Kidney Cleanse

Does Tea Cause Kidney Stones: An Inside-Out About Tea Consumption

We all love tea! However, did you know that the majority of teas contain a high amount of oxalates?

These oxalates can aid in forming kidney stones. So what is the verdict on is tea bad for kidney stones?

It’s recommended to always keep an eye on the type of tea you’re consuming.

The content level of oxalate really matters. Recently it was discovered that green tea contains compounds which can help reduce the risk of developing kidney stones due to its anti-oxidizing properties. (9)


What does this mean for your tea-loving self?


Does tea cause kidney stones

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1. What Exactly Are Kidney Stones?

Kidney stones are formed when high amounts of calcium or other minerals gather and clump together in one's urinary tract.

From then on, painful and often embarrassing kidney stones form for is obvious why: their contents will lead to a lot of pain if left alone. Symptoms include: (1)

  • Blood in urine,
  • Nausea,
  • Vomiting,
  • Fever, etc.

The best prevention measure against the development of kidney stones is making sure that one consumes food rich in calcium like dairy products and avoids overeating things such as seafood as well as making sure not to eat too much oxalate-heavy food such as spinach and beets (or even chocolates). (10) (11)


2. Tea and Kidney Stones

When it comes to tea, absolutely everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Some people say they were able to successfully reduce the risk of developing stones by drinking more tea whereas medical professionals feel that there's just too much conflicting information on whether or not tea consumption plays a major role in reducing the risk of developing stones.



Tea and kidney stones

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It is hard to choose the best tea for kidney stones.  

Some people seem to claim that green and ice tea for kidney pain are more beneficial than black teas when it comes to preventing kidney stones whereas others claim otherwise so this type of "enabling" behavior needs to stop since evidence seems weak at best.

However, when we talk about the medical aspect of it, there are many health drawbacks to consuming ice tea.

One of the most concerning ones is its “high oxalate content” which can lead to kidney stones.

But, will tea cause kidney stones, for real?
This only happens when you drink a lot of iced tea in one go or week after week.
Sweet tea and kidney stones do not have a direct connection.

Black tea on the other hand is generally rich in oxalates as well but that doesn't mean it's not a healthy addition to your diet if consumed in moderation. (2)


3. Can Drinking Tea Give You Kidney Stones? 

Not all teas are kidney-stone-causing.

Tea's ability to cause you to develop a kidney stone depends partially on the kind of tea you drink and the level of oxalate it has.

Type of tea

Level of oxalate

Green tea

2.08 to 34.94 mg/250 mL (3)

Black tea

4.68 and 5.11 mg/g (4)

Ice tea

300 and 2000 mg oxalate/100 g (5)


Drinking iced tea both black and without milk is an enjoyable American pastime, but did you know that most black teas are actually from India?

In many countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Darjeeling, iced tea is inseparable from the culture. In fact, in India and Pakistan it’s more common for folks to add milk to their tea instead of sugar because it can reduce its negative side-effects.


Can drinking tea cause kidney stones

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The presence of oxalates ­­­- in differing amounts constitutes the potential risk factor for the onset of kidney disorders.

While the tea varieties such as pure black tea versus green teas have been shown to contain various levels of oxalates among them rather than other types of herbal drinks compared to this one that could be more frequently consumed over time as part of a daily diet, it is still less likely to bring about such issues for most people.


4. What Kind Of Tea Causes Kidney Stones?

Doctor John Milner from Loyola University Medical Center echoed in his research that many people drink iced tea when it's hot out, but there is a very big problem with that: iced tea and flavored tea contain oxalate.

Besides being bad for your teeth, oxalate can be very dangerous. A high level of oxalate may contribute to the formation of kidney stones - which are painful, and more importantly previously fatal. (6)


 What kind of tea causes kidney stones

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Even if you haven't already experienced pain in this area, the chances are high that you will eventually develop the condition. Bladder stones in general affect about 10 percent of the population in the United States.

Also, while there's any much medical research available on it, people of all ages who sweat too much while drinking iced tea should be significantly aware. (7)


5. Can Drinking Too Much Tea Give You Kidney Stones? 

If you drink ten glasses of oxalate tea, it's undoubtedly excessive. The acceptable levels are only visible to people who have the predisposition.

There is a recommended amount of oxalate in food which is anywhere from 100 milligrams to 200 milligrams “per day” based on other foods/drinks high in oxalate content including tea, coffee, chocolate, spinach, and nuts. (8)


Is too much tea good for kidney?

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If you're having tea over a three-ounce cup of black tea, there are about 50 to 80 milligrams of oxalate present in your beverage.

Experts recommend if you drink around two to five cups daily, the levels are safe for consumption; however, you should discontinue if you begin to feel any negative side effects (such as abdominal pain or diarrhea).

Why does tea cause kidney stones?

Simply put: drinking too much concentrated oxalate (present in tea) or just letting your urine get saturated with the stuff can lead to kidney stones.


6. Alternate Options For Tea

Trying to quit or reduce your tea consumption? These alternatives might help –

  • Golden Milk
  • Lemon Water
  • Coconut Water
  • Fruit Juice
  • Smoothies
  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar


Have more queries about kidney cleanse? Use our guides to the following topics for support:

1. Tea for liver and kidney health

2. Corn silk tea for kidney stones

3. Dandelion tea for kidney cleanse

4. How to avoid kidney problems?

5. Can coffee cause kidney pain? 


7. To Conclude

So, does tea cause kidney stones?

Well, tea has long been known to offer functional hydration. In fact, the word 'tea' comes from an ancient Chinese character meaning 'to boil.'

But, can drinking too much tea cause kidney stones? Yes, drinking too much tea might be harmful to one's kidneys and overall health.

Tea's inherent components make it very rich in a mineral called oxalates. While green tea does not have a profound impact on your body, other choices like iced tea might be harmful to you. 

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