There are many benefits to a good morning poop: Less bloating, for example. Or confidence that you took care of business and won’t have to go when you’re out and about.
Know that you don’t have to go number two every morning, though. A normal BM schedule can range from as many as three poops a day to as few as three per week, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
And everyone is different. As long as you’re staying consistent in your pattern, you’re good. In other words, you don’t have to make a special effort to get yourself to poop daily, says Aaron Martin, MD, a gastroenterologist with Jefferson University Hospitals in Philadelphia.
That said, if you know you need to go and want to get things moving along, there are some things you can do to stack the cards in your favor for a good morning poop:
1. Drink Water
Make sure you adequately hydrate in the evening.
“One of the main functions of your colon is to help your body reabsorb water. If you want to have a BM, it’s important that your colon is seeing enough water — and that means keeping yourself hydrated,” Dr. Martin says.
Of course, know thyself: Before bed is not the time to start pounding water because you’ll be up in the middle of the night peeing, which can disturb your sleep. But a big tall glass of water with dinner? That’s a great idea.
2. Make Beans a Part of Dinner
For general GI regularity, a diet that draws water into the colon is necessary. And that type of diet is high in fiber.
Dr. Martin recommends eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day. (The official recommendation in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is 25 to 38 grams per day, or 14 grams for every 1,000 calories you eat.)
For dinner, make sure you’re getting about one-third of that, depending on how many meals and snacks you typically eat in a day. In general, the best fiber-rich foods are beans, according to the Dietary Guidelines, including navy beans (10 grams per half-cup cooked), white beans (9 grams per half-cup cooked) and chickpeas (8 grams per half-cup cooked).
3. Take a Daily Fiber Supplement
If you’re having trouble revamping your diet or know you’re falling short on fiber, Dr. Martin says you can ensure you’re getting enough of the nutrient by taking something like psyllium husk, which is a naturally occurring fiber.
You can buy psyllium husk plain or get it via Metamucil. Just know that as your body adjusts to the added fiber, you might feel a bit bloated temporarily. Stick with it and your belly should start to deflate once your GI system adjusts.
4. Head Out for an After-Dinner Walk
If you haven’t gotten in your daily bout of physical activity yet, get outside after dinner for a walk around the neighborhood.
“The more active you are, the better. If you’re active at least once per day, it promotes colonic motility to help you have a BM,” Dr. Martin says.
Want to stay in? Try a 7-minute workout app or a post-meal 10-minute yoga flow that boosts digestion and encourages elimination.
5. Hit the Hay Earlier (So You Can Wake Up Earlier)
Give yourself some extra time in the morning to eat something for breakfast, suggests Dr. Martin.
“Eating stimulates movement in your colon, encouraging you to have a BM,” he says.
What’s more, if you’re giving yourself enough get-ready time in the morning, you’ll have the opportunity to spend the time you need in the bathroom instead of rushing out the door.
6. Set Your Automatic Coffee Maker
Set the timer to go off in the morning, so you can have a cup of coffee as you wake up. Many people find that coffee is one of the only ways they can poop in the morning.
Prefer your coffee chilled? Make cold brew coffee the night before, so all you have to do is pour and sip.
7. Sip Senna Tea
Senna is a naturally occurring herb that has some stimulant effects on the colon, and it can be useful for mild and occasional constipation, Dr. Martin says.
Before trying a tea, he suggests using a fiber supplement, because that has more data behind it. Herbal remedies are also not FDA-regulated, which means you can’t be certain about how much of the active ingredient it contains.
However, if you’re going to try senna tea, choose a brand you trust. (We recommend Traditional Medicinals Organic Smooth Move Tea.)
Keep in mind that these teas tend to promise mild laxative effects within six to 12 hours of drinking. If you’ve never used one before and aren’t sure how your body is going to react, you might want to make sure you don’t have anywhere important to be the next morning.