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The Scoop on Poop

WebMD helps you answer the most common and sometimes sensitive questions about bowel movements.

Good GI Health

Tricks to keeping your poop on track are simple ones: a healthy diet high in fiber, lots of water, and regular exercise.

“Generally, 20-25 grams of dietary fiber per day is recommended, and for many people, you get this much in a healthy diet,” Esrailian says. “If you are having infrequent bowel movements and are experiencing discomfort, then the first easy way to correct it is to increase dietary fiber through food, supplement, or both.”

High-fiber powerhouse foods are whole-grain cereals and breads, fresh vegetables and fruit, and nuts. Usually, a day or two of a fiber-focused diet will put your trips to the bathroom back on track.

Proper hydration is also key for your colon, ensuring you have enough fluid in your body to move stool through the digestive track and out the other end on a regular basis, Esrailian says.

Exercise is also beneficial for your bowels. It helps improve GI “motility,” he says, and can often alleviate constipation by improving your metabolic and digestive processes.

Overall, normal is a pretty easy mark to make when it comes to your bowel movements, both experts say, and aside from the warning signs they offered, what goes in one end usually comes out the other with minimal problems along the way.

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Reviewed on June 06, 2013

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