After drinking tea, have you ever wondered why tea makes you feel nauseated, or have you questioned why you’re throwing up after drinking tea? You’re not the only one. Even if you’re a consistent tea drinker, it’s possible that tea makes you feel sick. The reasons behind nausea don’t have to do with the type of tea you’re consuming, or whether it’s served hot or cold. In fact, it all comes down to one ingredient that you probably didn’t know is present in all teas: tannin. Wondering what is tannin? Tannin is a bitter-tasting, organic substance, and you’ll most likely hear of it while a sommelier is describing wine. When a wine is high in tannins or is tannic, you might experience a dry sensation in your mouth while drinking a glass. Tea, like wine, contains tannin, and consuming it, especially on an empty stomach, can lead you to feel nauseated.

Why is tannin in tea to begin with? Tannin is known to kill bacteria, and it’s a naturally occurring compound in tea––and especially potent in black tea––that results in that bitter tang. So, whenever any type of tea is brewed for longer than two minutes, the tannin from the tea leaves will seep into the brew. The stronger the tea, the more tannin there will be. If you prefer less tannin in your tea to avoid feeling sick, brew it at a lower heat for less time. 

You can also try adding milk to tea; milk binds the tannin, lowering its nausea-inducing capabilities. Most importantly, if you’re planning on drinking tea, make sure that you’ve eaten something beforehand to guarantee your stomach isn’t empty. Or do like the Brits, and serve your tea with biscuits

If you sip tea and find that you’re unable to escape the nausea, we have a couple of suggestions to help you feel better. 

1. For quick relief, eat a piece of bread or other starches like rice.
2. Eat or drink ginger. Chewing a piece right off the root (without swallowing it) will help with the nausea.
3. Drink baking soda and water. Stir ½ teaspoon into one cup of water.