8 Drinks To Help You Poop Immediately
What's the one great equalizer between all living creatures—and yet, no one likes to talk about? Every organism, from protozoa to people, reaches a point where they need to exert waste. In other words, everybody poops! But if your regular routine involves pooping less than three times a week, chances are that you're not feeling too hot. The discomfort that accompanies constipation can leave you feeling sluggish, backed up, and bloated in ways that can disrupt your entire day. And honestly, who has time to sit in the bathroom all day waiting for their colon to catch up with the rest of their body's overall sense of urgency? Fortunately, there are a few simple dietary solutions able to help realign your gut and get your bowels moving at a healthy rate, including some drinks that make you poop immediately.
When your colon seems locked tighter than Fort Knox and your rectum just won't budge, struggling and straining to relieve yourself can be a recipe for more uncomfortable (not to mention, messy) health challenges ahead, including hemorrhoids, and fissures.
However, when other physiological reactions from your body still signal an imperativeness to evacuate your bowels immediately, a complex paradox emerges. Perhaps after passing a satisfying bowel movement you'll have more mental bandwidth to ponder why it is you can't seem to poop despite really needing to go. But realistically, when in a situation like this, patience and introspection are not priority. All you care about is relief—convenient, quick, effective relief. It's time to call in some refreshing reserves and get things going again. But what are some examples of drinks that help you poop immediately?
To help answer this question, we consulted a few dietitians for their best recommendations for beverages that can help provide relief when you really need to go. Read on, to see what they say are effective drinks to help you poop to completion—and for more advice on drinking habits that can impact your digestive system, be sure to check out the 4 Worst Drinks Messing With Your Digestion.
"The first line of defense to relieve acute or chronic constipation is adequate hydration with water," says registered dietitian Melanie Marcus, MA, RD. "Just think about it—constipation is a result of digested food, getting stuck in your intestines! Sometimes it's just a matter of staying well hydrated to keep everything moving through the gut."
"Adults should aim for half of their body weight in ounces, or about 1.5–2 liters a day," adds Marcus. "Mineral waters can further provide magnesium and sulfates, which are known for their laxative effects."
Water with lemon
According to registered dietitian Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES, lemons and their juice contain a form of vitamin C called citric acid, which research suggests can act as a natural laxative for some people without causing diarrhea.
"When consumed, lemon juice pulls water into the GI tract, and this can stimulate the bowel emptying process," says Thomason.
According to Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, another drink that stimulates the smooth passing of your poop is known as a chia fresca: a combination of chia seeds, water, and few twists of lemon or lime. The insoluble fiber content of the chia seeds helps soften your stool in ways that, as the Cleveland Clinic notes, is theorized to have a laxative effect.
"Coffee may be best known for its caffeine content, but drinking coffee can also trigger the digestive system to work, causing things to 'get moving' naturally," says Manaker.
While many may assume that coffee's propensity to trigger your bowels is exclusively due to its caffeine content, registered dietitian Kim Kulp, RDN, owner of the Gut Health Connection, claims that even decaffeinated coffee can help you defecate.
"Even without caffeine, coffee stimulates the gastrocolic reflex," explains Kulp. "[This] is when the stomach tells the colon to make room for what's coming by contracting to make you poop."
Fresh fruit juice
"Juices like pear, apple, and apricot can provide constipation relief," says Ashley Kitchens, MPH, RDN, plant-based registered dietitian and owner of Plant Centered Nutrition. "Apple juice has a fairly high ratio of fructose to glucose and sorbitol content, which may help gently relieve constipation."
"Prune juice naturally contains sorbitol, a natural laxative that can cause people to feel gassy, as well," says Manaker. "Drinking prune juice has been linked to better digestive outcomes."
One study assessing the effects of prune juice concluded that this beverage was a safe and natural drink choice to imbibe, particularly in cases of chronic constipation. In a study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, these researchers found that "prune intake significantly decreased hard and lumpy stools while increasing normal stool and not increasing loose and watery stools. Prune intake also ameliorated subjective complaints of constipation and hard stools, without alteration of flatulence, diarrhea, loose stools, or urgent need for defecation."
Aloe vera juice
"Aloe vera contains a large number of antioxidants and can help speed up intestinal motility, which may improve constipation," Paulina Lee, MS, RD, LD, founder of Savvy Stummy, told Eat This, Not That! in a previous interview."It's also soothing to the gut and could decrease gut inflammation, thereby potentially supporting symptoms of bloating."
"There is some research to suggest aloe vera acts as a laxative," says Thomason. "Although, the FDA does not recognize this as a safe or effective method of stimulating a bowel movement."
True teas with fresh ginger
True teas, which include varieties of black and green teas, contain thousands of bioactive compounds—like amino acids, caffeine, lignins, proteins, xanthines, and flavonoids—making them an all-around healthy drink choice able to benefit your body in a number of ways. Black and green tea, in particular, tend to be higher in caffeine content relative to other teas, giving them a mild laxative effect that may stimulate the digestive system.