If you’re struggling to poop, you’re not alone! Water has been said to help with this issue, but how accurate is this claim? I’ve done some research and here is what I found!
According to Medical News Today, drinking sufficient water helps you to make poop that is soft and easy to pass. An average adult should aim to consume 6-8 glasses of water per day. Additionally, seeking to have a bowel movement around a similar time daily can also help you to poop regularly.
Keep reading to find out how much water you need to drink to help you poop better, and tips on how to stay hydrated to avoid constipation.
How Much Water Is Enough To Help You Poop More?
The good news is that, if you are looking for a simple solution to help combat constipation, drinking more fluids is definitely the way to go! Water is super important to aid digestion, so keep reading to find out exactly why this is so.
When you don’t consume enough fluids, this can have a negative effect on your body in many ways, and this includes your bowel movements. In fact, there is a direct link between dehydration and constipation. According to WebMD, dehydration is the most common cause of chronic constipation.
The food you eat travels through your large intestine or your colon. If your body is lacking water, your large intestine soaks up water from your food waste, and this results in hard stools that are difficult to pass.
Most experts recommend that you should be consuming 6-8 glasses per day, but they also state you should be listening closely to what your body is telling you.
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recommends women get 91 ounces of water daily from food and drink daily, whereas men should aim for 125 ounces. This includes the fluids taken in from food.
In general, for your average, healthy person, 8 glasses a day is a great goal to set. If you have a medical condition, you may need to drink less or even more, but it is recommended you first consult with your doctor if you are unsure.
Common Signs You May Be Dehydrated
Your urine is actually a really good indicator if you are dehydrated. If it is clear or a light yellow, this means you are sufficiently hydrated. If it is dark yellow or amber, this is a sign you may need to up your water intake.
There are other signs of dehydration that you should definitely be aware of:
- Hardly needing to urinate.
- Dark urine.
- Unusually dry mouth.
- Constantly feeling tired and fatigued.
- Extreme thirst.
- Constant headaches.
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
- Feeling confused or forgetful.
- No tears when you cry.
According to The Family Doctor, people who exercise at high intensities in hot weather, or people who have certain medical conditions (such as bladder infections and kidney stones), pregnant women, or sick people are most at risk for dehydration. Older people are also less able to tell whether they are dehydrated or not, so they are also at higher risk.
Since water makes up about 60% of your body, it is so important that you monitor your hydration levels to combat dehydration and constipation as a result. You lose water constantly throughout the day due to sweating, going to the bathroom and even breathing!
Hot weather, exercise, and illness only exacerbate this, especially if you are vomiting or experiencing diarrhea. With that being said, keep reading to find out how you can make sure you drink enough water to prevent any further complications.
How To Stay Hydrated To Avoid Constipation
While drinking enough water daily may seem like an easy thing to do, but for many people with active, busy schedules this can prove to be a challenge! I’ve made this easier by providing some helpful tips on how you stay hydrated throughout the day to improve your bowel movements.
01. Keep a bottle of water with you during the day
For many people, their daily routine is very much on-the-go, meaning it can be difficult to have access to drinking water when required. To prevent this, make sure that you keep a bottle of fresh, clean water on you throughout the day, and make it a habit to sip from it regularly.
02. Drink water before, during, and after a workout
If you are exercising, it is really important that you keep drinking water both during your workout and after. Exercise increases the amount of fluids you lose dramatically due to the amount of sweat you produce.
03. When you’re feeling hungry, drink water
What many people don’t know is that your body often confuses hunger with thirst! To test this, if you are feeling peckish start by drinking a full glass of water. If, after 5 minutes or so, you are still feeling hungry, chances are you are genuinely hungry and need to eat.
If not, then this may be your body signaling you to drink more fluids! In fact, drinking water can actually help you lose weight as it helps you feel fuller and keeps your body’s hunger pains in check!
04. Set up a schedule
If you are struggling to keep track of your water intake, you may need to keep some kind of a reminder or schedule that you need to stick to. For example, make sure you drink one glass of water as soon as you wake up, one with breakfast, one with lunch, one before dinner and one after dinner.
05. Eat more fruits and vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables are naturally high in water, meaning that you are hydrating yourself without needing to actually drink water. For example, fruits such as apricots, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, cucumber and watermelon contain over 80 percent water!
For constipation, prunes, flaxseed, nuts and strawberries are also especially helpful.
06. Consider sports drinks
Certain sports drinks are packed with electrolytes and carbohydrates that can help your body absorb water more effectively and increase energy levels. Just be careful to check the back of the bottle to make sure it contains these, and be weary of drinks high in caffeine or taurine, as this will do more harm then good.
With that being said, don’t confuse energy drinks with sports drinks! They are not the same as sports drinks, and usually contain very high levels of caffeine, guarana and sugar which can overstimulate you and even dehydrate you further.
07. Limit Alcohol & Caffeine
Alcohol and caffeine are notorious for being heavy diuretics, meaning they make you need to urinate more and this makes you lose fluids much faster. While coffee has been said to help make move your bowel, too much of it can have the opposite effect as it can result i dehydration.
Does warm water make you poop?
According to Felice Schnoll-Sussman, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, any warm beverage can help stimulate a bowel movement. A cup of tea or warm water with lemon is ideal to help you go, as warm liquids act as a vasodilator, meaning it widens the blood vessels in the digestive system and increases blood flow and GI activity.
I don’t like the taste of water, what other fluids can help me stay hydrated?
Adding some lemon to your water can add a bit of taste and make it easier to drink. If not, coconut water, aloe water, milk. soda water and herbal teas can also help hydrate you and provide you with essential vitamins and nutrients.