Many people are gravitating towards matcha tea for two main reasons: it is trendy and full of health benefits.
However, similar to other caffeinated drinks, it affects your bowel movements and is becoming a topic of discussion among tea drinkers.
So, does matcha make you poop? Yes, matcha can make you poop as it contains high amounts of caffeine and antioxidants, both of which are laxatives. Consuming too much matcha may even give you diarrhea, though it depends on how tolerant your digestive system is to it.
Read on to find out more about matcha, what it is made of, what is in matcha that makes you poop, if there are any complications with drinking too much matcha, and much more.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha (ma-cha) is a green tea powder that literally means “powdered tea.” It is a huge part of Japanese culture and just recently became popular in the United States due to its health benefits.
Matcha has a grassy flavor with notes of umami and a creamy texture that makes it very delicious. It has a slightly bitter taste and vibrant green color that it gets from the high chlorophyll level present in the leaves.
The leaves used to make matcha powder come from the Camelia Sinensis plant, which is grown differently than green tea.
For growing matcha, the plants are grown in shade for about 3-4 weeks before harvest as it is important for them to produce more caffeine and theanine, both of which are essential for matcha’s unique nutrient profile.
The leaves are then hand-selected and briefly steamed to stop fermentation. They are then dried and put in cold storage to age, which is done to deepen the flavor. After that, the dried leaves are stone-ground to make fine matcha powder.
It is different from green tea and much stronger since it contains the whole tea leaf. When making green tea, the crushed leaves are infused in water and the leaves are then discarded.
With matcha, the actual leaves are powdered finely and made into a solution by mixing in water to make tea, typically using a bamboo brush until it starts to froth.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Matcha?
Matcha is full of amazing health benefits, which is the main reason for its popularity. It has been celebrated in Japanese culture for centuries and has now become a favorite in the West as well!
It is rich in caffeine and amino acids and, like green tea, has a high concentration of antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and lower the risk of chronic illnesses.
Here are all the health benefits of matcha to make you fall in love with it:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Protects the liver
- Improves brain function
- Improves skin
- High in antioxidants
- Improves heart health
- Helps weight loss
- Lowers blood pressure
- Defends against cancer
- Helps arthritis
- Full of essential vitamins and minerals
- Boosts the immune system
Why Does Matcha Make You Poop?
Many people rely on a morning cup of matcha tea to wake them up and also to, well, get their bowels moving.
While it is a known fact that tea (and basically anything with caffeine) makes you more alert, how conclusive is the second part of this statement?
Matcha, like other caffeinated drinks, does make you poop due to its composition. Let’s look at how and why this happens.
Reason 1: Caffeine
Caffeine has long been known to aid digestion and make you poop, regardless of how you consume it — whether in the form of tea, coffee, or any other beverage.
As is obvious, the amount of caffeine present in your drink affects how strong of an effect it will have. That being said, matcha has around 34 mg of caffeine in every 1 gram serving, which is enough to affect your bowel movements.
According to studies, caffeine can make your colon and intestinal muscles contract 60% more often than water, which causes sudden bowel movements after consumption.
Combine that with a high level of antioxidants and the effect becomes even greater, which brings us to our next reason.
Reason 2: Antioxidants
Matcha contains a high amount of antioxidants that support the liver and kidneys to carry out essential functions such as the excretion of waste.
Matcha contains 16 times more antioxidants than blueberries and 137 times more of the EGCG antioxidant (which is part of the antioxidant family called “catechins”) compared to regular green tea.
Catechins have been known to improve heart health, aging, and metabolism.
The powerful antioxidants found in matcha relieve the liver and kidneys of oxidative stress so that they can efficiently flush out harmful waste and toxins. EGCG is also known to have a laxative effect.
Reason 3: Hydration
It is a known fact that drinking lots of fluids can help prevent and relieve constipation. Not only do fluids keep you hydrated, but they also support important bodily functions and keep you healthy.
Extra fluids, whether in the form of water or matcha tea, make the stool softer and help pass it more smoothly and easily.
Dehydration is a common cause of constipation and drinking plenty of fluids helps relieve it. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated by drinking matcha tea in combination with water will help make your bowel movements more regular.
Reason 4: Warm Fluid
It isn’t just the consumption of fluids that makes you poop, but the fact that the fluids are usually warm, as is the case with matcha tea.
According to medical professionals, warm beverages can help stimulate bowel movements by widening the blood vessels in the digestive system and helping increase blood flow and gastrointestinal activity.
Does Matcha Give You Diarrhea?
Just like coffee, matcha consumed in excess (or if you are sensitive to any of its ingredients) may result in diarrhea.
This is because the caffeine present in matcha is a diuretic and stimulates your digestive tract.
It may aid your digestive organs to attract more fluid resulting in an expansion of the measure of fluids excreted along fecal discharge.
In some cases, it may trigger a motility state, causing your bowels to move sooner than the normal rate.
This can particularly be the case if you consume matcha early in the morning and on an empty stomach as the expanded fluid discharge coupled with the shorter travel time within the bowels can cause loose stools.
It may be more serious if you are sensitive to caffeine.
