should panic if this isn’t their window).
- Coffee or even a glass of salt water can help keep you “regular.”
- If you’re pooping a lot more than twice a day, you should check in with your doctor. (Three times a week to three times a day is considered a normal range).
- If you have diarrhea every morning, you should check with your doctor as this is a common sign of Iritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS.
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According To Science, Humans Have Been Pooping Wrong For Years. Here Is How It Should Be Done.
No one really likes to discuss it, but “going number 2” is nonetheless a natural and essential part of life. But guess what: we’ve all been doing it wrong, pretty much since the invention of the toilet.
There’s a better, more natural way to do it.
Everyone poops, but evidently we all do it wrong, according to science.
When you sit on a toilet at a 90-degree angle, you form a blockage in your intestines that forces you to strain. Yet if you squat, everything will straighten out.
Nature designed us this way, and it’s the healthiest way to enjoy defecating. “1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles,” says writer and scientist, Giulia Enders.
Conversely, excessive strain can cause diverticulosis, swollen tissue, and blood vessels around your colon and anus. The best way to avoid all of this is to simply put a footstool in front of you when you go so that your feet are raised.
Darm Mit Charme
This changes everything. What else have I been doing wrong every day?
Bears do it, why shouldn’t you? Yes, we’re very literally talking about how to shit in the woods.
Before you hold up your roll of double quilted toilet paper and wave the white flag of surrender, here are some simple tips to make doing your duty in the nature less of a chore.
What qualifies one to pen advice on the subject of shitting in the wild to strangers from all geographic regions? Growing up hunting, fishing and rafting in Montana helps. Follow that up with guiding “never slept in a tent before” folks on fishing and rafting trips. Top it off with “I am a mother.”
When we talk about introducing new folks to the out of doors, it’s the little things that can actually be the biggest hurdles to keep them from venturing out. Nature calling while you are out in nature is one of those things we rarely think about, but causes the most anxiety. I have seen it with young and old. Even the most seasoned veterans in the outdoors often pick up tips from one another when this topic inevitably comes up in camp.
Preparation Before the E-turd-gency Strikes
You need to begin the process when you think you have to go, not when you have to go immediately. You are not just taking a stroll down the hall to the porcelain throne; there is time involved in finding the right spot with the right amount of privacy. And if you have ever had to hike up hill or through thick forest with critically clenched butt cheeks you know this is no time to dilly-dally.
Dig a hole. No one on this planet or any other wants to see what kind of brown statue you build. And NO ONE wants to see your TP scattered about.
Ideally you should carry a small spade or shovel in your camping gear. Aim for a depth of six inches or more, deposit your load in the hole and burry it. If a hole is not practical, kick out an indentation with your heal, poop in the indentation, and cover your business with rocks or logs.
Always remember there are some designated geographic areas that require you to pack it out. Yes, I said pack your crap out of the wild. Doggie poop bags aren’t just for the dogs any more.
How to Shit in the Woods: Assume the Position
Fast as lightning or read the paper — what is your style? The length of time doing your duty will dictate your preferred position to poop.
Pro tip: Drop your pants below your knees, this helps with balance. Skinny jeans or tight pants are your enemy.
Use the quads that God gave you! Make sure your legs are about shoulder width apart. Get yourself into as close a seated position as you can. Don’t be afraid to shift your center of balance forward. If you need extra stability rest your elbows on your knees
Some need to sit. Keep your eye open for small downed trees securely suspended the appropriate height over the ground. If you are in camp, lash a sturdy branch between two trees and dig a large hole directly underneath. Then sit comfortably and enjoy the view.
Find a sapling or small tree to hang on to with one or two hands while you lean backward into a squatted, seated position; this takes some of the pressure off your legs. Just make sure the tree is living and won’t fall when you put pressure on it, otherwise your are in for a messy fall.
Use a strap or a rope around the tree and around you under your arms; this leaves your hands free and allows for a longer process.
Assume the squatted, seated position, but put your lower back up against a tree or rock. You are using your quads, but this will help your balance and buy you a few more moments before muscle fatigue sets in.
One Cheek Sneak
This is a brace but with only one cheek or the side of the hip. Remember, for women these positions come in handy, even with you are just going No. 1. This position is particularly useful when you need to go and all you have is an outboard motor on a boat to brace against.
How to Shit in the Woods: Clean Up, Aisle 2
With clean up, your ultimate goal is to avoid what’s commonly known as “baboon ass.” If you don’t know what that is, Google it to get the picture — no words necessary. You may even know what it feels like to have the junk in your trunk look like that. Having diaper rash while you are trying to enjoy the great outdoors greatly reduces said enjoyment.
Mountain money, shit tickets — call it what you will — these names imply that your TP is valuable out in the wild. Use it wisely. No TP mittens.
Most importantly, bring wipes. Carry them with you everywhere. This simple yet priceless tool is the only sure thing to stand between you and monkey butt powder.
