Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color

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Editor's note: here's the short answer -- blue food coloring turns your poop green. Keep reading to find out more, and then peruse the many, many comments for corroboration.

Since my freshman year in college (a small liberal arts college in
northern Vermont), I've been fascinated with the correlation between the ingestion of
food-coloring and the color of the poop produced. Lest you think I'm fabricating, here's the background:

The year was 1996. I was a biochem major at St. Michael's College in Winooski, Vermont.
I had consumed copious quantities of Purplesaurus Rex
Kool-aid in a one night time frame. A few hours later, I pooped. It was
green. Bright green. I was fascinated, and called as many of my
floor-mates as would come into the stall to marvel at the miracle of the
"not brown, not bloody shit".












I was a bit of a celeb for a while, until others replicated my
"experiment". Similar results ensued, with me being notified of each event
via e-mail. So, a craze started.

As the progenitor of the new species of poo, I was caught in the middle. Research spread far and wide; of
a campus of 2700 students, I was receiving up to 45 e-mails a day from
poopexplorers.

Anyway, enough drivel. Here's the science:

The dye used in purplesaurus Rex is FDA Blue #5, and dye-lake
red. Turns out that when metabolized in sufficient quantity, the blue dye combines
with bile, and forms a brilliant green. The red, absorbing at a 595nm
spectrum, is harmlessly eliminated.

What matters is quantity. I consumed 6
liters of the Kool-aid in the night in question (sans alcohol, that comes
later). I set up a study in the dorm, with people consuming anywhere from
(1) 250mL glass of the stuff (approximately (1) 8oz glass) to the maximum tested
so far, 6L. The experiment was structured on a single-blind study (won't get FDA
approval, but sufficient), with only myself knowing what each was consuming.

How did the experiment come into being, you might ask? Well, I campaigned for 24 "volunteers"
(the first consuming 1 glass, the last consuming 24 glasses). How did they
not know what they were drinking? Well, since it was only single-blind,
they essentially did -- though all were required to drink 6L of fluid total,
and ordered not to defecate at all in the 6 hours of the experiment.

Example: Subject 1 received 250mL of the subjected test substance, and
5.75L of water. Subject 2 received 500mL of the stuff and 5.5L of water.

Everyone was agreeable at first, but soon dissention reigned prime. But order
was maintained. After 6 hours, orders were given to poop, supervised (more or less).
Since I had unrestricted access to the chem and bio labs, samples of each
"extrusion" were taken, in the amount of 2g.

The results were heartening. I plan on getting a PhD (which, in this instance would probably mean, "PUSH
HARDER, DUMMY!") on this someday, so I won't post my final data, just enough
to give an idea:


  • Subject 1: 250mL Purplesaurus Rex with 5750mL water:

    Stool, firm and brown. Spectrophotometer reading: normal.

  • Subject 12: 3000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 3000mL water:

    Stool, firm(ish) and green(ish). Spec reading 550nm (definitely Green...just not GREEN)
  • Subject 24: 6000mL Purplesaurus Rex with 0mL water:

    Stool, Firm(ish) and
    Green, resplendent of original test subject (me). Spec reading, 535nm. Definition of GREEN confirmed.

  • Further experiments considered fruit punch (mostly synthetic, only 2.5%
    fruit juice), Hi-C of various persuasions, and various and sundry other
    store-bought concoctions.

    If you're interested in my results, let me know...I'll gladly share them for
    the good of society.

    -- Dave J




    On May 27 2003, PoopReport.com received this email. Dave J, the author of the above piece, was so happy that he wanted this added to his story as proof that writing for PoopReport can improve people's lives.

    dear poopreport,

    i know you may find this hard to believe, but you just eased my mind tremendously about our daughter's "poop situation." beginning yesterday about 5p.m. our daughter began having bright green dirty diapers. she has had four in a 24 hour period and i (being an over paranoid mom) have contacted everyone i know, including our pediatrician, and no one had any answers other than it will probably go away. that response just does not cut it with me. i had to have answers. i have been on-line non-stop trying to dig up a possible answer. i told our doctor that the only new food or drink she had consumed was "purple kool-aid" and lots of it. he told me that purple kool aid would not produce green stool. after reading your article i realize it can. thank you soooo much. after hours of searching and worrying, i am off to bed.

    -- grateful mom


    1629 Comments on "Green Poop: The Implications Of Food Dye On Poop Color"

    Sickly Green's picture

    Just a few minutes ago i took a green shit .. so i decided to come on the internet to see what was wrong with me and i came across this website .. i havent aten ne thing purple or blue accually i havent been eating really nothing at all because i was diagnosed with mono about a month ago and now the symptoms are reacurring .. i am also constipated maybe my shits green because im sick ???

