A rather common question that people have when incorporating smoothies more and more into their daily diet is, do smoothies make you poop?
The short answer is yes, smoothies can definitely affect your bowel movements and help you poop.
In addition to all the other aspects of your health that smoothies can affect and improve, digestion and bowel movement is definitely affected when consuming smoothies regularly.
Let’s go over why and how smoothies might make you poop…
Why Do Smoothies Make You Poop?
Drinking smoothies may make you poop because a smoothie is essentially a fibre-rich drink.
These are the main aspects of a smoothie that affect bowel movements:
- Digestive enzymes
Fibre is what passes through the digestive system without being digested. Instead of being digested and absorbed, fibre plays a large part in bowel movement, among other important functions.
There are two types of dietary fibre: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre.
Soluble fibre attracts water, softens stools, and slows digestion. Some soluble fibres are also fermented by good bacteria in the gut (these fibres are known as prebiotics).
Insoluble fibre helps bulk up the stool and move waste along through the bowels.
Regular dietary fibre intake (both soluble and insoluble) helps maintain regular digestion and bowel function, as well as a healthy gut microbiome.
Smoothies tend to have a lot of fibre because fibre is found in fruits and vegetables, as well as other common smoothie ingredients such as nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, coconut, and dark chocolate.
Additionally, smoothies contain a lot of water. Water is often used as the liquid base of a smoothie. Also, fruits and vegetables tend to have high water content.
This combination of fibre and water is necessary for healthy digestion and to get the bowels moving properly. This is why people often find that smoothies make them poop.
If you’re also wondering if smoothies can give you diarrhea or constipation, the answer is yes. These outcomes can occur if you are intaking too much fibre/too little water, or too little fibre/too much water.
Increasing your insoluble fibre intake can help with constipation, while increasing your soluble fibre intake can help with diarrhea. See this article for more details.
In addition to fibre and water, smoothies can contain other ingredients that may affect your bowel movements.
One such ingredient is caffeine. Caffeine is known for its slight laxative effect, meaning it helps your body excrete excess water and waste. Caffeine is found naturally in tea, coffee, matcha, and cacao.
Additionally, some natural foods contain unique enzymes that can help with digestion. One example of this is pineapple, which contains an enzyme called bromelain which helps the digestion of proteins.
Smoothies That Make You Poop
Most well-balanced smoothies with high fibre and water content will help you poop regularly.
However, some smoothies are more likely to make you poop than others…
Do Green Smoothies Make You Poop?
Green smoothies in particular are known to make you poop.
This is because the main components of green smoothies are leafy greens and water.
Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, are very high in insoluble fibre. Blending large amounts of leafy greens to make a concentrated and hydrating green smoothie will be sure to move your bowels right along.
Just keep in mind that too much insoluble fibre can be tough on your digestion. You don’t want to overdo it with green smoothies as this can cause digestive discomfort if your body is not used to it. (more on this later)
Do Fruit Smoothies Make You Poop?
Fruit smoothies, or any smoothie containing fruit (which is most smoothies), are also very likely to make you poop.
Firstly, fruits are naturally high in fibre and water.
Fruits contain plenty of soluble fibre, as well as insoluble fibre in their skins.
And some fruits, like melon, are almost entirely made up of water (>90%)!
Additionally, many fruits contain sorbitol.
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that draws water into the digestive tract, thus helping loosen and pass stools and relieve constipation.
You’ve probably heard that prune juice is a tried and true remedy for constipation relief, and the reason for this is because prunes have a very high sorbitol content.
Other sorbitol-rich fruits (and fruit juices) include:
- Stone fruits (peaches, plums, etc.)
- Dried fruits (prunes, dates, etc.)
Including these fruits or fruit juices in your smoothie can definitely help you poop.
What Happens If You Drink Smoothies Everyday?
A daily smoothie is a great way to provide the fibre and hydration needed to maintain regular, healthy bowel movements.
Once you start drinking a smoothie everyday, your body will gradually adapt to the diet change and your digestion will regulate.
However, note that, in the beginning, digestion will likely be disrupted and you may experience inconsistent bowel and stool movements as your body experiences a greater intake of fluids and fibres.
If you’re not used to it, increasing your fibre intake can lead to gut discomfort such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. This is why green smoothie cleanses can cause people a lot of digestive distress and can be quite unpleasant, especially in the beginning.
To avoid this, start out slow and gradually increase your fibre intake over time.
With the right amounts of liquids and fibres, your body will soon develop regular bowel movements.
To help with this, especially if you are drinking smoothies regularly, focus on creating well-balanced smoothies.
Also, it can help to focus on probiotic intake. Fibre acts as a prebiotic, which is the food that probiotics (aka “good bacteria”) eat in the gut. A good intake of healthy probiotics will keep your gut microbiome thriving, which then leads to a healthy and strong digestive system and an overall healthy and strong body.
Probiotics are found naturally in many smoothie ingredients, including:
- Cottage cheese
- Other fermented foods
Check out these probiotic-rich smoothie recipes.
In terms of often you should drink smoothies, a healthy and balanced smoothie a day can do wonders for your health, including your digestive health.
However, limiting your diet to only drinking smoothies, as some cleanses require, will likely be difficult for your digestion and your body to adapt to.
So, while you can definitely drink a smoothie everyday, perhaps stick to just one or two smoothies per day.
I hope this article answered the question, “do smoothies make you poop?”, and explained why and how smoothies can affect your digestive system and alter your bowel movements.
I hope you find this information helpful as you move along on your healthy smoothie journey!