Pro tip: To avoid your TP getting soggy or dirty sitting on the ground, position yourself near a tree or a bush. Use one of the short or broken branches to hold your TP like your toilet paper holder in your home bathroom.
To know that you are always ready for what lies ahead, prepare a “shit kit” and carry it with you everywhere. It can be small or large depending on the adventure and number of people using it. Start with a zip lock of an appropriate size or an accessory size dry bag. Fill it with TP, wipes and travel size bottles of bug spray and hand sanitizer.
Pro tip: Mosquitos love a stationary bare butt. Carry a small bottle of bug spray and give your cheeks a little mist; this will save you from embarrassing scratching later.
How to Shit in the Woods: Trouble Shooting
There are other issues that may arise out in the wilderness. Here are a few extra tips for you.
When you can’t go, you don’t enjoy your time in the outside. Try coffee, chewing tobacco, high fiber foods like pineapple, or a long night of drinking; whatever it takes to get things moving.
What’s that Smell?
When you are out on adventures like hunting, you have a lot of clothing and gear. Make sure they are all pulled forward out of the drop zone or moved out of the way before it is “bombs away.” And as for your archery release, take it off before you wipe; a knock point next to your nose will let you know if you failed to do so.
If the mitten making gets out of hand and you do run out of toilet paper — or heaven forbid you forget it all together — keep your eye open for non-poisonous leaves. Birch bark, small fir (not spruce) boughs, or snow balls in the winter all make great TP alternatives. If worse comes to worse, use your knife to cut off the top of a sock, sleeve of a t-shirt, or your underwear to get the job done.
Talk openly and share the information and tips on how to shit in the woods listed here. This will ensure we are all enjoying our time in the outdoors and leaving it as wild and pristine as we found it!
About the Author
Rachel VandeVoort is a Montana girl, mother and wife. When she is not working for public land and water and the greater outdoor recreation industry, she can usually be found on some sort of outdoor adventure big or small. You can follow her adventures at @mtraerae.
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Shit, shower, shave: the three S’s of a successful grooming routine, but an elusive process to perfect. It takes a disciplined diet and schedule to become a same-time-every-day shitter. My own BM schedule is haphazard and borderline dangerous — too many times have I experienced the shame of the post-shower crap, ruining that fresh, clean feeling I’d just attained by bending over and blasting my ass with the shower stream.
So I wanted to know: Could a basic bathroom bro like me master the fine art of crapping on command? And what would it take to earn my brown belt?
Sarah Greenfield, a registered dietitian and coach in digestive health (who’s even given a TED Talk on poop), tells me that “getting your BMs on schedule requires you to be somewhat regimented, and you may need to do a couple things initially to get your body in the habit of pooping first thing in the morning.”
Are you ready, fellow compooptriats? Let’s get regular.
Step No. 2
Greenfield mentions some “catalysts” that can jumpstart your gastrointestinal tract for that first (of hopefully many more) 7 a.m. shits. It comes as no surprise that caffeine kicks off things. “Drink green tea in the morning,” she says. “Caffeine is a stimulant and can help get things moving.” Caffeine doesn’t necessarily aid in becoming more regular, but rather pushes that first poop through whether it’s ready or not, and primes your body into adapting to a morning poop routine.
After your first caffeine-induced poop, Greenfield says to “stop eating around 6 p.m. and continue to drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration and constipation.” Poop hack: “If you tend to be more constipated, you can add a little aloe to it.”
At the end of the day, Greenfield suggests, take a serving of “psyllium husk or Calm (magnesium citrate) before going to bed.” This mixture of natural muscle relaxants and fiber “should help you get in the habit or train your body to poop when you wake up in the morning.” However, tread lightly, Greenfield warns. “Start slow and monitor how your body responds. Doing everything together could cause increased transit time,” and by that she means diarrhea.
The Daily Routine
Once you’ve got your catalysts, it’s time to settle into a routine. Not only “does help things stay more regulated,” but it keeps your hormones balanced and “keeps things moving through the GI tract.”
First, she recommends doing some morning meditation. “This may sound silly, but when you wake up and extend your calm feeling, you’re getting in your parasympathetic nervous system, or your rest and digestion mode,” she says. “If you can keep it relaxed, this may help get things going.”
From there, stay active, stress-free and hydrated. Taylor Wolfram, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, details the steps to regulating your diet, both timing and food-wise: “Eating meals and snacks at consistent times can help bowel movements become more predictable, but it’s also important to eat a variety of plant-based foods including whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, to provide adequate fiber — plus drinking plenty of water throughout the day.”
These things “encourage ideal stool consistency, which make bowel movements easier no matter what time of day,” she says, which “might be more useful than trying to control when bowel movements happen.”
Wolfram adds that keeping your stress levels low is important, as stress can wreak havoc many people’s GI tract. Plus, “staying active helps encourage regular bowel movements. Some people, especially those who participate in endurance sports, find that exercise may induce the need to have a bowel movement.”
