Poop. Doo-Doo. Fecal Matter. Sh*t. Whatever you call it, we all have it. Some more than others. Have you ever wondered what exactly is this"stuff"? Well to put it as simple as possible, it's a blend of toxins,unused waste, bacteria and water. Yuck! Toxins and bacteria.
So, what is normal?
When you do go to the bathroom, it’s ideal to have poop that is all connected in one long, smooth “S” shape. Poops like this develop when you’re eating enough fiber and drinking plenty of hydrating water.
However a smooth poop that is thin or broken up into a few smaller poops is not something to be concerned about according to digestive experts, as long as this is “normal” for you and does not cause you any discomfort. The color of a normal poop should be a medium to dark brown.
Although it may sound unpleasant, your poop smelling is actually not a bad sign. Poop smells because of the toxins it is helping to draw out of your body and because of the bacteria involved in the gut lining. There is not any specific smell that is considered “normal”; again it’s just important to keep an eye on things being consistent and comfortable for you.
If you do notice a change in smell in your poop- from “not so great” to “very, very bad”- this could be a sign that something more serious is taking place within your gut. If the smell continues for several days, you may want to consult your doctor who can perform a colonoscopy if needed.
How often should I poop?
Generally, going once or twice a day is considered normal. Going every other day is also somewhat normal, as long as you feel comfortable and are not experiencing pain in your abdomen. Above all else, you want to make sure things are pretty consistent from day to day; this shows you what is “normal” poop for your own body and clues you in to when something internally is off.
What if I haven't gone lately?
Don't be too alarmed. There could be several reasons why you haven't gone to the potty.
1. Low or no fiber
3. Caffeine and/or Alcohol
4. The food you've eaten
What should I do now?
1. Increase your Fiber intake
It’s best to aim to get between 25-40 grams of fiber per day, however some individuals may need an amount on the higher end of the scale. Getting this much fiber shouldn’t be too difficult if your diet is made up of real, whole foods- including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
But do this slowly or you'll feel uncomfortable when you "release" that extra gas. Add about 3-5 grams a day until you reach your desired goal.
2. Drink water (or more)
Aim to consume water every 2 hours at a minimum; drinking 8 oz. every couple of hours will keep you hydrated throughout the day and set you up for a healthier poop the following morning.
3. Get moving!
Being active is a great way to get your poop cycle on a more regular schedule. Exercise stimulates the bowels and lymphatic system, which helps to push waste down to your colon, making it easier for you to go. On top of this, exercise also relaxes your mind and reduces stress, which as you now know is one of the biggest reasons for digestive troubles.
Probiotics help to create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora”. Essentially this means that the amount of “good bacteria” in your gut is able to balance the amount of “bad bacteria,” helping you to stay free of digestive problems including constipation or diarrhea.
To keep it simple and easy, drink water and eat foods with fiber.
If you struggle with fiber-rich foods, check out Nature's Three!
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Your body will thank you!