After water, tea is the most commonly consumed drink in the world. Sales of green tea represent about one-fourth of the global tea sales.
People drink green tea because they like the taste, but also for its various health effects — one of which may be a laxative effect.
If you’re looking for conclusive evidence on whether green tea makes you poop, there isn’t a lot of strong research. However, there’s some information out there that may support the idea that green tea makes you poop when you drink enough of it. Keep reading to find out more.
There isn’t a lot of research specifically related to green tea and having to poop — what we call a laxative effect. However, some studies can give clues about how your digestive tract may react to green tea.
- A 2016 animal study looked at the effects of strictinin, a compound commonly found in green tea. The authors found that rats fed with strictinin had a greater laxative effect than rats that didn’t receive the compound. They found that strictinin increased movement in the rat’s small intestine, which made them poop more.
- Green tea contains caffeine. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) reports that caffeine has a laxative effect that can lead to diarrhea. The foundation says drinking two to three cups of coffee or tea a day can worsen symptoms.
- Drinking more fluids can help reduce constipation, a condition where you can’t poop often or your stools are hard to pass. Drinking more fluids, including green tea, can soften stools, so you can more easily have a bowel movement.
These are just some of the ways that green tea may make you poop, but there haven’t been human studies that say this is definitely true. Also, the potential laxative effects of green tea don’t seem to be as strong as other teas, such as senna and cascara.
Supplement manufacturers take some of the compounds found in green tea and package them into supplements and powders. These supplements may appeal to people who don’t want to drink a lot of tea each day to achieve green tea’s reported benefits.
One of the most common components in green tea extracts is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). This is a catechin, which is a compound that has antioxidant (inflammation-fighting) properties. However, researchers haven’t found that EGCG has a laxative effect.
If caffeine in green tea is the primary potential cause for making you poop, read your green tea supplements carefully. Some supplements have caffeine, while others are caffeine-free. Also, green tea extracts aren’t fluids, which may affect their constipation-reducing benefits.
While researchers have performed many studies on green tea and its health benefits, there isn’t a lot of conclusive evidence to conclude that green tea has any medicinal benefits. However, people use green tea or its extracts for some of the following purposes:
- aiding in weight loss
- improving mental alertness
- protecting against cancer and heart disease
- reducing headache pain
- reducing risks for some cancer types
As you’ll read below, drinking green tea doesn’t have a lot of side effects, and it has many reported benefits. Drinking it may help enhance your health, but it shouldn’t take the place of a doctor’s advice when it comes to your health, diet, or medications you’re taking.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reports that green tea is safe when used in moderation. Some of the rare but potential side effects of consuming green tea include:
- liver disorders, which may cause jaundice, dark urine, or stomach pain
- reduced effects of the beta-blocker nadolol
It’s important to know that green tea has caffeine in it. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may experience unpleasant symptoms like:
- rapid heart rate
- problems sleeping
Tea manufacturers use the Camellia sinensis plant to make black, green, and oolong teas. This means these tea types will likely have similar effects on the intestines. However, each tea type is prepared in different ways. For example, green tea is produced by lightly steaming the leaves.
However, some teas are known to have stronger laxative effects than those made from the Camellia sinensis plant.
Other tea types that may help if you experience constipation include:
- cascara tea
- dandelion tea
- peppermint tea
These teas may have various effects on your body that increase the likelihood you’ll go to the bathroom.
It’s important to note that these teas are useful for relieving occasional constipation, but they should not be used as a long-term solution. If you experience chronic constipation, speak to your doctor. It may be caused by an underlying condition.
Some people may find they poop more often or more easily when they drink green tea. However, there isn’t any research to suggest how much green tea can have this effect or if drinking green tea makes most people poop.
If you’re looking to drink a tea with laxative effects, talk to your doctor about other options, such as senna tea.