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Can Drinking Green Tea Cause Diarrhea? (Side Effects)

Last updated on June 21st, 2022

Can Drinking Green Tea Cause Diarrhea

Green tea is commonly known to be beneficial for your health, and tea, in general, tends to have a calming effect on your mood and increase well-being.

However, certain foods can cause an upset stomach or severe diarrhea, so today I will explain whether drinking green tea can cause diarrhea.

As a general rule, green tea can cause diarrhea.

Any more than 2 to 3 cups of tea can cause diarrhea.

The active ingredient that causes it is caffeine.

However, some people react differently to caffeine and it causes no diarrhea at all.

If you get diarrhea from tea, drink fewer cups per day.

Green tea is made from the same plant that black tea is made from.

Both contain reasonable levels of caffeine so drinking green tea or black tea will cause similar effects.

Green tea can also affect the body in different ways, so below I will explain if you should drink green tea when you have diarrhea and if it’s bad to drink green tea every day.

Is Green Tea OK for Diarrhea?

Is Green Tea OK for Diarrhea

Diarrhea causes you to lose more fluids from your body than is normal and therefore, you need to consume foods that stop diarrhea and replace fluids that you’ve lost.

Green tea is a great way to drink water because it’s hot, which is nice to drink, and also has a flavor to it.

However, certain foods can be bad for diarrhea and make it worse, so here’s an explanation about whether green tea is OK to drink when you have diarrhea.

In general, green tea is OK if you have diarrhea.

However, do not consume more than 2 to 3 cups of it.

Green tea contains high amounts of caffeine, and consuming more than 2 to 3 cups can have a laxative effect.

Bowel movements occur naturally every day or so, sometimes every few days.

If your stool is particularly dried out it can cause constipation.

There are various detox teas that contain antioxidants.

However, generally, your best option is to drink a lot of water and eat high-fiber foods.

Green tea extract can be more effective than drinking green tea because it has everything that green tea has but in a more concentrated form.

Water stools are generally caused by consuming too much of one nutrient such as vitamin C.

Your body tries to get rid of them because they cause harm to your body.

But, does green tea cause diarrhea?

Not on its own or if you drink one or 2 cups a day.

Difficulty pooping can be caused by poor gut health.

But, overall the main cause is not drinking enough water and eating foods that are too dry such as bread, cheese, and rice.

On the flip side, these foods can be very good at reducing acute diarrhea if you get it.

Eating too much dry food such as rice can also cause irritable bowel syndrome and digestive issues. Which gives you gas, and an upset stomach.

The amount of caffeine in a cup of green tea is about half that found in a cup of coffee.

If you consume one or two cups during the day it won’t act as a natural laxative.

Whether green tea changes your stool color or causes watery stool

Stool color generally is not indicative of a problem and is generally colored based on the foods you eat.

It’s possible to have green poop if you drink green tea but generally, it isn’t caused by it.

And is instead caused by eating green foods.

Here’s an interesting video that explains why your poop can be different colors:

The hot water in tea generally cools by the time it enters your digestive system.

And your body’s natural pain mechanism will stop you from drinking hot tea too quickly.

Green tea can be good for weight loss if it’s used as a substitute for sugary sodas, or other drinks that are high in calories such as milkshakes.

Typical green tea consumption in Chinese restaurants is to drink 2 to 3 cups before and after a meal.

But, the cup sizes are very small. And only amounts to one total cup.

As you may know, the digestive tract is made up of the small intestine and the large intestine.

Excuse the graphic explanation, but as food travels through and all the nutrients in it are absorbed it turns into poop.

If the food you eat is particularly dry and hard, and you don’t drink enough water it can cause abdominal pain.

All of this can be avoided by ensuring you eat a good serving of fruits and vegetables, and drink the recommended amount of water everyday.

This has the added benefit of keeping you in good health.

Drinking green tea on an empty stomach will increase the absorption of caffeine which can cause it to have more of a laxative effect.

Green tea is a type of tea that seems like herbal tea but is in fact a black tea similar to Earl Grey, or English Breakfast.

All green teas are harvested from the Camellia Sinensis plant.

Green tea is made by flash steaming or heating tea leaves.

Whereas, black tea is made from the dried leaves of the same plant.

Ginger tea, fennel tea, and chamomile tea are types of herbal tea.

There are many known benefits to herbal teas such as being good for the digestive system.

However, a tea named senna tea is one of the best teas for constipation and induces loose stools that are easier to pass.

The adverse effects of drinking too much green tea are acute diarrhea and an upset stomach.

This is due to the caffeine content in green tea.

If pregnant women should drink less green tea

In general, it’s recommended for pregnant women to consume about half the recommended daily intake of caffeine.

This is about 1.5 cups of coffee or tea.

The caffeine content in coffee is lower than the caffeine present in tea.

But, black tea also contains other nutrients and drinking more than 2 to 3 cups will provide the body with excessive amounts of these.

Which can cause digestive problems and stomach pain.