    Adam Khan's picture

    Three quarters of a box of Trix last night did it for me. I have a cactus in the bathroom, and it was about the same bright green as what I expelled.

    withheld's picture

    Thanks so much for this site. I had the green poo just a minute ago. I thought something was seriously wrong with me. Typed in "green feces" and found this site. I guess you all can add Boo Berry cereal to the list of things that does this, too.

    It's my duty's picture

    I ate a BIG bowl of Boo Berry two days ago. All of a sudden this morning...BOOM... bright green. Why the delayed reaction? P.S. How did you like my Madden "BOOM"? Bet he never used it in this context...

    Christina's picture

    I just ate a ton of Crunch Berries, and thought I was dying when i saw my green poop. Luckily I think I'm going to be okay!

    Cari's picture

    I was begnning to wonder if I was rotting on the inside! After mixing a large amount of dietary supplements and Powerade (to "cleanse" my system of any sign of things I shouldn't be doing, if you know what I mean) I had some crazy colors going on. Phew! Not only am I "clean" but I'm not dying either!

    Michael's picture

    Woooooo what a relief. been drinking lots of Mountain Dew Pitch Black.

    didn't know why my poo has dark green lately, now i know.
    Thanks.

    James's picture

    I had green poo two weeks in a row. I began to get alarmed, so I hopped online and did a search. I found your site, and figured out the answer to my problem. I had "Pop Secret - Shrek Popcorn" on successive Monday Nights. That popcorn is predictably green. My green poo appeared the following night. Add green "Shrek" popcorn to the list.

    poopies's picture

    I had multiple poopies in circles and then 1 large poopie like a long one :) hehehehhe LOL.
    I had 2 green circles poopies 2 orange and 1 (the long one) was a dark blue poopie.
    I like ze pooping... i poop everyday and record my poopie conditions...

    I'm thinking to start poopie art
    poop and love
    poopoies

    Klm's picture

    Whohhh!!!! Thanks I was in here going crazy, I called my mom in the bathroom and everthing!!!! My poop was like a crayola green. I think it was because of the WaWa fruit Punch or the Dye in the Shrek creal.

    Thanks Poop Dude I can Sleep now.

    Andrew's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    I've been having neon green shits for a week! I thought I had colon cancer or something. I couldn't figure out what was going on... I also incidentally drank a whole gallon of purple Kool Aid last week. Thank god I stumbled upon this website and solved the mystery of my green poop.

    holly's picture

    well i too had neon green shits for a week but after reading this website now know why. i also have been drinking lots of grape kool-aid.. lots!!! thank god i found this website before going to a doc and asking.

    Nick Richards's picture

    Well, I've had my first! I'm an official green poo member. However, at first I suspected it was the excessive consumption of an otherwise socially unacceptable substance that is also green. However, I now know that, thanks to you, it was actually the Starburst my girlfriend made me eat at a movie because she didn't like them. Starbursts work too!

    feistycat's picture

    now i understand! apparently gatorade's "fierce grape" flavor contains the same dye or type of dye. i was very curious, now it all makes sense. I drank 62 oz of this stuff over two days.

    thanks!

    Crispy's picture

    Wow I'm totally at ease now.. my father had some gullbladder problems a few years back and I remember that he said some of the beginning symptoms was the onsite of some bizarre poop colors.. I tried that new Mountain Dew Pitch Black about 3 weeks ago and have been basically addicted to it since.. I've been faithfully picking up a 12 pack weekly - I started drinking only 1 can a day in the morning to wake up and work and now its increased to 2 or 3 a day - I thought I was following in my fathers steps and was sick or something but now it totally makes sense..

    Valerie's picture

    No, there is no way, you can get green poop from kool-aid. Because I don't drink kool-aid at all, and I get green poop. My mom once told me, that if you eat too much chocolate that you'll get green poop. I believed that. But now I can't say I do, because, I hardly ever eat chocolate now, and I still get green poop, I just don't know what it is from, and why I have green poop? But I really wonder why!

    Valerie's picture

    I think I just realized and remembered that I have been drinking alot of Fuze drinks. Those are very healthy drinks, I think I might be getting green poop from that. Because before I have been drinking that, I wouldn't get green poop!

    Chris's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    Mass amounts of Jagged Ice powerade (the dark purple one) made my poop green too. It has Blue 1 in it. I actually surfed the internet to find the cause of my poop's greenness. Thanks.

    Rick Needham's picture

    Try the new Mountain Dew Limited Edition Black Pitch - nice irridescent blue poop!

    Kimmy's picture

    oh my freaken God. For some reason i poop green whenever i eat a lot of lucky charms! there must be soemthing in comoon with the kool aid that is the same in lucky charms, its the weirdest thing. i was so embarrased of it before because i had gone to the bathroom at my boyfriends house and he told me not to flush because he had to go. He looked in the toilet as he was peeing and screamed "KIM WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?????" it was awful and i havent eaten lucky chams since.

