It’s not something discussed in most social circles, but one of the most important topics when it comes down to you being able to evaluate your health, is your poo. The frequency, form, fumes, and colour are all you need to evaluate your stool and to be able to make a reasonable assessment of how different areas of your body are functioning.

So, if you are ready to get down and dirty with your bowel movements, be sure to use this handy guide to measure your results.


There is no doubt that consistently moving your bowels is important, and anyone who has been constipated would certainly agree that infrequent bowel movements are, well, a pain in the ass. However, those who tend to go multiple times a day may say that sometimes “more” is not better. In the end, the answer lies somewhere in between, with some pertinent details.

The gold standard would be to have 2-3 complete and fully formed bowel movements a day. This means, you feel like your bowels have completely emptied each time, and your faeces are a type 3 or 4 (see more on form below). This is very difficult for most people to achieve, as their diet and inner ecology need to be nearly impeccable for this to occur.

The generally approved standard would be 1 complete and fully formed bowel movement a day. This would indicate that your diet and digestive system are in good working order. Anything less than this would indicate some level of constipation, which will eventually cause many chronic health conditions.

It is also important to note that going 4 or more times a day is NOT typically healthy, as it often indicates an overactive digestive system that is constantly attempting to rid itself of toxins. The only time this may be considered “normal” is when a detoxification or cleansing protocol is in effect.


To get the proper form, our digestive systems need to be efficiently breaking down and assimilating nutrients, and waste needs to be passing through our system in a reasonable time frame (too short a time frame and you have diarrhoea; too long and you become constipated). There are 7 types of bowel movements, and they can be described as follows:

Type 1: Separate hard lumps, like nuts (hard to pass).
Type 2: Sausage shaped, but lumpy.
Type 3: Like a sausage, but cracks on the surface.
Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft.
Type 5: Soft blobs with clear-cut edges (easy to pass).
Type 6: Fluffy pieces with ragged edges (mushy).
Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces.

You should consistently be achieving type 3 (good) or 4 (ideal). Anything else that is routinely passed (2-3 times a week or more), is indicative of digestive disturbances.


If your stool has an extraordinarily bad odour, you should not ignore it. This could be an indication of a number of digestive problems such as Candida, coeliac, Crohn’s, as well as other digestive support system issues such as pancreatitis and liver disease.

The bottom line is that stool will have a smell, but if it nauseates you or others, it’s a problem.


The colour of your poo, believe it or not, matters. An optimal stool is a nice medium to dark brown colour, like what you might see in milk chocolate. If it is black, it could be a sign of blood in your upper GI tract. If it is yellow or green, it could be a result of fat malabsorption or liver or gall bladder stress.

Certain foods can also change the colour of your stool, such as dark greens and beets, and this is typically not a concern.

Other considerations

There are debates as to whether floaters or sinkers are best, but the overall consensus seems to be that sinkers are better. You will also want to note any undigested food particles in your poo, which is a sign of incomplete digestion.

One other thing you may want to note is excessive mucus in your stools. This is another sign of digestive problems, possibly related to IBS, Candida, and/or a parasite infection.