Japan has amazing toilets! Maybe it’s the matcha (powdered green tea) because matcha does make some people poop more frequently. This can be beneficial if you’re naturally constipated. But it can be a bit troublesome if you poop too much or get diarrhea.
Matcha contains high levels of antioxidants and caffeine. And caffeine has a laxative effect. It acts as a stimulant that speeds up bowel movements in many people. Antioxidants, for their part, help the kidneys and liver – organs responsible for flushing out waste from the body – to function.
Because of these laxative characteristics, matcha tea indeed can indeed make you poop. For that reason, many people like to drink it early morning to encourage a bowel movement.
Matcha is safe when consumed in moderation. However, high doses may disrupt the digestive system and diarrhea – one matcha’s few possible, but unlikely, side effects. If you know how to make some minor adjustments, you can keep enjoying matcha at any time of day.
It helps to understand what’s going on, then look at what you can tweak to keep things coming out well.
The matcha and laxative connection
Well, matcha is a laxative and this effect is chiefly because of caffeine present in it. The caffeine stimulates movement of the bowels, activating and contracting the colon to create a gastrocolic reflex. This reflex pushes the stool to gather quickly in the colon resulting in quicker defecation.
Another reason for matcha tea and the laxative connection is the presence of antioxidant -Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This antioxidant boosts the liver and kidney’s function. These organs are responsible for eliminating unnecessary waste in your body.
One study reported that matcha contains up to 137 times more antioxidants than a normal, water-drip green tea. The antioxidants in matcha tea enhance the function of these organs. As a result, the body is better able to flush out and eliminate toxins, enabling normal bowel movements.
What ingredients in matcha are related to pooping?
Matcha is a green elixir with quite high caffeine. Not as much as coffee, and slower release, but plenty more than regular black and green teas.
Caffeine urges motility and stimulates the intestinal walls, which triggers a queasy stomach and prompts a faster bowel movement. Caffeine is also a diuretic that elevates urine output.
This process results in dehydration of the body, causing the digestive tract to pull extra water from the poop. This may result in bowel movements like diarrhea or stool texture which is not usual.
Combine the stimulant with the diuretic property of caffeine, and you get a more watery, quick exit poop.
Another ingredient in matcha tea – called tannins (or tannoids) could cause the occasional event of diarrhea for some people. In fact, higher-quality matcha tea contains a higher concentration of tannins, owing to its intense growing processes. Newcomers to matcha tea may experience diarrhea as a side effect.
People with sensitive stomachs may react negatively to the tannins, and this could cause loose stools.
Does matcha give you diarrhea?
Not me personally, but yes, it can.
If matcha is consumed in excess or you’re especially sensitive to it, it may result in diarrhea. Also, the caffeine in matcha tea is diuretic and stimulates your digestive system in 2 or 3 ways.
For one, matcha might aid in attracting more fluid by your digestive organs, hence expanding the measure of fluid oozed along with the discharge of feces from the body. It might likewise trigger a motility state, causing your bowels to move sooner than regular.
This is particularly true if you consume caffeine-rich matcha early in the day. Basically, it’s the expanded fluid discharge and the shorter travel time that can cause free stools, chiefly on the off chance that you’re sensitive to caffeine.
Matcha green tea is normally alright and safe for adults when expended with some restraint. Drinking excessive matcha tea – more than around 3–5 cups (with ~1 tsp. of matcha powder) a day could trigger liquid poop/diarrhea.
What can I eat or drink with matcha to counter the poop effect?
Diarrhea triggered by the consumption of matcha tea can cause electrolyte irregularity and dehydration.
One thing you can immediately do to counter the poop effect is to support your matcha drinking with clear liquids.
Drinking clean water, coconut water with vitamins or electrolytes, 100% fruit juices (non-acidic ones), or clear broth will help return liquids to your body. Clean water serves as an additional liquid that helps counter dehydration.
An additional method is to avoid drinking matcha tea on an empty stomach. It can lead to stomach upset. Pair your cup of tea with low-fat yogurt or some nuts and seeds. These items help the gut reset and also minimize the amount of stool the body produces.
Another one is eating the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet stands for bananas, rice (white), applesauce, and toast. The BRAT foods are starchy and have very little fiber.
These foods have a binding effect making the stools firmer. Since these foods are bland, they do not irritate your stomach or worsen diarrhea. Bananas help in replenishing potassium and other lost nutrients from your body due to diarrhea. Other natural products that could help include some oranges, fresh avocados, nuts, and seeds.
Totally avoid milk or milk-based products, caffeine, foods that are greasy, spicy, or high in fat and sugar, apple juice, and alcohol, while you have diarrhea.
The good news is that diarrhea or runny stools after drinking matcha are usually transitory (they go away).
It typically disappears after your body adjusts to caffeine. However, you can follow few tips to diminish the danger of the runs and forestall drying out and other related issues.
Matcha in relation to gas, smell poop, and other bathroom things
Matcha tea affects everyone differently. It usually doesn’t make you gassy unless you add milk or cream to the tea. But that’s not matcha in the true sense.
Matcha in its purest and natural form is stoneground green tea leaves. So, it shouldn’t cause gas or bloating. Pure matcha is free of any added sugars, fillers, preservatives, etc., that could trigger gas.
Matcha tea is green in color which can give your poop a greenish tint. Virtually any chlorophyll-rich plant can result in green-tinged stool if you eat enough of it. Matcha is a form of green tea made from a powdered version of the actual tea leaves and that is the reason it can give stools a bright green hue.
The tea leaves are rich in green coloring pigment called chlorophyll – that’s needed by plants to carry out the process of photosynthesis.
This pigment, present in matcha, is a product of the intense growing process, the same process that helps create all the beneficial polyphenols. It finds its way through the digestive system and causes green stools. Moderate consumption may not cause much change in poop color.
However, if you nibble on matcha every day (there are edible forms), then your stool may go a bit green.
Other bathroom things associated with matcha tea include frequent urination. The caffeine in the tea has a stimulating effect on the bladder. This effect causes an increase in urination to flush out the toxins from the body.
The detoxing ability along with the diuretic effects make you urinate quite often when you drink matcha.
*This article was scientifically reviewed by Amita Fotedar, Ph.D.