The Hydrating Fruit That Can Help You Poop Quickly

There's nothing worse than a stubborn gut. You can feel when a bowel movement is imminent, but your attempts at going number two only result in a great deal of strain, or worse, pain. If you're among the 16% of adults reportedly affected by constipation (via National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), know that there's one deliciously hydrating fruit that may hold the key to a smoother bathroom experience, and you can easily find it on any fruit platter at a summer pool party.

Made up of 92% water, watermelon is the most hydrating fruit you can get (via Memorial Healthcare System). Water is essential for healthy poops, as dehydration is one of the primary contributing factors to constipation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you'll find 261 grams of H2O in one wedge of watermelon — that's more than 1 cup of water. Go ahead and count that towards your recommended eight glasses of water daily!

Pair watermelon with fibrous foods for constipation relief

Water is only one piece of the equation, however; the other piece is fiber. Experts at Parade say coupling watermelon with a variety of fiber-rich foods may work wonders for constipation, but that neither food can do it alone. "Watermelon is mostly water," registered dietitian Vanessa Rissetto told the outlet. "When we consume more fibrous food, we need water to help with digestion." 

More fibrous foods will have at least 5 or 6 grams of the nutrient, but a single wedge of watermelon has only a little over 1 gram of fiber, according to the USDA. Don't be so quick to forgo watermelon in place of excess fiber, however. Water and fiber go hand in hand, and focusing solely on fiber intake without adequate hydration can work against fiber's positive effects on gut motility. "Fiber alone without the addition of water is almost counteractive when talking about bowel movements—the two are needed together," registered dietitian Nicole Roach told Parade. 

Eating too much watermelon could have the opposite effect on your bowel movements

While watermelon may help improve your bowel movements, stick to the flesh of the fruit — not the rind. Researchers from a 2021 study published in Current Developments in Nutrition set out to see if consuming watermelon that had been liquefied in a blender with the rind intact influenced participant blood sugar levels, satiety, and pooping habits. The study team theorized that consumption of watermelon rind would have positive effects on participant bowel movements, seeing as the rind contains fiber. The findings showed that, although improvements were seen when it came to blood sugar and satiety, watermelon rind did not impact participant bowel movement habits. If you were always told that the rind belongs in the trash, learn what happens to your body when you eat a watermelon rind.

That being said, whether you get your fluid intake from watermelon or elsewhere, the important thing is to stay hydrated. However, if you are thinking about upping your watermelon intake to help relieve constipation, you'll want to do so mindfully. Experts at Memorial Healthcare System caution that because the fruit is a high-FODMAP food, eating too much could induce uncomfortable bloating, diarrhea, or yes, constipation.