We Tried This Viral Olive Oil Trick To Poop Instantly. Here's How It Went

Constipation isn't a major concern in my life. Even so, there are times when I need a little extra help getting things moving. So far my trusty sources have been coffee and some fruit on those particularly stubborn bowel movement days. They seem to work every time. 

Even so, when I found out that olive oil could be added to my list of unexpected ingredients to make yourself poop instantly, I gave it a go. To be very specific, I tried it on four mornings when I thought I needed some additional assistance. According to some experts, viral TikTok posts, a tenth of adults in the U.K. (via The Daily Mail), and drinkers of Oleato, the Starbucks creation of coffee infused with extra virgin olive oil (via HuffPost), there's something to be said about this trick.

One thing was for sure. The hack brought back some (unpleasant) memories of having to consume raw eggs with a drop of olive oil in them when I first got my period — a Southeast Asian custom my grandmother insisted we carried out but is not recommended for obvious reasons of possible salmonella poisoning. But I persevered and followed the general recommendation of drinking one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on an empty stomach in the morning. Unfortunately, the hack didn't send me running to the toilet immediately as I'd hoped it would. In fact, on most mornings, I sat and waited for that instant poop, which never seemed to materialize. One morning, I caved and drank coffee as well which did the trick. 

How the olive oil hack is supposed to work for constipation

Olive oil is thought to have laxative properties because it coats and smoothens the insides of your bowels, making for an easier flow of waste. Additionally, this Mediterranean-diet oil could help your poop hold on to water, giving it softness, once again making for easier passage through your system. According to South Florida chiropractor Alan Mandell, who goes by the name motivationaldoc on his social media platforms, olive oil's laxative nature is due to its fat content (mostly monounsaturated fats) and this poop hack can help adults who have constipation. However, it's not recommended for infants and children. 

According to a 2014 four-week, double-blind, randomized, and controlled trial published in the Journal of Renal Nutrition, olive oil and flaxseed oil proved to be as effective as mineral oil in the treatment of constipation in individuals undergoing hemodialysis. 

As for how often you should be pooping, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements in a week. If your poop is hard and dry, you're straining to go (which is not recommended), and you feel like you've not emptied out all of your poop, these can be signs of constipation too. 

Your diet plays a part in constipation. For example, a lack of sufficient fiber, consuming a lot of high-fat or processed foods, and not drinking enough water can contribute to this condition. Leading a largely physically inactive lifestyle and changes to your routine (like travel plans) can also mess with your bowel movements. Sometimes, your constipation could be a result of medications or underlying health conditions like a spinal cord injury or irritable bowel syndrome. 

Things to consider about drinking olive oil to poop

Stumbling on genius ways to get yourself to poop instantly can feel like you've won the lottery. And even if the trick didn't work for me, what's to say it won't for you? (Perhaps my bowels have gotten used to coffee being their regular stimulant). 

Speaking of coffee, you may have seen social media posts about people needing to use the bathroom quickly because of diarrhea-like symptoms after consuming the Starbucks Oleato. Experts seem to think that the double-whammy effect of coffee and olive oil is what could be to blame here. Coffee stimulates bowel movement by boosting levels of the stomach muscle contraction-causing hormone gastrin. "Olive oil can enhance the well-known laxative effect of coffee. [However,] this combined effect may be too potent for some people," explained a gastroenterologist and assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Priyanka Singh (Well+Good). 

As for how you should try the olive oil hack, it is best to go with extra virgin olive oil (because it's the least processed and contains a higher level of antioxidants and vitamins) and stick to just one tablespoon a day. Too much might send you running to the bathroom in a bad way (we're talking diarrhea). Also, expect a peppery or burning aftertaste in your throat when you take a spoonful by itself. This is because extra virgin olive oil contains the powerful phenol oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen. In fact, this is why the kitchen pantry staple is known to reduce your risk of dying from dementia