Poop may not be dinner talk, but the quality and regularity of your bowel movements are a direct indication of how healthy your insides are functioning. To say it more plainly – A happy butt is a happy gut. You should be pooping at least once a day (Up to three is a healthy amount), and the consistency and shape are also signals of what is going on.
I am sure you are curious as to why we have made such a big stink (punny right?) about the importance of bowel movement health. Irregular, strenuous, or poorly shaped bowel movements can be due to several types of health complications. If we haven’t convinced you to take a closer look at your bathroom routine, here are some surprising conditions that are correlated with an unbalanced gut:
Some reasons your poop may be sub par:
- Your nutrition may not be optimal
- You could be stressed or anxious
- You may be dehydrated
- You could have a food intolerance.
- You might be too sedentary, and need more daily movement to move things along
Are you wondering if your poop looks pretty? Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, refer to this infographic created by Precision Nutrition to determine if your poop is a showstopper or needs a makeover:
So what if you consistently have great looking poops? It is an indicator that overall your health is in great shape! If you have daily poops that look good and don’t require much effort (you shouldn’t be able to get through an entire crossword puzzle while on the pot), are colored a solid brown, and don’t stink obscenely, good news! It sounds like you’ve got a great relationship with your bowels.
Reasons your poop game is on point:
- Your core muscles are strong
- Your digestive system and intestinal bacteria are operating well
- You’re getting enough fiber and other micronutrients.
- Your hormones are balanced
- You aren’t too stressed or anxious
If you aren’t an all-star in the bathroom department, have no fear. I have listed several ways to improve your digestion, and subsequent bowel movements. If you are concerned with your bowel movements, please discuss options with a medical professional before implementing significant changes to your diet/supplementation.
Ways to improve Bowel Movements:
- Make sure you are eating a nutritious and well balanced diet, consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Get a healthy dose of prebiotic and probiotic bacteria (beans and legumes, fruits, whole grains, starchy vegetables,yogurt, mold-enhanced cheese, and fermented products like sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi all contain these). If you detest these options, it may be beneficial to pick up a probiotic supplement.
- If you suffer from constipation, consider increasing your fiber intake. If diarrhea is a problem, you may need to decrease fiber, or eliminate sugar alcohols from your diet (Check your intake of “sugar free” foods).
- If you notice after you eat certain foods that your stomach is unhappy (gas, bloating, diarrhea) you may have a food intolerance. Try keeping a food diary of when you experience these discomforts, and eliminate those foods from your normal intake.
- Drink more water
- Make stress management a priority
- Increase your daily movement with a 30 minute walk
- Supplement with Magnesium – Magnesium Citrate helps bring water into the intestines and your stool to help make them easier to pass. Magnesium Glycinate (which is a supplement we sell at Progressive Performance) is used more as a sleep aid but can also help with digestion.
P.S. For the month of May we are offering a 20% off deal on Magnesium Glycinate talk to a coach about getting this in your diet.