We recently received this question by email: “Can drinking too much black tea cause stomach pain?”
The relation between drinking tea and suffering from an upset stomach is complicated. In fact, drinking tea can be a cause or relieve stomach ache depending on the given circumstances.
When you’re suffering from a heavy and perhaps greasy mean, drinking tea can help break down the fatt and help you digest better. The effects of this are optimal when you drink tea about 30 minutes after a meal.
On the other hand, drinking tea on an empty stomach can cause serious issues. Tea contains caffeine, which keeps you energized. However, when consumed on an empty stomach it can cause issues such as diarrhea.
This side effect can arise for any kind of tea (green tea, black tea,..), though the chances are lower when consuming a dark oolong or ripe pu erh tea. The reason is because these teas are a bit less ‘raw’ and therefore less harsh for your stomach.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, drinking tea on an empty stomach can also effects blood circulation and even cause cold hands and feets.
The solution for this is simple. When you haven’t eaten yet, simply go for a herbal or flower tea such as rooibos, ginger or chrysanthemum flower tea. These ’tisanes’ don’t contain caffeine and can be consumed at any time of the day!