Chai is a sweet milky tea brewed with spices and sweetened with sugar or honey. Originally from India, its warm and flavoursome taste has made it popular around the world.

There’s no single recipe for chai tea. It varies between people and communities. But while its spices may vary, it’s common to see ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and clove included. Steeping milk, sugar and spices with loose Assam tea is more traditional but chai teabags are becoming popular now, too.

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Does chai tea make you poop?

It can.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll be running to the bathroom after each cup. A lot of people who drink chai tea probably don’t notice changes to their bathroom habits. It’s the same with some coffee drinkers – they don’t always notice it either. But some people will find that they’re more susceptible to pooping when they drink chai. You may be one of them, and there are several reasons for this.

Hot Water

Chai tea is served hot.  Hot drinks can help encourage bowel movements. You may already have heard that hot water is good for digestions – it’s true. The warmth from the water expands blood vessels in the digestive system.


According to Healthline, caffeine ‘activates contractions in the colon and intestinal muscles’. Chai’s caffeine comes from its black tea, but it still only contains around half the amount of coffee. If you have irritable bowel syndrome, then the caffeine in chai could trigger an upset stomach. If you find you’re going to the bathroom more regularly, then it could be due to the spices used. Two common ingredients in chai tea that can make you poop are ginger and cinnamon. 


Ginger is commonly used in chai. Its warming and fragrant taste is also good for digestion and easing stomach ache. If you’ve ever had motion sickness, you may have been offered ginger for relief. Considered to be a mild laxative, ginger is used by some people to relieve constipation and can help produce bowel movements. One reason for this is that ginger helps food move through the intestine more quickly.

In an article titled ‘The Best Foods for Every Kind of Poop Problem’, Thrillist writes that ginger ‘accelerates gastric emptying’. This was based on the results of a Taiwanese study into the effect of the spice on gastric motor function.  Livestrong writes that you shouldn’t take more than 4-grams of ginger per day as this can cause diarrhoea but fortunately, that’s way more than you need to enjoy its stomach and gut benefits.


Cinnamon does seem to aid digestion. According to Very Will Fit, one Australian study found that cinnamon increased bowel movements in 20% of participants with IBS. There are some conflicting opinions about whether cinnamon is a natural laxative or not. It seems to lower the amount of carbon dioxide in the belly and helps to prevent an upset stomach after eating. Several other spices used in chai tea aid in digestion, too.  Cloves, cardamom, and pepper all contribute to a healthier gut.


Cow’s milk is used in chai. Some people have an intolerance to dairy and that can make them poop. You should be mindful of this if you’ve reduced your dairy content or if you’ve recently been on a plant-based or vegan diet.  Lactose intolerance can make people poop after drinking chai. As milk makes up a significant portion of chai (as opposed to regular tea with milk), the additional lactose could make you more susceptible to an upset stomach or a need to poop after drinking.

Will Chai Teabags Make Me Go to the Bathroom?

We prefer making chai from scratch but it is useful to have some chai teabags in the cupboard for when you’re short on time (or short on spices!). There are different brands of teabags. Most contain a combination of the traditional chai ingredients: Assam, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, and anise. Given that chai recipes are so varied, you can shop for the brand that uses the spices you prefer. Most of the brands that we’ve seen (and all the ones that we’ve used in our house) have ginger as a main ingredient so you may find that even tea bag chai tea makes you poop!

Chai Tea and Pooping

Chai tea can make you poop.  Ginger and cinnamon both aid in digestion and this can mean that food passes through the gut more quickly.  The hot water and caffeine used in the making of chai tea can also make it more likely that you’ll need to go. People living with IBS or milk intolerances should also be careful about the amount of chai they’re drinking.  For most people, chai tea is a healthy way to improve digestion and aid in gut health.  It’s what makes chai tea such a great option – it’s tasty, comforting and good for you.