Black tea is high in antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce free radicals.

Green tea doesn’t have any antibacterial properties but does reduce free radicals.

Caffeine generally causes a feeling of well being and increases your concentration.

On the flip side, it can increase your heart rate, which can give you a feeling of anxiety.

Therefore, large quantities of green tea at once is generally not a good idea.

As you may know, inflammation is the body’s natural response to harmful chemicals that enter the body.

This is due to green tea catechins that have been shown in scientific studies to reduce inflammation (source).

But, is also one of the health benefits of drinking teas made from the Camellia Sinensis plant such as oolong tea, white tea, and orange pekoe tea.

Orange pekoe tea is a grade of tea that is higher quality than some other types of black tea.

I covered this in detail, as well as, whether orange pekoe tea is good for you in this article about what orange pekoe tea is good for.

Green tea leaves can also be ground into a powder which is called matcha tea.

What Happens if I Drink Green Tea Everyday?

What Happens if I Drink Green Tea Everyday

A cup of tea such as green tea is very relaxing, but can also have caffeine which boosts your energy levels and concentration.

There are moderate amounts of other nutrients that have health benefits.

I wanted to know overall if green tea is good for you and what happens if you drink it every day, here’s what I found.

Overall, green tea has positive and negative effects when consumed everyday.

Drinking more than 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day can lead to serious health issues.

Whereas, less than that and you get the benefits of the antioxidants in green tea, explained below.

Antioxidants are known to help protect against free radicals.

Free radicals have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and related to heart disease high blood pressure.

Free radicals occur in the environment and can be ingested in food, absorbed on the skin, and inhaled.

They are toxins that are present in the air and can be in food.

Therefore, consuming foods that naturally eliminate them from your body such as green tea is very beneficial.

However, consuming too much green tea can also have negative effects.

Side effects of drinking too much green tea

The side effects of drinking large amounts of green tea are difficulty sleeping, stomach problems, dehydration, diarrhea, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, skin problems, and reduced absorption of iron which can cause iron deficiency.

Iron absorption is related to the chemistry of other foods you eat, and different teas such as Earl Grey, English breakfast, and oolong teas.

Each of these types of tea contains the same amount of caffeine that green tea has.

One of the mild side effects of too much caffeine is that it can make you pee a lot.

More than you normally would even if you drink a lot of water.

The negative health problems can be avoided by only drinking a few cups of green tea a day at the most.

And generally, you should try to drink different types of herbal teas such as camomile, or peppermint tea.

Provided you don’t replace the water you would drink with green tea and limit your green tea consumption to under 2 to 3 cups a day, green tea is fine to drink every day unless you have a preexisting condition.

In which case you should check with your health care provider before drinking green tea.

If you drink more than that you will get too much caffeine.

Why Is Green Tea Making Me Poop?

Why Is Green Tea Making Me Poop

If you drink a few cups of green tea you can notice that you have diarrhea symptoms or you need to go to the bathroom quite soon after to take a poop.

There are two nutrients in green tea that make you poop, caffeine and strictinin.

The amounts in green tea mean that a person would need to consume more than 2 to 3 cups in a day for it to cause to poop.

But, some people are unaffected by the caffeine and strictinin in green tea.

One of the risk factors of drinking green tea is that you can consume too much caffeine, because of this fact the green tea’s side effects include:

  • Feeling anxious
  • An upset stomach
  • Stomach pain

But, as long as you drink less than 2 cups of green tea per day you generally won’t experience any of these symptoms.

But, if you also drink a lot of coffee or other types of black tea such as Earl Grey, Ceylon, or English breakfast tea it can cause you to experience the above symptoms.

Generally, it’s best to balance out cups of tea with water.

One of the best ways to consume green tea is to have 2 cups spaced out during the day.

Such as one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

Green tea and other black teas have a reasonable amount of tannins.

The presence of tannins gives green tea a slightly bitter taste.

Tannins in and of themselves don’t have much of an effect on whether or not you get diarrhea.

Can Green Tea Act as a Laxative?

Can Green Tea Act as a Laxative

Constipation can be brought on by not drinking enough water, and not consuming enough fibrous foods over a few days.

Once you get constipation it’s very uncomfortable, and generally, you want to have normal bowel function as soon as possible.

There are a few ways to treat it, but can green tea have a laxative effect?

Generally, green tea can act as a laxative.

But, you need to consume more than 2 to 3 cups of green tea in a day for it to have a laxative effect.

The nutrients in green tea that have a laxative effect are caffeine and strictinin.

However, the laxative effect only affects some people.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the USA has stated that 400 mg of caffeine a day is the upper limit for what’s safe based on scientific studies.

A cup of tea such as green contains about 10% of this amount.

However, due to the other nutrients that are in it, it has a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts.

It can also cause acid reflux.

Not everyone experiences acid reflux and it can be triggered by certain foods.

And generally, if you consume too much of one food.

If you get acid reflux from only drinking a cup or two of green tea then it’s a good idea to see your healthcare provider.