Like many drinks that contain caffeine, tea has a reputation of being an herbal laxative that has been used for centuries to help relieve constipation. But does this mean that tea contains ingredients that make you poop?
Tea makes you poop because the caffeine it contains helps stimulate your intestine into contracting. This biological reaction causes you to feel the urge to use the bathroom. Tea can be used to help relieve constipation by gently encouraging you to have a bowel movement.
If you have a hard time pooping, increasing the amount of tea you drink can help you have an easier time using the toilet. Read on to learn more about how tea affects your ability to poop.
Why Does Tea Make You Poop?
Tea acts as a mild laxative, which means that it does indeed make you have to poop. But how does it work? Here are the ways that the caffeine in tea act on the intestinal tract:
- Increased sphincter contractions: Increased muscle contractions around your sphincter and rectum are associated with feeling the urge to go. This makes it a useful laxative for people that suffer from constipation due to bathroom shyness or anxiety disorders rather than intestinal issues.
- Increased colonic activity: Like the caffeine in coffee, the caffeine in tea is associated with increased levels of colonic activity around twenty to thirty minutes after ingestion, which means that it’s the perfect beverage to “get things moving” in the morning.
- Increased gastrin production: Drinking tea increases the production of a hormone called gastrin, which encourages the body to produce more stomach acid. The increase of this hormone promotes both digestion and excretion.
All of these effects together equal you needing to use the bathroom anywhere from a half hour to an hour after you’ve ingested a cup of tea. However, because the caffeine in tea releases more slowly than caffeine in other beverages, it’s less likely to cause problematic side effects like digestive cramps.
What Ingredients in Tea Make You Poop?
Caffeine is the top ingredient in tea that stimulates your digestive system and increases the urge to poop, but there are also a few other ingredients in tea that can help you get things moving if you’re constipated. Here are two of them:
- Water: The main ingredient in tea is water, and being well-hydrated is an important part of maintaining your digestive health. Lack of water in your body can help contribute to constipation, so upping your water intake by drinking more tea can make it easier to pass stools without pain or discomfort.
- Strictitin: Strictitin is a compound in green tea that has been shown to increase laxative effects in laboratory rats compared to rats not fed the compound. Strictitin is another tea ingredient that can potentially increase tea’s laxative abilities.
Even though the ingredients in tea have a laxative effect, this effect is much more gentle than taking commercial laxatives or caffeine in other forms.
Heated Tea Helps You Poop
Even though the compounds in tea can produce a laxative effect whether you drink your tea hot or cold, drinking green tea or other types of tea in a hot brewed state can increase their laxative effect. Any kind of warm liquid, even just warm water, can stimulate your bowels once you ingest it.
The reason that hot tea is better for making you poop than cold tea is because heat has a vasodilating effect – that is, it causes the blood vessels in your digestive tract to circulate more blood. This increased circulation also increases gastro-intestinal activity and encourages you to move your bowels.
Does Tea Make You Constipated?
While tea is generally a natural laxative, some situations may occur where drinking tea can worsen constipation. Tea contains caffeine, which makes it a diuretic. This is a chemical that decreases hydration in the body by stimulating you to urinate.
If your body is already significantly dehydrated when you drink tea, the dehydrating effects of the caffeine can overwhelm the hydrating effects of the water in the tea.
To avoid additional constipation issues from tea, it’s a good idea to make sure that you drink plenty of plain, clear water along with any other beverages like tea you consume. This will help keep your digestive system operating in tip-top shape.
Does Tea Cleanse Your Bowels?
Green tea is popularly used in dietary cleanses to help clean up your bowels and improve digestive activity. This is because green tea contains antimicrobial properties that help reduce harmful bacteria while fostering and encouraging the growth of beneficial gut flora. Not only can this help you poop regularly, it can also boost digestive health in general.
Herbal Teas That Make You Poop
Along with extracts from the tea plant, there are other types of teas and tisanes that are also useful for helping you poop if you’re prone to constipation or other digestive issues. These are just a few of the herbal teas that can help you poop other than black and green tea:
- Rhubarb tea: Rhubarb tea is known for its positive digestive properties as a stimulant laxative, and it can be used to promote good pooping habits. Rhubarb tea can be made by steeping fresh rhubarb in hot water or using rhubarb tea bags.
- Aloe vera tea: Aloe vera tea is a popular houseplant that can be grown for tea in your own home. This type of tea can help control blood sugar and cholesterol levels along with encouraging good digestion as a gentle herbal laxative.
- Senna tea: Senna tea is a good laxative tea because it is well-tolerated by a wide range of different people. Both the plant’s flowers and fruit are useful for their laxative properties.
If you don’t like the taste of tea alone, introducing other herbal mixtures into your tea to change its flavor while enhancing its laxative properties can help make it easier to incorporate tea drinking into your daily health habits.
Tea Keeps Your Pooping Habits Regular
Whether you go with traditional black and green tea or you choose an herbal tea that is specifically designed to help you poop, tea is a great choice for helping with occasional constipation or other digestive issues. Be sure to ingest tea regularly along with plenty of water on the side to give your digestive system all the active ingredients it needs to thrive.