Greenfield agrees with this sentiment, telling me that a regular “workout routine can help create a more diverse microbiome, and thus, help with regularity.” In particular, she suggests “twisting yoga poses,” as they “can help stimulate your GI tract and get things moving.”
When You Get Thrown Off Your Cycle
Don’t be discouraged if life gets in the way of your regular poops. Travel, time zones and just eating different foods “can all be stressful on your system and change your poop schedule,” Greenfield says. If this happens, do your best to maintain your workouts, and “taking digestive enzymes daily is great when you’re traveling to stay regular. You can take them on a daily basis if you notice a difference in your digestion.”
“If you miss a meal,” she says, “you won’t be thrown off — just get back on your routine.”
Once you settle into a regimented pooping schedule, the chaos of daily life suddenly becomes a bit more manageable. But it takes focus and discipline. “Distractions, such as using a smartphone while on the toilet, could possibly lead to incomplete evacuation,” Wolfram says. “Focusing on the task at hand and being mindful about your body can go a long way.”
Quinn Myers is a staff writer at MEL. According to his editor, you can find him “lurking in the darkest corners of the internet.”
According To Science, You’ve Probably Been Pooping Wrong Your Whole Life
Stool, feces, excrement, dung and even poop. It doesn’t matter what you call it, you’re doing it every day (I hope) and you’re probably doing it wrong.
It turns out that all the countries that have fancy, sit-down toilets aren’t allowing the… uh… ‘hatch’ to open all the way.
When we stand up or sit down, there’s a kink in our lower gut that stops us pooping at random. But when we squat, our guts elegantly straighten out, leaving us free to eject any waste in comfort.
Sitting down to poop means that the muscles in the gut have to strain to push excrement around the bend in the bowels. “Just like a car on the highway, turning a corner means our feces have to put on the brakes,” Giulia Enders, writer of ‘Darm mit charme’ (Charming Bowels in German), told the Guardian’s Annalisa Barbieri.
This isn’t just a harmless observation; nature designed us to squat when we poop. When we try to force our way around that, we’re at greater risk of damaging our bodies.
“1.2 billion people around the world who squat have almost no incidence of diverticulosis and fewer problems with piles. We in the west, on the other hand, squeeze our gut tissue until it comes out of our bottoms,” says Enders. Diverticulosis occurs when excessive strain and pressure push out weak areas of the muscle wall and form little pouches in the colon. Piles are swollen blood vessels around the anus, also caused by straining.
This revelation isn’t new; in fact, a study in 2003 by Israeli doctor Dov Sikirov concluded that squatting to poop was the ‘most satisfactory.’ The study compared defecating in three different positions: Sitting on a toilet 42cm high, 31 cm high and squatting. The test subjects reported that pooping while squatting took an average of 50 seconds whereas pooping while sitting took an arduous 130 seconds.
The paper also noted that sitting necessitated “excessive expulsive effort” to shift biowaste, whereas squatting was a comparatively carefree exercise.
So, if you’re a toilet user, how can you adjust your pooping habits to protect your bowels? Well, Enders suggests that climbing on top of the toilet seat and perching while you poop “might be fun,” Enders. However, she also suggests having a little stool in front of your bowl to elevate your feet. So remember kids – squat when you poopy, to keep a healthy booty.
SUBJECT: I want to talk to you about your pose.
No, not this pose or this pose, but this pose.
No way am I showing you that pose.
We’re gonna be talking about pooping.
The culprit, your poop position.
Some sources think we’ve been doing it all wrong– I mean wrong– this whole time.
Sitting on toilets seemed more dignified when they were presumably invented in the early 1900s.
Even back in 1924, Dr. William Welles quoted leading medical authorities.
He wrote, “it would have been better if the contraption had killed its inventor before he launched it under humanity’s buttocks.”
So let’s break down the problem.
When you sit on a toilet for that needed release, your bowels actually kink up.
Well, technically it’s your anorectal angle.
Am I really saying this?
It’s the area between your anus and your rectum that gets knotted.
(ENGLISH ACCENT) This more civilized approach (AMERICAN ACCENT) to bowel movements this could possibly be causing bloating, hemorrhoids, even constipation, just to name a few.
But when you squat to do your job, it actually puts your bowels in the proper alignment.
Gravity will do its thing, and your body will actually loosen up, allowing it to flow like this.
Animals have mastered the squatting position, and maybe we should take a note from nature.
A large part of the eastern world uses squatting toilets– toilets that do not allow you to sit and force you to take a more primal position.
So you’re probably not gonna go home and remove your toilet, but you can buy a thing and that will help to get you aligned.
Place it right under your toilet and just slide it out so you can, well, slide it out.
OK, so if we haven’t lost you by this point, just admit it.
So the next time you’re in the bathroom, perfect that pose.