Why Does Pho Make Me Poop? Understanding the Science Behind This Common Phenomenon.

Pho is a popular Vietnamese dish that has gained popularity in many parts of the world. It is a delicious soup made with a combination of rice noodles, herbs, and meat. However, some people have reported experiencing digestive issues after consuming pho, particularly the urge to poop. As someone who has experienced this phenomenon, I decided to investigate why does pho make me poop.

One possible explanation for why pho makes me poop is the high fiber content in the dish. The rice noodles used in pho are made from rice flour, which is high in fiber. Additionally, pho typically contains a variety of vegetables and herbs, such as bean sprouts and basil, which are also high in fiber. Consuming a high-fiber meal can stimulate bowel movements, leading to the urge to poop.

Another possible explanation is the use of spices in pho. Pho typically contains a variety of spices, such as star anise, cinnamon, and cloves, which can stimulate the digestive system. Spices can increase the production of digestive juices and enzymes, leading to increased bowel movements. Additionally, some people may be sensitive to certain spices, which can cause digestive issues such as diarrhea or stomach cramps.

The Science Behind Pho and Digestion

The Science Behind Pho and Digestion
The Science Behind Pho and Digestion

The Components of Pho That Affect Digestion

As a Vietnamese noodle soup, pho is made up of several ingredients that can affect digestion. The broth is typically made from beef bones, which are rich in collagen and gelatin. These proteins can be difficult for the body to break down, leading to slower digestion and potentially looser stools.

Pho also contains rice noodles, which are high in carbohydrates and fiber. While fiber is important for digestive health, consuming too much of it can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, the herbs and spices used in pho, such as coriander and star anise, can have a laxative effect on the body.

How the Body Processes Pho

When we eat pho, our bodies begin to break down the proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in the soup. Enzymes in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine help to break down these macronutrients into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body.

However, if the body is unable to fully digest these molecules, they can pass through the digestive system and into the large intestine. Here, they are fermented by gut bacteria, which can produce gas and cause bloating, cramping, and diarrhea.

The Role of Gut Bacteria in Digestion

The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in digestion, as it helps to break down and absorb nutrients from food. However, an imbalance of gut bacteria can lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea and constipation.

Pho can affect the gut microbiome in several ways. Firstly, the high carbohydrate content of rice noodles can feed certain types of bacteria, leading to overgrowth and potential digestive issues. Additionally, some of the herbs and spices used in pho have antimicrobial properties, which can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria.

Overall, while pho can be a delicious and satisfying meal, it is important to be aware of the potential digestive effects of its ingredients. By understanding the science behind pho and digestion, we can make more informed choices about what we eat and how it affects our bodies.

Common Digestive Issues and Pho

Common Digestive Issues and Pho
Common Digestive Issues and Pho

Why does Pho make Me Poop?

As someone who loves pho, I have noticed that sometimes after eating it, I need to use the bathroom. This is a common problem that many people experience after eating pho. The main reason for this is the high fiber content in the dish. Pho typically contains a lot of vegetables, such as bean sprouts and onions, which are high in fiber. Fibre is important for digestive health, but it can also cause digestive issues, such as diarrhea.

Constipation and Pho

On the other hand, some people may experience constipation after eating pho. This is because the broth used in pho is made from bones and meat, which are high in protein. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, but it can also cause constipation if you don’t drink enough water. If you are experiencing constipation after eating pho, try drinking more water throughout the day to help soften your stools.

Gas and Bloating and Pho

Another common issue that people may experience after eating pho is gas and bloating. This is because pho contains a lot of spices, such as ginger and star anise, which can cause gas and bloating in some people. Additionally, the noodles used in pho are made from rice, which can be difficult for some people to digest. If you are experiencing gas and bloating after eating pho, try drinking peppermint tea or taking an over-the-counter gas relief medication to help alleviate your symptoms.

Overall, pho is a delicious and healthy dish that can provide many benefits for your digestive health. However, if you are experiencing digestive issues after eating pho, it may be helpful to identify the specific ingredients that are causing your symptoms and adjust your diet accordingly.

Tips for Enjoying Pho Without Digestive Issues

Tips for Enjoying Pho Without Digestive Issues
Tips for Enjoying Pho Without Digestive Issues

Choosing the Right Ingredients

When ordering pho, make sure to choose ingredients that are easy on your digestive system. Avoid fatty meats and opt for leaner options such as chicken or tofu. Additionally, choose vegetables that are cooked thoroughly and avoid raw vegetables as they can be harder to digest. Finally, be mindful of the amount of spice in your pho as it can irritate your digestive system.

Eating Pho in Moderation

While pho is delicious, it’s important to eat it in moderation to avoid digestive issues. Stick to small portion sizes and avoid overeating. Additionally, take your time when eating and chew your food thoroughly to aid in digestion.

Preparing Your Body for Pho

Before enjoying a bowl of pho, there are a few things you can do to prepare your body for digestion. Drinking warm water or tea before eating can help stimulate digestion. Additionally, consider taking a digestive enzyme supplement to aid in the breakdown of food. Finally, avoid drinking cold beverages while eating as it can slow down digestion.

By following these tips, you can enjoy a delicious bowl of pho without experiencing digestive issues. Remember to choose the right ingredients, eat in moderation, and prepare your body for digestion.


In conclusion, Pho is undoubtedly a delicious and nutritious soup that has gained popularity around the world. However, its effects on our digestive system can be a cause for concern for some people. 

So, why does pho make me poop? While the exact reasons why Pho makes us poop may not be fully understood, it’s clear that the ingredients and spices used in this Vietnamese soup play a significant role in our digestive health. 

The next time you enjoy a steaming bowl of Pho, remember to savor the flavors and appreciate the unique experience that this soup can offer. After all, food is not just about nourishing our bodies, but also about connecting us with our culture, our memories, and our sense of identity.

About Mai Tran

As Mai Tran, the author of the Bunker Vietnamese website specializing in Vietnamese food, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all my readers. Growing up in a Vietnamese household, I have always had a deep appreciation for the rich and diverse flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Through my website, I aim to share my passion for cooking and my cultural heritage with the world. From traditional recipes passed down through generations to modern twists on classic dishes, my website is a celebration of the vibrant and delicious world of Vietnamese food. Join me on this culinary journey and discover the beauty and complexity of Vietnamese cuisine.

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