Tea & Kidney Stones
Kidney stones form when minerals and other substances in one’s urine become concentrated and solidify. This is why drinking plenty of water is essential for stone prevention — it helps dilute our urine. Consequently, it’s easy to think that drinking too much tea could contribute to stone formation.
Does tea cause kidney stones?
Any type of tea — green, black, oolong — can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. But drinking too much tea can indeed increase one’s risk of kidney stone formation. Here’s why:
- Brewed Tea Is High in Oxalate
Oxalates are compounds found in various foods and drinks, including tea. Oxalates bind to potassium, calcium and other minerals, forming crystals of oxalate. Once these crystals join up with other minerals and substances, they form kidney stones.
- Brewed Tea Has a High pH
Tea has a pH of around 8 — much higher than that of water. This means that tea is alkaline and has the potential to increase the levels of calcium oxalate in one’s urine, potentially leading to kidney stones.
How Much Tea Is Safe to Drink?
Drinking large amounts of tea can lead to an increased risk of kidney stones. However, one cup per day should not present this risk. For people who have already experienced a kidney stone, reducing tea intake as much as possible could help reduce their risk of recurrence.
In conclusion, drinking moderate amounts of tea is safe and can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. But it’s important to be mindful of one’s tea intake, especially if they suffer from kidney stones.