Food takes an average of 53 total hours to travel through the human body, according to the Mayo Clinic. Average digestion times for women are longer than for men, with transit time through the large intestine averaging 47 hours for women and just 33 hours for men. Digestive times for children are faster on average, with a total digestion time of 33 hours from ingestion to excretion.
After eating, food takes about six to eight hours to pass through the stomach and small intestine, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the stomach, food is bathed in gastric acid and broken down by chyme, a digestive acid, before passing into the small intestine.
Bile, pancreatic enzymes, and digestive enzymes work together to break the food down further, according to Enchanted Learning. After spending adequate time in the small intestine the food passes into the large intestine, which absorbs much of the water and electrolytes from the food.
WebMD reports that food waste must pass through 5 to 6 feet of colon before exiting the anus. After food waste travels through the ascending, transverse and descending colon, it passes through the sigmoid colon attached to the rectum. When stool moves into the rectum, a signal is sent to the brain and the stool is eliminated through the anus.