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Home arrow Health arrow Gut Health arrow Does Fiber Make You Poop? Fiber's Role in Gut Health Explained

Does Fiber Make You Poop? Fiber's Role in Gut Health Explained

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 6, 2023
6 min read 1570 Views 0 Comments
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Are you struggling with digestive issues and wondering how to resolve them? Find out more about whether fiber could help you have more regular bowel movements in this article.

does fiber make you poop

Fiber is an essential macronutrient in the body. It comes in two forms, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, and cannot be digested by the body. Many people do not hit their daily goal for fiber intake, even though it has many health benefits.

While fiber is beneficial for your body, eating a high-fiber diet may take some getting used to, but once your body has adjusted, it can help improve the health of your digestive system and may even help you lose weight.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at what dietary fiber is, what it does to your body, and how long it takes for fiber to work, and we’ll answer the question: does fiber make you poop? Read on to learn more about fiber.

Does Fiber Make You Poop?

Fiber is very important for your gut health and digestion. While it doesn’t physically make you poop as a laxative would, it makes your stool larger and softer that in turn makes it easier to pass and reduces the risk of constipation.

Your fiber intake is incredibly important to ensure you have healthy and regular bowel movements. Many plant foods are high in fiber and should be consumed as part of a healthy diet to keep the digestive system healthy. You may also reach for fiber supplements to ensure you meet your daily requirements.

Fiber comes in two kinds: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. While most fiber-rich foods contain a mix of both soluble and insoluble fiber, some have more of one than others. Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber have different effects on your stool.

Insoluble fiber keeps things moving in your bowels and bulks up your stool. It effectively sweeps your bowels to make sure everything is out. While it doesn’t actually work like a laxative, it helps you clear your bowels.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, absorbs water, forming a gel substance. This improves the form and consistency of your stool and ensures bowel movements pass easily through your system. While, again, it doesn’t actually cause you to poop, it does help you to.

Other ways to improve digestive health include staying hydrated and drinking enough water each day, getting more exercise, like walking regularly or running daily, keeping bowel movements regular, as well as eating regular meals.

There is also some evidence that intermittent fasting could have a positive effect on digestive health. This diet method involves eating and fasting periods and may be beneficial for those with poor digestion.

What Is Dietary Fiber?

Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plant foods that the body can’t break down. Dietary fiber passes through the body undigested and has benefits for blood sugar levels. More fiber in your diet can help keep your digestive system in good health.

Dietary fiber is split into two kinds: insoluble fibers and soluble fibers.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and helps move food through your intestines. It ensures your stools are regular and helps to prevent constipation. This kind of fiber can be found in wheat bran, other whole grains, legumes, leafy greens like spinach and kale, and fruits with edible skins.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the bowels. It helps with stool consistency and is key in the regulation of blood glucose levels. It can be found in foods like oatmeal, chia seeds, nuts, and blueberries.

While a high-fiber diet is essential for good health, too much fiber can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and constipation. If you have digestive problems, you may be advised to get more fiber in your diet, but you should speak with a doctor if eating more fiber doesn’t help.

Dietary fiber is one of a few important macronutrients you need in your diet. Others are protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

What Does Fiber Do to You?

Getting a good dietary fiber intake ensures your digestive system runs smoothly. As it is undigested by the body, fiber passes through your body whole. This helps keep your bowels moving properly, ensures your stool is bulky and soft, and normalizes your bowel habits. Fiber, essentially, ensures you poop properly.

Fiber doesn’t make you poop as a laxative would, but it ensures your stool is regular, of soft consistency, and painless. Having too small a dietary fiber intake can lead to digestive issues, as can eating too much fiber, so getting it right is important for your health.

Some people, like those with irritable bowel syndrome, may struggle with fiber. You should speak with a doctor if you suspect you have IBS to get the best advice for your condition.

Getting a healthy dietary fiber intake has other health benefits, too, including lowering the risk of many chronic conditions and helping with weight management. Fiber is essential for diets like intermittent fasting to help keep you satiated and curb hunger cravings while fasting.

How Long Does It Take for Fiber to Work?

Fiber tends to take about 24 hours to actually make you poop. This means that if you’re eating a high-fiber diet, it will take effect the next day. If you overeat fiber, you may find that you suffer abdominal pain and feel bloated.

Many people take fiber-based supplements to counteract constipation, as it softens stool and makes it easier to pass. Fiber supplements usually take effect within 24–72 hours. Supplements may also be used during a fasting diet, like the OMAD method, to help you survive long periods of fasting and avoid hunger cravings.

Why Does Fiber Make You Poop?

If you get a healthy dietary fiber intake each day, this macronutrient will ensure you have regular and soft stools that are easy to pass and don’t cause pain. The two different kinds of fiber work together to make you poop, which is why a sufficient fiber intake is so important.

While insoluble fiber essentially acts as a sweeping brush to move food along your intestines, soluble kinds of fiber absorb water and ensure your poop is soft and easy to pass.

While a healthy fiber intake is important, it’s important that you don’t eat too much fiber. Too much can cause abdominal pain and discomfort. It might take a bit of trial and error to work out how much fiber is right for your body.

If your body struggles to handle fiber, or you have any digestive issues, you could try an intermittent fasting diet, like the Warrior diet, to see if this time-restricted feeding helps reset your digestive tract.

Are Fiber Supplements Effective for Constipation Relief?

Taking fiber-based supplements can help provide relief from constipation. Constipation can be caused by everything from calcium and iron supplements to antibiotics and Tylenol.

Most of these supplements come with many benefits, including improving digestion and providing relief from constipation and bloating as quickly as within 24–72 hours.


Does fiber make you constipated?

Too much fiber can cause constipation, as can too little. Your fiber intake is essential for digestive tract health, and if you’re having issues with your digestion, you should speak with your doctor.

Can fiber cause diarrhea?

Eating too much fiber can cause diarrhea, bloating, and gas, as well as constipation. Getting the right amount of each kind of fiber can help you have healthy and regular bowel movements. Speak with your doctor if you have chronic diarrhea.

How much fiber do you need?

Women need between 21 and 25g of fiber per day, while men need between 30 and 38g per day. You can find fiber in many plant foods, like wheat bran, whole grains, and fruits with edible skin.

A Word From Our MD

Though it doesn’t have the immediate effect of a laxative, fiber does ensure that you poop properly and regularly. Increasing dietary fiber intake can have a positive effect on your digestive tract as well as many other health benefits.

Getting enough fiber in your diet has many health benefits, including reducing your risk of conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. It is also thought to stabilize blood sugar levels, which is great for people with diabetes and may lower cholesterol levels.

Many people increase fiber intake to relieve constipation and other issues with digestive health, but you should aim to get around 20–25 grams of fiber for women and 30–38 grams of fiber for men per day for good overall gut health.

You can find fiber in many foods, including grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats, legumes, green beans and peas, nuts like almonds, and fruits and vegetables. Eating a plant-based whole food diet can help ensure you’re eating a diet rich in fiber.

If you are struggling with constipation, there are some home remedies, along with adding fiber to your diet, that work to relieve symptoms. These include ensuring you drink plenty of water, taking a fiber-based supplement, like psyllium husk, and getting more exercise. Good activities include long-distance running and walking a few miles each day.


So, does fiber make you poop? Essentially, yes – fiber ensures you have regular, soft, and painless poops and keeps your digestive tract in good health. If you want good gut health, you should aim to increase your dietary fiber intake.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: July 6, 2023
6 min read 1570 Views 0 Comments

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