When you’re feeling constipated and want relief, you may wonder what liquids can help get things moving more quickly. Certain beverages are known to have laxative effects and stimulate bowel movements. This article explores some of the most effective drinks for relieving constipation fast.
Coffee is a popular morning drink that also doubles as a way to help you poop. The caffeine in coffee stimulates contractions in your gastrointestinal tract, which can help move stool through your system more quickly. Coffee’s laxative effect is strongest when you drink it black and on an empty stomach. Just one 8-ounce cup of black coffee can often lead to a bowel movement within 30 minutes or less.
How coffee makes you poop
Coffee stimulates contractions in your colon and intestinal muscles, helping move stool through your system faster. The caffeine in coffee also triggers the release of gastrin, a hormone that promotes colon contractions. Additionally, coffee’s warmth may stimulate the urge to have a bowel movement.
Coffee dosage for constipation relief
Most research suggests drinking 1-2 cups of black coffee on an empty stomach when constipated. Too much caffeine from excessive coffee intake can cause headaches, jitters, and dehydration, potentially making constipation worse.
|Cups of coffee||Expected laxative effect|
|1 cup||Mild laxative effect within 30 minutes|
|2 cups||Moderate laxative effect within 20 minutes|
|3+ cups||Strong laxative effect but increased risk of side effects like jitters and dehydration|
Prune juice is commonly used as a natural laxative. It contains sorbitol, magnesium, and potassium, all of which can help stimulate bowel movements. Prune juice has a mild laxative effect and is safe to drink daily. Most people report pooping within 30-60 minutes of drinking a glass.
How prune juice makes you poop
Prune juice contains sorbitol, a sugar alcohol with laxative effects. Bacteria in your gut ferment sorbitol, stimulating bowel movements. Prune juice also contains magnesium, which relaxes the intestinal muscles to promote pooping. The high potassium content attracts water to your intestines, which softens stool.
Prune juice dosage for constipation
Drink 4-8 ounces (1/2 to 1 cup) of chilled prune juice on an empty stomach. You can also dilute prune juice in water if the taste is too strong. Prune juice works best first thing in the morning. Drink a glass daily to keep your bowel movements regular.
|Amount of prune juice||Expected laxative effect|
|4 ounces||Mild laxative effect within 60 minutes|
|8 ounces||Moderate laxative effect within 30-60 minutes|
|12+ ounces||Strong laxative effect within 30 minutes|
Warm Lemon Water
Drinking warm or hot lemon water first thing in the morning can help stimulate a bowel movement. The acidity of the lemon juice triggers contractions in your digestive tract to move stool. The warm temperature also stimulates peristalsis in the intestines. Lemon water is gentle on your stomach and has a mild laxative effect.
How lemon water makes you poop
The citric acid and vitamin C in lemon juice stimulate digestive juices and contractions in the intestines that push stool through. The warm temperature helps relax the intestinal muscles and loosen stool. Lemon water also encourages the production of bile, which supports healthy pooping.
Lemon water dosage for constipation relief
After waking up, squeeze the juice from half a lemon into 8 ounces of warm water. Drink the entire glass first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Repeat daily as needed to relieve constipation.
|Amount of lemon juice||Expected laxative effect|
|Juice of 1/2 lemon in 8 oz warm water||Mild laxative effect within 30-60 minutes|
|Juice of 1 lemon in 8 oz warm water||Moderate laxative effect within 20-30 minutes|
|Juice of 2+ lemons in 8 oz warm water||Strong laxative effect within 10-20 minutes|
Milk of Magnesia
Milk of magnesia is an over-the-counter laxative made of magnesium hydroxide. It works by drawing water into the intestines to soften and loosen stool for easier passage. Most people have a bowel movement within 30 minutes to 3 hours of taking milk of magnesia. It provides fast constipation relief but shouldn’t be used for more than a week.
How milk of magnesia makes you poop
The magnesium hydroxide in milk of magnesia acts as an osmotic laxative, meaning it pulls water into the colon to liquefy stool and stimulate pooping. The magnesium ions also have a muscle relaxing effect on intestinal walls. Both actions allow stool to move more freely through your system.
Milk of magnesia dosage for constipation
Take 2-4 tablespoons (30-60ml) of milk of magnesia as needed for constipation relief. Do not exceed the maximum dosage of 4 tablespoons in 24 hours. Shake well before use. You can mix milk of magnesia with 8 ounces of water or juice to improve the taste.
|Dosage||Expected laxative effect|
|2 tablespoons||Mild laxative effect within 1-3 hours|
|4 tablespoons (max dose)||Moderate to strong laxative effect within 30-60 minutes|
Castor oil is a thick, vegetable oil that can be used as a natural laxative for quick constipation relief. However, it has a strong taste and can cause cramping, so it should only be used occasionally. Most people will have a bowel movement within 2-6 hours of ingesting castor oil.
How castor oil makes you poop
Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which stimulates the intestinal mucosa and smooth muscle contractions to move stool through the colon. It also draws moisture into the intestines to soften and loosen stool for an easier bowel movement.
Castor oil dosage for constipation relief
Take 1-2 tablespoons of castor oil on an empty stomach. Mix the oil with fruit juice or blend into a smoothie to improve taste. Don’t exceed 2 tablespoons at a time. Castor oil works best when taken at bedtime so you can poop first thing in the morning.
|Dosage||Expected laxative effect|
|1 tablespoon||Mild laxative effect within 2-4 hours|
|2 tablespoons||Strong laxative effect within 2-6 hours|
Other Liquids with Mild Laxative Effects
Some other beverages can have a gentle laxative effect when consumed in sufficient quantities. However, they are generally weaker than other fast-acting options. These include:
- Apple juice – contains sorbitol
- Pear juice – high sorbitol content
- Grape juice – stimulating effect
- Aloe vera juice – hydrating and soothing
- Probiotic drinks – support gut bacteria
- Vegetable juice – provides fluids and nutrients
- Green tea – contains caffeine
Drink 1-2 cups of any of these beverages when constipated and increase fiber intake to support regular bowel movements. Their effects may be milder and slower than other laxative drinks.
The Best Liquids for Fast Constipation Relief
If you’re looking for immediate constipation relief, the most powerful laxative liquids are:
– Black coffee
– Prune juice
– Milk of magnesia
– Castor oil
Coffee and prune juice are natural options that generally produce a bowel movement within 30-60 minutes. Milk of magnesia and castor oil are over-the-counter laxatives that work in 1-6 hours.
For a milder effect, warm lemon water or other gentle juices can help. Always drink plenty of water with any laxative beverage to stay hydrated. Check with your doctor before using any constipation aids regularly.
When constipation strikes, drink plenty of fluids like coffee, prune juice, lemon water, and milk of magnesia to quickly get things moving again. Coffee and prune juice offer natural relief within an hour. For severe constipation, milk of magnesia and castor oil are effective but stronger options. Along with sufficient fiber, staying hydrated, and exercise, these liquids can help you poop fast when you’re backed up and uncomfortable. Talk to your doctor if you experience chronic constipation that diet and lifestyle changes don’t resolve. With the right remedies, you can get bowel relief fast.