After a night of heavy drinking, you might find yourself sitting in the washroom wondering why your poop color turned green. Well, no need to panic. It’s a common thing and goes away in a few days.
It’s ok to chug a few beers every once in a while. Red wine or 1-2 cans of beer per day seems to have great health benefits. However, if you’re downing way beyond your capacity, then you’ll notice certain changes in your digestive system. One of the prominent changes might be the change in the color of the poop.
Your cocktails party is a big reason you are passing out a green stool. But don’t get scared. Your gut might be working as per your alcohol intake.
To explain it in simple terms, think of your belly as a big machine. If you put too much pressure on it, it might not work as well as it should. Similarly, if you’re taking high-ABV drinks, you might experience diarrhea or pass out green poop.
But why does this happen?
Continue reading the article to know the reasons why your poop turns green after drinking alcohol. This will put your mind at ease and let you enjoy your next party without any worries.
Causes Of Green Poop After Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol does affect your inner system in several ways, from increasing urine output to producing a green stool. Although you might not see olive-colored feces every time, however, you may experience it after a night of binge drinking. Check out the reasons why your waste product turns green after drinking alcohol.
Production of bile
Bile is a yellowish-green or dark-green fluid produced in the liver and helps break down fats into fatty acids. When you take in too much alcohol, excess bile gets mixed with your stool making it appear more greenish in color.
Laxative Effects of Alcohol
Alcohols have laxative effects making your digestive system work really fast. The food you intake is not properly digested and is forced out of your body quickly. When the waste materials and food don’t spend much time in colons, you might observe green feces rather than a normal brown stool.
Food dyes and food colors are also responsible for a green stool. Think of what you drank last night. Was it a mudslide, a grasshopper, or a Japanese Slipper? The color of these refreshing cocktails sometimes does affect your digestive system. Especially if a cocktail is prepared with artificial food colors, then it is evident that your poop will come out green.
Intestinal bacteria, aka gut bacteria or gut microbiota, are a group of tiny organisms that live in the human digestive tract. Heavy drinking may cause an imbalance in these gut bacteria.
According to ARCR, “ Alcohol increases intestinal bacteria. This overgrowth may be stimulated directly by alcohol, but some studies suggest that it could be an indirect byproduct of poor digestive and intestinal function caused by alcohol consumption.”
In short, the more alcohol you intake, the higher the chances of disrupting your gut microbiome and the higher the risks of observing a green poop.
Other Factors Causing Green Poop
Alcohol is not solely responsible for green feces. There are other factors you should be aware of as well. Let’s take a look.
Another biggest factor besides alcohol intake is what type of veggies you last ate. Did your meal include spinach, broccoli, or kale? Green veggies have chlorophyll which is responsible for the greenish color of the vegetable. These veggies, when going through your digestive system, give out a green color poop. So, there is no need to get worried if you have been on a veggie diet.
Not only green veggies but blue or purple color foods can also do the same job. These blue or purple colors, when mixed with yellowish-green bile, give off a bright green color poop.
Some drugs may affect how you digest the food. If you have been taking iron supplements, laxatives, or antibiotics, then there is a high chance you might experience a green stool.
Over-the-counter medications like Pepto-Bismol can also turn your stool green. Several drugs and supplements may interact with alcohol as well, leading to an increase in the risk of developing green poop. For example, some antifungal and antibiotic drugs might affect the liver, making it harder for the body to break down alcohol. This can ultimately result in a green-colored stool.
If you have a viral stomach infection like norovirus or other severe infections like salmonella or giardia, then there is a high chance you’ll experience green diarrhea along with stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting.
How long does it last?
The duration of time for which green poop appears after consuming alcohol may differ from person to person. In general, drinking alcohol should cause green feces only for a few days. The exact length of time you may experience these green-colored stools after consuming alcohol depends mainly on the quantity of alcohol you drank, what alcohol you specifically drank, and how well your body processed the alcohol you consumed.
A vast majority of the time, green feces after drinking alcohol is not a concern to be worried about and will disappear as your body breaks down the alcohol. However, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with your doctor if the green poop persists. You might also consider a consultation if you develop some extra symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or stomach discomfort.
Green poop after drinking alcohol may also be indicative of some sort of gastrointestinal bleeding, especially if they are tarry and unpleasant in odor. This is, however, an uncommon event. And the majority of cases of green poop following alcohol consumption are not very critical.
Treatment and Prevention
There are some techniques you can use to cure and prevent green poop after drinking alcoholic beverages.
Stay Hydrated – Alcohol is diuretic, which means it causes your body to lose more water than it normally does. Excessive alcohol consumption can severely dehydrate you making it more difficult to pass a stool. As a result, you notice green poop when you don’t drink in moderation. To avoid this situation, drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep yourself hydrated.
Choose lighter-colored drinks – The color of the drink does matter. Avoid cocktails with additional food colors, as they have zero health benefits. Drinking cocktails made with natural ingredients won’t harm your digestive tract, and even if you observe a green stool after drinking a green drink, don’t worry; it’s not a big deal.
Probiotics – Try to consume food high in probiotics or opt for probiotics supplements, as they help restore the balance of your gut bacteria. This will improve digestion and reduce the chances of green-colored feces.
Drink in Moderation – Binge drinking or heavy drinking can never be good for your health. Try to enjoy the party to its fullest but overdo your natural capacity. Consuming too much alcohol can severely affect your digestive system and may cause severe diarrhea. So, it is best to drink only as much as your body can handle.
Overall, green poop after drinking alcohol is not something to worry about. It may be because you love downing a green cocktail or enjoy eating green veggies, or maybe you are just another binge drinker. Excessive alcohol does change the color of your stool from brown to green, but the digestive system returns to its natural state within a few days.
If you notice signs of severe stomach infections or your diarrhea persists along with other symptoms like vomiting and abdominal pain, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor right away and seek medical treatment. The best way to keep your gut healthy is to drink responsibly.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.