nutrition

Does Green Tea Make You Poop? Everything You Wanted to Know

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

Medically Reviewed by

Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS

5 min read

a tea pot and two cups of green tea on a wooden platter

You may wonder if green tea has the same laxative effects. We all know about black tea and coffee, but what about potential green tea side effects?

Yes, green tea can make you poop.

Whether in the form of tea or matcha, green tea can have a slight laxative effect, but it's not as strong as some other natural laxatives. Still, if you enjoy green tea and are having trouble with mild constipation, green tea may help move things along.

Does Green Tea Make Your Poop Green?

Green tea contains a pigment called chlorophyll which contributes to its green color. No, green tea will not make your poop green in most circumstances. However, drinking a lot of matcha can cause a slight bluish-green hue in your bowel movements. Still, this is not very common.

How Much Green Tea Will Make Me Poop?

It varies from person to person, especially if you experience occasional constipation or digestive issues from time to time. A constipated person may not have enough green tea in their cabinets to help move things along. If you have a healthy digestive system, you may have to go before you finish your first cup. Typically, one cup of green tea should do the trick for the average person, but 3 cups a day will offer the optimal health benefits. According to this study, 3.5mg/kg of caffeine can stimulate the urge to poop. An 8 ounce cup of brewed green tea contains an average of 28 mg of caffeine for reference.

Do Green Tea Supplements Also Have a Laxative Effect?

It depends. Some green tea supplements can also make you poop depending on the ingredients. The caffeine in green tea is most likely what can cause you to poop in the first place, so if the caffeine is present in your green tea supplement then it may have a potential laxative effect. However, it may take longer this way, since drinking green tea will lead to faster absorption than taking a capsule will. If your supplement only contains green tea extract or EGCG then the caffeine content may not be enough to move your bowels and have a laxative effect.

Can I Drink Green Tea Every Day?

Absolutely! Green tea is full of antioxidants and it's one of the healthiest beverages you can enjoy, assuming you aren't loading it with sugar or cream. Green tea on its own or with a little honey or lemon is incredibly healthy.

The only concern of drinking green tea daily would be developing a caffeine dependency, which would be something you have in common with 85% of the US population who consume at least one caffeinated beverage per day. Still, green tea has less caffeine than coffee or black tea, so don't worry too much! Also, feel free to try decaffeinated green tea to avoid caffeine if you are sensitive to caffeine.

What Are the Benefits of Green Tea?

Green tea is a fantastic source of antioxidants referred to as polyphenols, which help fight free radicals in the body, which can help reduce some of the effects of aging, and so much more. Unfortunately, coffee may be the main substantial source of antioxidants in the average American diet, so finding more sources is a great idea for overall health. Also, green tea is largely considered a "superfood" by dietitians due to its rich antioxidant portfolio.

Research also suggests that green tea may help improve brain function. This is partly to do with the caffeine, as well as with the bioactive compounds present in the herbs. Green tea contains polyphenols called catechins. And based on this study conducted with healthy adults over a 12 week period, catechins may have a supportive role in maintaining healthy working memory.

Can Green Tea Help With Weight Management?

Absolutely. Many studies have suggested that green tea can help with weight loss if used correctly, which is why green tea supplements are so popular for weight loss goals. This is partly due to the caffeine and also partly because of bioactive substances that can help you burn calories.

Still, the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you consume. This means exercising more and eating fewer calories are still a must along with getting regular sleep, eating balanced nutritious meals, and adequate hydration . If you can maintain that, green tea can be an excellent aid in your weight management journey!

When Is the Best Time to Drink Green Tea?

The short answer here is that there isn't necessarily one perfect time for everyone. If your goal is for a "pick-me-up" or for its potential laxative effect, the morning is the most popular time.

However, green tea is a great way to get through an "afternoon slump" without a stronger caffeine source like coffee. For the average person, green tea has enough caffeine to help boost your productivity without keeping you up at night. If you currently don't consume caffeine, try it in the morning to start!

Does Green Tea Have Other Side Effects?

Caffeine always has side effects, no matter its source. However, there are little to no side effects of green tea. Still, caffeine can cause overstimulation or irritability. Of course, it can also cause physical dependence on caffeine over time with regular use.

What Other Drinks Can I Use as a Laxative?

Coffee, black tea, and other caffeinated beverages are known to be relatively strong and natural laxatives. For options without caffeine, consider natural juices such as:

  • Prune juice
  • Pear juice
  • Apple juice

The idea is the juice can help increase the water content in the stool helping the bowels move smoothly. Moreover, you can also try drinking kefir or plenty of water. Water is one of the best natural digestive aids there is! You may also want to consider using some gut aids to ensure that your gut bacteria is working properly.

Key Takeaways

Now that you know some of the key benefits of green tea, as well as some of its side effects, you can make an informed decision about adding green tea to your diet. Green tea is a great way to stay warm in the winter, pick yourself up during the day, and receive some great health benefits along the way.

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