    Ang's picture

    Well thank you to this site. i run a daycare, and today i got nothing but play doh green diapers. i figured they all must have caught something, and it was freaking me out. So at naptime i did a search, and got this site. I let them all have Kool-Aid today... for the first time.Thanks for your experiment and saving me from calling the doctor for 7 toddlers

    James's picture

    Thank god for this site...I was so scared when my poop was completely green for two days. Evidently that Pitch Black stuff stays in your system for a while...

    Dew Doctor's picture

    There is new meaning to "Do the Dew". The new Pitch Black Mountain Dew should have a Surgeon General warning on it for making bright green $%#^&% (crap,doo-doo,poop,caca,excrement,stool,turd,feces) or they should at least rename it to Mountain Dew Green. Who could imagine that blue food coloring in a drink would come out as bright green doodles.

    Linda Werner's picture

    I have had a huge scare this past few weeks. My stool has been yellowish. After several ultra sounds and during a hysterectomoy having my surgeon look at my liver, pancrease, and gallbladder all look good, I'm wondering...
    Can or would your stool color change if eating about 10 ounces per day of macdamia nuts for about 2 months?

    Who-per man?'s picture

    Sander's Superman Icecream =
    Dark jungle green leavings with some nice flourescent blue spots!

    Derick's picture

    haha, I haven't been eating anything except macaroni and cheese for the past few days and my poop was green..

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    I've wanted to get my poo to turd, I mean turn, blue or purple for a while. The strangest color I have produced so far it a weird chalky white.

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    thebigboy69's picture

    you people are scaring me.....i'm scared for life now....thanks alot

    Back From The Crapper's picture

    Where's the POOP PICS, I just had a nice green poop but it must have been the MeatBalls I ate last night. So Googled Green Shit and here I am.

    Thought I ata a leprechaun!'s picture

    Have been having bowel problems anyway, and when I saw bright green in the toilet I almost had to poop again. I had a purple mountain dew and to top it all off I had the purple poweraid, a big bottle, before bed. All I have to say is wow! Never happened before. I did some research and found out that since my colon is spastic, the dyes that I consume may not have time to be absorbed into my system. Therefore my spazzy colon pushes things out before they're ready. I'm sure this isn't the case for everyone, but I had never had it happen before with any drink. I am going on the second day and the poop is still bright green. Atleast I know I'm not dying!
    Thanks

    Fruit rings + Pizza Hut =NEON GREEN's picture

    As a college student, I have lived off Fruit Rings (generic Fruit Loops) for the past week and it has now occured to me that these are the cause of my green poop! thanks!

    no longer ashamed of my green poop's picture

    I was scared, embarrased and felt very alone. I no longer feel like a green-pooping freak. It gives me hope for a new tomorrow, that others have both sympathy and empathy for my condition. I know now it's not me. It was the kool-aid lemon flavored concentrate. God Bless and happy dumping.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    What would be fun is to put together an experiment with different foods. We can try to poop out each color of the rainbow and record what food made which color...

    Damn, I need a hobby!

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    mdb's picture

    Ok - so - if you have a second, got a question - i had neon green poop twice - the first time was with an off-brand green apple pop-tart, not so bizarre - But today, nothing with so much dye. I had tyson chicken nuggets, a little fried rice, honey mustard, spaghetti sauce, and last night krystal burgers - ok, the diet alone could kill me - but turn my poop green...? confused. And it was very, very bright neon green. Any thoughts? I'd love to hear your assessment - and good luck on your Ph.D. - what worthy work!

    Joe's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    Thank you for your..... ah... research lol I have been freaking out for the last 3-4 weeks as my poop has become more and more green. Reading your article while enjoying a cold Moutain Dew (The new one called "Pitch Black") I had the revelation. I ran to the bottle to find Blue 1 dye and quickly realized my problem. Shortly after discovering a new Dew to do, I developed radioactive poop. I drink 4 20 oz bottles a day so you may have dispelled all my gloomy aspirations for something fatal lol THANKS!!!

    Will's picture

    This also happened to me with Grape Gatorate.

    EB64's picture

    Heh. I just went poop and found it was turning green(to my disgust/horror).
    Looked it up on the internet and this was the first thing I found.
    What a relief! Now I can cherish my Pitch Black-induced radioactive poop instead of worrying I was deathly ill.

