This evening I had dinner with two friends. One of them wanted to go to a ramen place downtown. I was fine with that since I quite fond of noodles and soup of all forms. I did warn him though that the last five or six times I’ve had ramen, I’ve had to poop with varying levels of urgency within two hours of eating it.

I’m not sure what’s with ramen that causes such a reaction. I’ve definitely had ramen without any ill effects but that was a long time ago and I can’t remember the last time it went down without an incident.

My most recent encounters with ramen have been quite an adventure. More than a year ago, I had ramen at this new place and I didn’t even make it to the end of the meal. Things started rumbling and crashing inside me about ten minutes after I finished my bowl. Luckily, this place had really nice single occupant washrooms. I won’t go into the details of what transpired in there, except to say it was explosive.

That was probably the worst experience and my other ones have been less severe. Sometimes it’ll be anywhere between half an hour to an hour before I feel anything and once that happens the urgency will be anything from mild to great concern. At any rate though, it’s serious enough that it has to be dealt with before I can do anything else. Like I wouldn’t even think about having ramen and then going to a movie. That’s just asking for trouble.

So for dinner tonight, I decided to see if I could change things up. Usually when I have ramen, I get it with a tonkotsu broth, which is a very rich, fatty, and flavourful pork-based broth. It’s my theory that the richness and fat of the pork in the broth is more than my digestive system can handle. To test this, I ordered a ramen with a chicken-based broth. It was much more clear, clean and less rich compared to tonkotsu.

Our whole meal went without incident. I was thinking maybe I was onto something by avoiding the fatty broth. My friends and I left the restaurant and then went somewhere else to hang out and talk. I felt fine the entire time. About an hour and half after we finished dinner, we all headed home. As usual, I took the train home, quite content that I didn’t have to deal with ramen poops for once. Then approximately ten minutes from my stop, I felt that very familiar rumbling in my intestines that signaled that something was up.

Luckily, the build up of the intensity was relatively slow so it wasn’t a full-on emergency while I was on public transportation. While that was certainly true, make no mistake, this was definitely something had to be dealt with fairly soon. I made it back home without incident but by this time there was a level of discomfort there. I dropped by keys and wallet on the kitchen counter and made it a bee-line to the bathroom where I sought the release of what was ailing me.

So, while it was delayed this time by about two hours, I did not actually escape the ramen poops. What is it about ramen that causes me to have this reaction? I’m not sure. When it comes to other noodle soups, I’m fine. I’ve never had problems after eating a bowl of won-ton noodle soup. I eat pho on a very regular basis. I had it last week actually. I feel totally fine after a bowl of pho.

My situation with ramen has come to the point where I really question if I should have it if I won’t have easy access to a bathroom within 10 to 30 minutes after I eat it. Perhaps I should avoid it for the near future? I would really like to know what in the bowl of ramen causes this problem.

12 thoughts on “RAMEN POOPS”

  1. This. Exactly this. I’ve realized the last half a dozen times I’ve had ramen (all from the same place though) about 2 hours later I must make an urgent trip to the bathroom.

    I would love to know if you’ve had any breakthroughs on the cause of this mystery? Is it an intolerance to something? I get a similar ailment when I eat corn.

    Anyway, thanks for reading about a complete strangers bowel movements 😛

  2. Hello! Thanks for sharing your ramen experience! A new ramen place opened up close to where I live. I didn’t hesitate to try it because I could get home really quickly if need be.

    I’ve gone there about six times now with no problems. I’m not sure why. Their broth isn’t really that fatty compared to other ramen places I’ve been to. It makes it less tasty but no poops though!

  3. I wish I knew the answer because I have the same problem. I have had problems at my local place more than once, thought it was the restaurant’s fault. But today I had a bowl of tonkatsu ramen in a different state and then got in the car for a 90 minute drive home. I had to stop and use a gas station bathroom hallway. It’s really a shame because I love good ramen but I think I have to give it up. Also no problem with other soups like pho, which I eat even more often than ramen.

  4. Thanks Elissa for your experience with ramen! It’s two years later and I still have problems! I never give pho a second thought but ramen always invites danger. Good luck going forward!

  5. Man!!! Someone else with this problem. I went to my local ramen place twice witg the same issue. The first time I thought it was food poisoning but it happened a second time. Now I had ramen at a completely different restaurant and my stomach just wants to poop it out like crazy!!! I’m lactose intolerant so thought maybe it has to do with that but I’m really not sure

  6. I’m also quite lactose intolerant! There’s no dairy in ramen though, at least to my knowledge. I wonder if there’s a connection though.

  7. Sodium and water do not mix well.
    Salt is sodium. If you go to a ramen place that uses lots of sodium you will need to make trips to the bathroom.
    A good ramen place you will taste no sodium in the ramen because they will use the natural salt in the meats to flavor the broth. This also means you are less likely to go to the bathroom urgently.

  8. Hi guys, tonkotsu soup is from cooking long time of animal bones, which give you rich and creamy white looking and flavor, but by cooking long time of bone, you will also get gelatin from those animal bones, gelatin seems like the key word of the problem.

  9. Omg this is not just me, so I have IBS, and I can’t tolerate a few things especially Onion and garlic. Now last night I devoured half of vegetarian soy-based Ramen. It was delicious, however, when we left my tummy was going “What have you done” and next minute… I had to run for the toilet. Today I am still pooping (liquids -.-), it could be the fact that maybe you cant tolerate onion or garlic, or it could be the sodium factor which I did not think of until now.
    But i hope you figure out whats wrong, cause i thought ramen was safe! :\

  10. Hi Sarah! Thanks for leaving a comment! I have IBS too and I’m not sure if onion or garlic is the problem for me. I can eat those things in other foods and I usually have no problems.

    It could be a unique combination of things coming together in ramen that causes intestinal distress. The last two times I’ve had ramen was fine and that was with a chicken broth. I’m perhaps going back to the theory that chicken broth helps a bit.

  11. Oh my god, I’m not alone. So while my boyfriend’s favorite meal is Ramen, it’s my terror. Exploding!! Weird noises. Air balloon belly. Jesus!! What’s that Ramen poop problem…. v.v

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