What Is The Blue Poop Challenge And How Does It Work?

Poop happens to us all, and varies from person to person. But while a trip to the bathroom is an everyday phenomenon, it's typically not a subject found trending on Instagram or Twitter. That is — until the Blue Poop Challenge made its viral debut. As the name suggests, it turns poop blue, but this challenge is much more than that. It's a digestive check almost anyone can use.

This challenge was created by Zoe, a nutritional science company, to help people track their gut transit time. In other words, it's the time it takes from food to move through the digestive tract and turn into poop. But is this challenge research-backed? Absolutely.

Researchers from a 2021 study published in Gut reported that the connection between the gut microbiome and the bowel transit time can be measured by using a unique marker — blue poo. During the study, 1000 participants were asked to eat two blue muffins and drink chocolate milk within 10 minutes. What the researchers found is that it took an average of 28.7 hours for the blue bowels to show up. But some were as short as 12 hours. They found that shorter bowel transit times roughly meant that the participant had healthier guts and less abdominal fat (per Gut). Additionally, the researchers found that blue dye is more effective at measuring microbiome functions than any other method which tests bowel frequency and/or consistency.

How to try the blue poop challenge?

While the Blue Poop Challenge is going viral, does that mean you should try it? Well, that depends on your why. According to Medical News Today, gut health is closely tied to overall health since it supports digestion, immunity, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and weight. Researchers from the study published in the journal, Gut, say the challenge is meant to be an inexpensive way to clue you in on your gut transit time, gut health, and potentially overall health. So, if that's your reason to try the #bluepoopchallenge, carry on.

Keep in mind that it's not meant to diagnose, treat, or prevent any gastrointestinal concerns of issues. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned.

To start, you'll need to make your own blue muffins with the star component — royal blue food dye. While you can modify your muffins to your liking, Medical News Today explains using the correct amount of blue dye (at least 1 teaspoon) is crucial for blue poo success. Consider adding it to these simple applesauce breakfast muffins or gluten-free apple muffins. However, you can also try ZOE's recipe — or just order them from ZOE if baking isn't your forte.

After you eat two muffins at breakfast, then continue to eat as you normally would. Keep an eye out for greenish-blue poo to make an appearance in your toilet. Once it does, log your results and answer a few other questions on ZOE to populate your poop insights.