After a long, exhausting day, a cup of matcha tea just hits the spot and dispels the woes away. But while others feel comfortable, others feel otherwise, often feeling the need to take a seat on the porcelain throne. But does matcha make you poop?
Does Matcha Make You Poop?
Yes, matcha can make you poop, as it has caffeine and antioxidants, which have laxative properties. However, its occurrence depends on your digestive tolerance.
What Is Matcha?
Matcha (ma-cha) is a green tea powder that means “powdered tea.” made from leaves used to make matcha powder from the Camelia Sinensis plant, which is the same plant green tea is made from but is grown and processed differently from each other.
This tea is a huge part of Japanese culture, integral to many recipes, especially sweets like pudding, cakes, or ice creams. To grow matcha, farmers tend to the plants which are grown in the shade for about 3-4 weeks before harvest as they need to produce more chlorophyll, caffeine, and theanine, both of which are essential for matcha’s unique aesthetic, flavor, and nutrient profile.
Matcha has a vibrant green color from the high chlorophyll level found in the leaves. It has a distinct flavor with subtle, grassy notes, natural sweet undertones, and a slightly bitter aftertaste with a pleasant savory ending — called umami which makes the flavor extremely popular and all too irresistible.
Matcha recently became popular in the United States and many parts of the world due to its interesting flavor, and many touted health benefits. Compared to coffee, matcha is smoother and doesn’t give you jitters, giving you the right amount of energy to feel more alert in your day without having to deal with energy crashes.
Health Benefits Of Matcha
Matcha isn’t just the latest food trend for its taste and appealing aesthetic, but its health benefits are definitely worth noting here:
- Rich in antioxidants – Matcha tea contains a high level of antioxidant substances like flavonoids (1968.8 mg/L), polyphenols (1765.1 mg/L), and vitamin C (44.8 mg/L). Studies have also found that a cup of matcha has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of brewed green tea, and much more than coffee, which doesn’t contain catechins, a family of phenolic compounds with high antioxidant properties.
- Promotes cardiovascular health – Drinking matcha may help keep your heart healthy and protect against disease. Many studies show that matcha and green tea have similar nutrient profiles and can decrease several heart disease risk factors, and that it may also help prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, which can lessen the risk of heart disease.
- Facilitates weight loss – Matcha can increase your body’s energy and heat production during cardio and resistance training, allowing the body to burn more calories, specifically fat calories, resulting in weight loss. Being low in calories, matcha makes a great alternative to sugary sodas and fruit juices and can help keep you well-hydrated, which also aids in weight loss.
- Boosts cognitive function – Matcha is a rich source of caffeine and L-theanine, which are known for their brain-boosting properties. They have cognitively stimulating effects, preventing fatigue and improving attention, concentration, and thinking skills.
- Contains anti-cancer properties – One UK study found that the catechins found in matcha can potentially suppress mitochondrial metabolism, effectively preventing the re-fuelling of damaged cells and letting them die eventually. Matcha and green tea’s anti-cancer properties are also linked to combating other types of cancer and aids in treatment.
- Protects the liver – Recent studies have emphasized that matcha can be good for the liver, as it contains catechins, whose antioxidant properties help in protecting the liver, aiding in the detoxification process of the liver, and also eliminates the potential risk from free radicals.
- Strengthens the immune system – Replete with antioxidant properties that fight and protect the body against various bacterial and viral infections, matcha tea can effectively fortify the immune system and limit the growth and spread of viruses and bacteria in the body.
- Improves mood – Matcha is rich in the amino acid L-theanine, which has been shown to alter the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. By increasing the amount of dopamine and serotonin in one’s brain, matcha can help improve your mood and drown out any negative thoughts, and even sharpen one’s cognitive abilities.
- Brightens the skin – The high concentration of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols found in matcha green tea can help minimize oily skin, fight acne-causing bacteria, and even skin tone.
Can Matcha Make You Poop?
So, does matcha make you poop? Yes, it can.
Matcha can make you have frequent bowel movements as it contains high amounts of caffeine and antioxidants, all of which have laxative properties. You may notice that drinking other caffeinated drinks like coffee, green tea, sodas, and certain chocolates can also induce trips to the loo.
But it’s not an entirely negative thing, in fact, the increased bowel movements could be beneficial for those with constipation. Another plausible reason could be that matcha has a relatively high content of dietary fiber (385mg/g), which can stabilize blood sugar levels and even promote regular bowel movements
However, consuming too much matcha may also give you diarrhea and other stomach problems, though it depends on how tolerant your digestive system is to it. If you’re new to drinking matcha, try taking smaller amounts of it, and gradually increasing the amount when you’ve been consuming it for long enough.
Other Side Effects
Aside from frequent bowel movements, matcha can likewise cause the following side effects, most of them a result of taking too much matcha:
- Stomach troubles
- Trouble sleeping
To best enjoy, matcha, take it before meals, but not during the late afternoon or at night since it will spike your energy levels and mood, resulting in sleeplessness or poor sleep quality.
Matcha’s distinct flavor and aesthetic will surely get you hooked, but you’ll love it even more when you experience its health benefits like boosting the immune system, anti-cancer properties, sharpening cognition, and improving moods.
Side effects like frequent pooping may occur now and then but may depend on how your digestive tolerance goes and are generally harmless. If you’re continuously experiencing side effects, stop taking matcha or consult your healthcare provider.