March 17, 2013
Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.
I have a confession: I poop once per day.
One smooth, silky, glorious morning movement, and then I'm done. And I don't really think about number 2 at all until the next day. It's quite convenient, actually – especially compared to my old days of hitting the head a handful of times during the day, occasionally straining, always feeling like I had something “still inside”, and having to deal with a bit of bloating to boot.
Not anymore, baby.
One key to this pooping revolution is revealed in a popular article I wrote last year called “How I Ate A High Fat Diet, Pooped 8 Pounds, And Then Won A Sprint Triathlon“.
In that article, I tell you about the shocking results of my switch to proper pooping mechanics (squatting to poop instead of sitting to poop), using something called a “Squatty Potty“. As a matter of fact, one of these Squatty Potty devices now resides in every bathroom in my house – I own a white wooden model, a white plastic model and a quite fashionable bamboo model.
The gist of that whole squatting discussion was that your body is meant to be in a squatting position to properly eliminate stuff from your colon, and when you’re sitting (as most Westerners mistakenly do), you put upward pressure on your rectum, creating a “kink” that keeps much of your poop inside (or at least makes you strain a lot harder as you try to push it out).
But when it comes to learning how to poop the right way, there are some tricks that go way above and beyond simply squatting to poop.
So today, in my discussion with certified health nut and former male model Troy Casey, you're going to learn exactly what those tricks are, and ensure smooth bowel movements and banished constipation forever (and I have a hilarious video for you at the end of this post)…
During my discussion with Troy (pictured right), I ask him:
-What is the best way to take a poop?
-How do minerals and hydration play a role in healthy pooping action?
-What are some ways to get you pooping if you're constipated?
-How do you “clean the poop shoot”?
-Are colonics good?
-How does what you eat affect your poop?
-What does a healthy poop look like?
-How does an impacted colon affect the whole system?
-Why is pooping properly so important for overall performance?
-Why is pooping properly so important for overall health?
It turns out even though we both squat to poop, and we both avoid intestinal irritants like wheat, soy and commercial dairy, it turns out that Troy and I actually have two different approaches when it comes to supplements or herbs for taking a good poop.
Here's a synopsis of our two different approaches:
Troy's Better Pooping Regimen
1. Dr. Schultz's Intestinal Formula – Troy refers to this as “drain-o for your digestive tract”. It apparently stimulates and strengthens the muscular movement of the colon. The ingredients include aloe, senna and cascara sagrada. I've personally never used it.
2. Clay – yes, literally edible earth. It is supposed to have a detoxifying effect, and is also a rich sources of minerals. And you just eat the stuff. Once again, something I haven't personally used, but Troy swears by it.
3. Fiberzon Herbal Colon Cleansers from the rainforest – OK, this one is a high fiber supplement. I tend to side with Dr. Konstantin Monastyrsky when it comes to high fiber (he wrote this article on BenGreenfieldFitness about why too much fiber is bad), and I feel the long term health effects may outweigh the short term pooping benefits. But Troy mentioned it, so I wanted to give you a link in case you want to try it!
Ben's Better Pooping Regimen
1. Colorectal Recovery Program – In the article I wrote about how to limit the damage from antibiotics, you learn how use of antibiotics can completely nuke the healthy bacterial terroir in your digestive tract. It turns out that in my fight with MRSA last year, during which I was forced into a high antibiotic dosing regimen, I did some pretty good damage to the good bacteria in my colon – to the point where I could barely even fart because there was really no bacteria “down there”. I was severely constipated for weeks and I searched desperately for a solution. With just 30 days of this Colorectal Recovery Program (designed by Dr. Konstantin Monastyrsky, who wrote the article about why too much fiber is bad) I was right as rain. I don't use this stuff any more, but successfully “jump-started” my pooping system with a month of it.
2. MagO7 – This is a blend of elemental magnesium from ozonated magnesium oxides, mixed with elemental potassium. Two months ago, my friend Drew Canole told me about it, I ordered some, and it's turned out to be quite successful for my pooping experience. This stuff has a potent stool softening effect, and I've been taking 5 capsules a night with a glass of water. So that I'm no overdoing the magnesium, I have switched my normal nightly dose of Natural Calm magnesium to about half as much, only taken as pre-afternoon nap relaxation dose.
3. CapraCleanse – Even though I'm not a huge fan of the high amounts of fiber in CapraCleanse, and hence do not use it on a daily basis (click here to see why I limit high fiber supplements), this is the one supplement that I've found to make a big difference if I happen to be consuming moderately high amounts of alcohol – which typically happens to me in party situations about once every month or so. I just pop 3-4 before drinking and 3-4 after drinking, and it not only has a good liver cleansing effect, but also eliminates the inevitable constipation that can occur with high alcohol consumption (click here for more of my natural hangover cures).
Well, there you have it.
Those are quite obviously two different approaches to getting stuff moving smoothly – and I'll bet both would work for you (but with all due respect to Troy, I happen to be partial to my own personal pooping approach).
Ultimately, nothing beats combining “squatting to poop” with a healthy diet that eliminates common digestive irritants and unhealthy processed foods. But I'm all about better living through science too, and if you struggle with constipation, bloating, or many, many toilet trips, you may want to consider implementing the supplement advice in this article and the practical stuff in the audio too.