Don’t let these facts scare you — they are the result of overconsumption and caffeine sensitivity! If you are not sensitive to caffeine and you are drinking matcha tea in moderation, you should have nothing to worry about.
Matcha tea is safe for adults when consumed in moderation and with restraint, which is a maximum of 3-5 cups depending on your tolerance. Any more than that and you risk triggering diarrhea.
The best time to drink matcha tea is before exercise, before work, or as an afternoon “pick me up”.
The worst time to drink matcha tea is very early in the morning, on an empty stomach, at the same time as your main meals, and after 5 pm.
What Can You Do To Counter The Diarrhea?
Diarrhea triggered by the overconsumption of matcha tea can cause dehydration and electrolyte irregularity depending on how severe the diarrhea is.
The best thing you can do to counter it is to drink as many clear liquids as you can.
Plain drinking water, coconut water, all-natural fruit juices, and clear broth are all great options to help return the lost fluids to your body.
Another great way to get your body back on track is to eat the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
These foods are starchy, have very little fiber, and are easy on the stomach, which is something you need when suffering from diarrhea.
They make the stool firmer due to their binding effect and, since they’re bland, don’t irritate the stomach or worsen the condition. In addition to that, bananas are rich in potassium and help replenish the lost nutrients from your body.
You must avoid dairy or dairy-based products, caffeine, alcohol, and foods that are greasy, spicy, fatty, and sugary when suffering from diarrhea.
The good news is that diarrhea caused by matcha is not long-term and will go away if you are cautious with what you eat. Also, it usually gets better when your body starts adjusting to the caffeine and it isn’t something too serious.
To avoid the possibility of diarrhea and other similar issues, do not drink matcha tea on an empty stomach and try to pair it with something like nuts and seeds to minimize the risk.
Also, make sure you keep a check on how much you are consuming and try to stay well within the recommended daily intake.
Does Matcha Make Your Poop Green?
Since matcha is green, does it make your poop green? Yes, it does but only if taken in excess.
Matcha contains a tannin compound that can cause your poop to turn green. This happens because it binds well with components related to color and results in greenish stool.
You must keep in mind though that it happens only if you consume large amounts of matcha. If consumed in small amounts, it shouldn’t have a considerable enough effect to change the color of your poop.
If you notice that your poop has taken on some other color, like black, it is not due to matcha.
You may want to consider any other foods you ate that may have caused the color change or check on your health as matcha can only change the color of your poop to light green.
Does Matcha Cause Weight Loss?
All types of green tea, including matcha, have been linked to weight loss due to the high content of catechins present in them.
Catechin may also suppress appetite by increasing hormones related to satiety.
Catechins are powerful antioxidants with a variety of health benefits that are also known to boost metabolism.
An increased metabolic rate facilitates weight loss by burning more fats and calories.
Taking regular matcha tea, but in moderation, will help you lose weight in addition to providing a plethora of other health benefits.
Is Matcha Better Than Coffee?
After learning all about the great health benefits of matcha, you may be wondering if you should make it your beverage of choice over other options such as coffee.
Compared to regular green tea, matcha tea is considered to be more caffeinated as its powder comes from whole tea leaves mixed into a beverage.
Although matcha is not as caffeinated as coffee, it is a great candidate for someone looking for a controlled energy boost in the morning.
Both matcha and green tea contain L-theanine, an amino acid known for its calming effect and countering any caffeine jitters you may experience, making it a better choice for people with caffeine sensitivity.
Also, since coffee contains more caffeine, it can be related to more bowel movements and a higher risk of diarrhea.
Grades Of Matcha
Before we go on to explain the process of making matcha tea, there are a few important things you need to consider, such as the grades of matcha.
Matcha comes in two different grades, each having a distinct quality and flavor.
Let’s quickly compare the two:
How To Make Matcha
Here are step-by-step instructions for making delicious matcha tea at home:
- Start by making a matcha paste. Add ¾ teaspoon of matcha powder into the spouted bowl. Add a drizzle of cool water onto it and whisk it to form a paste.
- Add some more cool water and whisk it vigorously back and forth for about 20 to 30 seconds until a thick foamy layer appears. (Tip: avoid whisking in circular motions if you want a nice froth).
- Separately, heat some water and add a teaspoon of honey into a mug (optional, as you may add it later on as well).
- Pour the foamy matcha from the bowl into the mug and stir it gently.
- Adjust the sweetness according to your taste and enjoy!
Here’s a video from Purematchateas on YouTube for our visual learners:
You may use other sweeteners of your choice such as maple syrup, coconut sugar, or stevia — just make sure to keep it healthy!
If you wish to skip the tools and do not want to invest in a special bowl and whisk, you can shake the matcha powder and cool water in a jar until it becomes frothy, then follow the rest of the instructions as is.
However, for the best results, we recommend you invest in the tools and make it the traditional way.
There are lots of other ways to enjoy matcha: in drinks, cakes, brownies, cookies, ice cream, donuts, and much more!
You can make a matcha latte by adding milk, try it in a fruity matcha smoothie, mix it in your morning oatmeal or bowl of granola, make matcha noodles, or put it on your popcorn. Yum!