Ah, poo! Le caca in French! Say this simple word and you will get a lot of attention (not only from children). Let’s have a look at what can make you poop, and it’s not only food as you will see.
Some of you may have experienced that: you start your run and after a few minutes, mid-run or even just at the finish line you feel the urge to poop. Although the exact mechanisms are not yet clear, a combination of factor can increase gut motility and bowel movements. These include increased blood flow triggered by the physical activity and the release of vasoactive intestinal peptide, neurotransmitters and adrenaline.
Caffeine may trigger contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles while relaxing the anal sphincters… Through other mechanisms a decaf coffee can have the same effects, the simple act f drinking making the colon more active.
Stressful situations trigger hormone release (adrenaline, cortisol, serotonin), which can upset the digestive system, causing intestinal spasms and increasing gastrointestinal motility.
The hormones at play this time are the prostaglandins that relax smooth muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.
Water contributes to the digestion process, it can help soften stool and prevent constipation.
As you see, some factors are outside of our control, but you can act on others such as water intake and exercise in case you feel constipated. Finally, did you know that a poop scale exists?? It is called the Bristol stool scale or chart, ideally you want to be between types 3 and 4, a nice sausage 🙂