Questions, comments or feedback about how to poop the right way? Leave them below this post!
Finally, lest we take ourselves too seriously about this stuff, here's a hilarious video from a guy who was at my Become Superhuman event, where we talked about pooping properly, living a non-toxic lifestyle, fasting, cold thermogenesis, grounding, mycotoxins in cheese and more…and he apparently is implementing WAY too much too soon…
33 thoughts on “The Zen of Taking A Good Poop.”
What about the Bristol Stool Scale?
My best tip for poop is to perform bioenergetics. They have helped me tremendously without even changing diet. But I highly recommend changing.
Just squat down and shit in the floor this way you get to look at it too.. so amazing!!!!
Woman. 65. Save your money. For the past nine months I’ve been sitting backwards on the toilet. Since starting my recurrent bladder discomfort has completely disappeared. No exaggeration. And pooping is a breeze (lean back a little and you’ll understand). Yes ladies. It’s a bit inconvenient, but the benefits are absolutely worth it.
Does this mean you are facing the tank? I am trying to understand. Thank you!
I now understand why our toilet bowls have broken on two occasions……..but I have also noted that small children naturally squat to poop until we persuade them to sit on a toilet.
Rather that remodeling your bathroom & answering the inevitable inquiries from guests, I've discovered a simpler method for the "squat" technique. All you do is sit down to poop on a normal western toilet, but instead of sitting up straight, you simply lean forward putting your upper body & shoulders near your knees. This achieves the exact same squatting position only your body is parallel to the floor. It works.
Ben, the diet piece is a big part of cleansing. I don't think one can cleanse as deeply or as quickly when consuming a diet of foods that takes a lot of energy to digest. That's why people traditionally do juice or water fasts to ease digestion. But having no protein and inadequate calories takes its toll on your lean mass. That's why I'm interested in the question of how to eat light, detoxify, and preserve muscle.
Yes, I hear you. Check http://www.REVDiet.com too – the Reboot part of that diet is super clean and would go well with a detox.
Ok, you got me curious. I tried to buy the RevDiet program at the $17 price but your verification thing didn't believe I had tweeted you but I did. Here's the tweet: https://twitter.com/wildaboutmath/status/31963647…
You and your guest discussed cleansing a bit. What cleanse would you recommend that would move poop, detoxify the organs AND not break down muscle mass? I once did the Arise and Shine cleanse. It was an awesome cleanse but I lost a lot of muscle mass just juicing and doing their herbs. I'm wondering if the milk cure or a cleansing diet with something like Garden of Life's Raw Meal which has lots of easy to assimilate raw vegan protein (not that I'm a fan of veganism long-term) would work.
The stuff I wrote bout and linked to in the summary, Sol, specifically theColorectal Recovery Program – http://www.gutsense.org/store/colrectkit.html?AFF…
What would you do if you suspected that you had parasites in your body?
I'd do a parasitology test :https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/ben-recommends/lab-tests/complete-gut-test-gi-effect-comprehensive-profile/
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What did you think of his suggesting to find out about your metabolic type? According to Dr Google, I am not supposed to drink coffee as a fast oxidizer (which is MEAN!!) and I'm supposed avoid fermented foods like sauerkraut and kombucha. :c/
So I tried climbing up on the toilet this morning, except i had socks on… all im going to say is that socks are slippery and that was one of the worst epic fails that i have ever experienced
hm……i've been using a squatty potty for the past few months and i still feel like i don't empty completely. i'm not sure if it's helped. i wonder why. any ideas??
You sitting…or squatting? Make sure you actually squat. Butt shouldn't touch seat.
ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!! really? my butt's been touching the seat!!! oops! on other websites they show people sitting on the seat and just putting their feet on the squatty potty. oh well. i'll try not to touch it. does that require strong quads?
No, just some work on flexibility. You can do it.
The Squatty Potty was a great idea. I bought one after reading something you wrote here. I enjoy your candor on this, by the way. Steve Ilg, one of the great leaders in the industry, is also candid about this topic. Your point on taking a few minutes in the morning to destress is huge for both my wife and me. That is so important.
Thanks Dan. And thanks to you, this Thursday I've got Litvinov sprints lined up with a kettlebell and hill behind my house.
Be sure to go INSTANTLY from one move to the sprint. I found that just dropping and going to be the best. I worked with an NFL Defensive Back on this, he is in the picture of me sprinting away from the bar while the bar is about shoulder height, and he told me that “this” was exactly what helped him for years after our sessions. Drop and go. And, focus on blasting out of there, top speed, if you slow, stop, rest and do another. Quality counts here.
I'll be holding a dumbbell in the middle of a field, so easy-peasy. On paper at least.
Any solution or thoughts for my dad who has Diverticulitis? Who spends A LOT of time on the toilet often to no avail..? And take fiber pills like crazy..
Get off fiber, ASAP. I'd recommend the Colorectal Recovery program (link in article above).
Nice squatting dunny shot. That's my morning position as well; however, I remove my pants.
Is that Brock in the first pic? With the suede boots??
Dumb and Dumber! Although I'm sure Brock will take it as a compliment…
I seriously think I gave birth out of my colon the first time I used a squatty potty…
Me too…check it out: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/04/why-y…