Green tea’s potential health benefits are enormous and people around the world drink it on daily basis for a number of purposes, such as helping heart, improving weight loss, fighting cancer, boosting memory, and so on. However, it was reported that some people might have diarrhea after drinking this beverage. So, does green tea cause loose stools?
On the one hand, there is no denying that green tea does cause diarrhea. But this side effect of it is rare. That’s to say, it occurs only when it satisfies both of the following criteria: people who just start drinking it and drinking too much of it, say more than five cups per day. On the other hand, people who regularly drink it or other products that contain caffeine seldom have diarrhea. Instead, some studies have shown that it could help treat diarrhea if a person drinks it consistently.
Why does green tea cause diarrhea?
When taken excessive, this drink may cause certain problems, from fast heartbeat to jitteriness, because it contains caffeine. Besides, since this central nervous system stimulant contributes to peristalsis, it has a laxative effect. In fact, caffeine can stimulate the intestinal tract in many ways. On the one hand, it makes intestinal tract absorb more liquid and therefore increases the amount of water during bowel movements. On the other hand, it also activates peristaltic activity to push food through the length of the digestive tract. In this case, it causes frequent urge to have bowel movement. This side effect is more obvious especially when people drink caffeinated beverages in the morning. In other words, an excessive fluid can lead to diarrhea when it passes along with the stool during a bowel movement.
In a sense, this beverage is bad for those who have a sensitive stomach or is prone to diarrhea. They tend to experience this adverse reaction after drinking it. When stools are loose and watery, the body would lose more electrolytes and thus it increases the risk of dehydration. A good way to lower the chance of diarrhea is to reduce the consumption when a person just starts drinking it and then gradually increases the amounts after the body adapts. Another approach is to avoid drinking it on an empty stomach. Instead, it is a good idea to use it after breakfast because having food in the stomach can help reduce the gastrointestinal side effects of caffeine. If possible, using it in the afternoon is preferable.
Good news is that this adverse effect is usually temporary. That means it will disappear naturally after the body adapts to caffeine. Of course, in the meantime people can take some measures to reduce the risk of diarrhea and prevent dehydration and other related problems. If it is a severe diarrhea, people should stop drinking it and see a doctor immediately since it should rule out the possibility of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis and other serious diseases.
Is green tea good for diarrhea?
According to The Sun, a new British study claims that drinking a cup of green tea a day can help kill hospital superbug Clostridium difficile to prevent diarrhea. Actually, C. diff can cause diarrhea and other intestinal diseases that kill more than 3,000 people each year.
Scientists from the Cardiff University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ever tested the potential antibacterial properties of 33 teas against 79 kinds of bacteria. They found that a group of antioxidants called polyphenols in green tea work best in the battle of superbug C. Diff that can cause severe diarrhea and other intestinal diseases.
Professor Les Baillie, the new research leader, has been engaged in research of tea’s antiviral properties since 2008. Through an initial research he found that green tea has powerful antibacterial properties. And drinking a cup of it a day could help kill C. difficile to prevent severe diarrhea. And he also added that it has a stronger effect than black tea. Based on the new study, in the future the scientists are expected to develop a “super antibacterial tea” to combat C. diff since it has become resistant to antibiotics. As a result, simply drinking this tea can kill antibiotic-resistant C. difficile and put an end to severe diarrhea.
In summary, this is a health drink that contains beneficial plant compound called flavonoids. For those who just start drinking green tea, they may experience loose stools and other minor side effects. They are mainly related to caffeine because caffeine can stimulate gastrointestinal motility and lead to diarrhea especially when taken in large amounts. Some individuals may be more sensitive to caffeine and this bitter substance found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and some refreshing drinks might worsen symptoms of IBS and can worsen diarrhea. Fortunately, most people will soon get used to it if they drink it consistently.