How to Make Your Digestive System Work More Quickly

Keep your digestive system moving by staying hydrated.

Slow digestive systems can leave you feeling lethargic, bloated and possibly even like you have gained weight. Your digestive system is an essential part of your metabolism, and along with eliminating waste, it is through this system that you absorb the vitamins and other nutrients that are in your food. A well-functioning digestive system requires that you eat healthy, fresh, whole foods; drink plenty of water; and exercise regularly.

Step 1

Eat smaller meals more often. Break the standard breakfast, lunch and dinner routine down to six smaller meals, spaced out every two to four hours, to keep your digestive system constantly operating, which can help its efficiency. Overeating at one sitting can slow your digestive system down while also increasing the chance of your body storing the excess food it cannot use as fat.

Step 2

Drink water regularly throughout the day. Water helps all of your body functions run more smoothly, including your digestive system. Fluid assists with the movement of your food from your stomach through your intestines and to the end of the digestive process. Keep a cup on your desk and drink water hourly.

Step 3

Consume high fiber foods. Fiber binds to your food and helps it move through your digestive system. Though you can buy fiber supplements and powders, it is actually found naturally in many foods that are very nutritious to eat, including fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole-grain breads. Include at least one food with fiber in it at every meal.

Step 4

Include mono and polyunsaturated fats in your meals, which along with benefiting your heart can improve the speed of your digestion and metabolism. Almonds, avocados and olive oil are beneficial healthy-fat choices.

Step 5

Move your body and be more active. Sedentary lifestyles can lead to a slow digestive system. The more your body moves and your blood flows, the more your activity will positively affect both your digestive and metabolic levels. Play a sport, take a dance class, join a gym or even walk regularly to destinations, rather than driving or taking the bus.

Things You'll Need

  • Water

  • High fiber foods

  • Poly and monounsaturated fats

  • Exercise equipment

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911. If you think you may have COVID-19, use the CDC’s Coronavirus Self-Checker before leaving the house.