    Poopster's picture

    This is great. I smoked alot of green, drank a couple bottles of purple gatorade, ate a burrito (chicken) w. some avacodo, and drank 12 coronas. Ok so im drunk walking inside like damn i need to drop some heat rocks. So i go grab my surfing mag, do my thing, stand up and see that my shit is green. Im kinda drunk so at first im laughin, like i am seeins stuff. But closer inspection came to reviele

    facinated with feces's picture

    My girlfriend does not understand my facination with poop . . . yet she is watching me type and has been curiously involved in my search this morning. I first noticed the purple kool-aid/green poop connection almost 20 years ago as a camp counselor in Ohio. Since then I have noticed that a variety of colored products have the same effect: black (and other dark colored) icing on cake, black tortilla chips on salads, guacamole flavored chips (well, duh!), etc. I just never dreamed that there was this much interest out there. Now I am thinking I want to give up my career and join the family of poop researchers. It may be my true calling.

    Concerned Boyfriend's picture

    My lovely and commited girlfriend who is rather liberal with discussing matters of the toilet was worried about her green poo. I, knowing there was a perfectly logical reason for this, went to the net to find the answers. My search brought me here. She was felt better knowing that she was not dieing and alone in the world; that everyone who had that bluerasberry slushy will be excreting green feces.

    Thank you PoopReport for I now have another rather useless fact to lock away in the recesses of my brain. Just in case someone, somewhere needs to know why there poo is green(or pink for that matter)I will be ready.

    black's picture

    My 6-year-old son has had green poop for about one week, and I was very worried, so are you saying that this not a medical problem. If not I want to take this time to thank you for your stories. Since reading your stories, i feel much better, because he drinks a lot of juice boxes, which come in all colors.

    oninbonin's picture

    Dude, I just proved your theory by consuming carbonated grape Hill Country Fair soda. When I did my morning ritual, it was as lime green as lime green gets.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    I just had a bright orange poop. I think it's from all the tomato sauce I have been eating lately. This goes down in the rainbow poop diarrheas. I mean, diaries!

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    Lucky Charms's picture

    I think Lucky Charms will do it too.

    Mark's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    drinking hawaiian punch - bodacious berry can do the same also. just happened

    Mikie's picture

    Captain Crunch's Crunch Berries will provide a bright neon green shit. I estimate that I ingested around 10 oz (quite a bit)that gave me quite a surprise! If the green had been less pronounced I would have concerned, but this was astonishly green! I searched the web, found this site, and put two and two together. Awesome! This could scare the shit out of someone less informed!

    drinker's picture

    I drank 5 bright blue coolers last night and went to bed. This morning I was more than a little shocked to have a huge bright green blowout when I went to the bathroom. I was worried, considered a docter, and then found this site. I am at ease, thanks. I think the alcohol in the drink loosened it up a bit.

    The Shit Volcano's picture
    Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

    Methinks I should take this study to drinking different kinds of Kool-Aid and Gatorade. That should get the rainbow effects.

    I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

    Ricky's picture

    THANK GOD FOR YOU PEOPLE!! I can breathe again!! I have been in cold sweat terror for the past three days until I found this site!! And a special thank you to the 7/1/04 poster, anonymous coward! You were the final cherry on top of the sundae! For your amusement and edification, fellow green poopers, I just celebrated my 50th birthday at a local restaurant on Sunday, 10/17. At the time, I had been having concerns for an impacted bowel (still have those concerns all the same), and had been taking fiber and laxatives. Some really rubbery (but brown) twisted fecal matter had come out of me, so I have little doubt that I am suffering from IBS and impacted bowels. But a day or two later, HERE IT WAS -- THE BIG GREEN SHIT!! I had been having upper GI problems (don't misunderstand, I do have some gastrointestinal issues) that resulted in some upper chest discomfort, and like all bicentennians the first thing that pops into your mind is "I must be having a heart attack." So when I saw the green poop, the first thing that came to me was GALL BLADDER TROUBLE. Then I read this site, and guess what? Just like anonymous coward says, I had a BIRTHDAY CAKE from WAL MART and the extra thick trim icing was the BLUEST BLUE I HAVE EVER SEEN. They must have used a whole Blue Lake vial in that icing, enough for five normal cakes!! And I have been eating a piece of it EVERY DAY SINCE SUNDAY UNTIL LAST NIGHT, and noticed my green poop was less green than ever. Now I get to learn that Wal Mart's blue color formula will turn your shit green, and I worried for DAYS if I had a serious problem. THANK YOU AGAIN, ONE AND ALL, FOR THE RELIEF THAT THIS SITE HAS GIVEN ME! Not even Web MD or any of the other sites helped, just HERE!! YEAAAA!!!

    Yogurt eater:'s picture

    I was puzzled at the green poo in my toilet. After reading these posts, and seriously thinking of my consumption today, i realized. Creme saver yogurt!! Blueberry flavored.

    Amazing the effects of food dye.

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