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"

    I yam what I yam's picture

    I can bear witness to that black licorice thing. Ate a whole BIG bag of Twizzlers two days ago and am poppin'some Popeye spinach color logs! Been readin' and laughin' so hard, I had to share it with my 14 yr old(perfect age for shitty jokes!).Though I think I may have given him too much info and he and his friends may carry on their own research. Your site is now bookmarked for future uhhhhhhh doody references? Thanks for easing the passage!

    Jelly Beans's picture

    Hey guys now that easter is comming up you have to watch out for the black jelly beans. I LOVE them and i ate like a whole bag when i was up last night studing and sure enough this morning i'm poopin green...so watch out!!

    Green poo's picture

    Trix and Lucky cCarms are BRUTAL! greenest poop you'll ever see...

    keisha's picture

    well, one day i was at my friends house, and i had to take a dump.little did i know that i would be dealing with the green swamp monster in the toilet. i got soooo scred i yelled so loud. my dad's friend took me to the emergency room and the docter laughed in my face because i had told him i've been living off of lucky charms for 3 days. i told him off and said i hope the swamp monster in the toilet eats him up. but now i kow why my shit is uglier than usual.

    HuFlungPu's picture

    I guess this would probably explain why iv been having green stool for the past few weeks.. picked up one of those big packs of those little 12 fl. oz. gatorades.. been drinking about 4-6 a day or so. Nothin like bright green harsh smelling stool to make you wanna stop drinking gatorade.. *takes another sip of Strawberry gatorade*.

    Mike's picture
    m 1+ points - Newb

    Far Out - took a olive drab colored poop just now. - Thought about it a bit and googled "Why is my poop green?" Your site was right on top. My boy had a birthday and he dyed his icing on the cake blue. I can't wait to hear if the rest of the family is shitting green! Now this is what the internet is for! I could have struggled with this for weeks, could have included therapy, Dr visit. Thanks Poop Report!

    TooFruityForMe's picture

    I'm so relieved to find out I probably don't have some weird medical problem. It happened to me today. Last night I ate dry fruit rings, which are the store-brand version of Fruit Loops. This morning I also ate two large bowls of it with milk. The cereal doesn't have blue#5 but it does have blue#1, as well as red#40, yellow#6 and yellow#5.

    poops*alotta*red's picture

    i went to take a "little" dump at the tanning salon...i was simply minding my own biness...and suddenly outta the corner of my eye I spotted the 4 slices of red velvet cake I had eaten a couple of nights ago...thank goodness I found this site...I called my boyfriend and his mom and asked if they had the red runnies too...but of course they shit and run (they don't look at the toilet paper to see if they asses are clean) anywho...so I almost ended up in the er having diagnosed myself with rectal cancer.

    Runs4daysStraight's picture

    Had a night of drinking about 4 days ago, enough to wake up with the beer and tequila shits, but it usually goes away by the end of the day. It's been 4 days later now and I've gone through almost 8 rolls of toilet paper by myself. Strange thing is, I haven't been able to eat anything (just not hungry), so have been drink LOTS of water and taking a multi-vitamin so I don't die. In the last 4 hours I've spent atleast an hour on the toilet and to my amazement my runs have turned from a 'butterscotch' color to a 'blue slushee' color. I am also experiencing extreme abdominal pains and bloating due to gas build-up. I've actually come online to do some research as I am starting to worry that something might be terribly wrong. If I had a job or some insurance I think I might go to the doctor. But as my stomach gurgles and I feel bubbles working their magic, I need to get going for another session of the liquid blue shits.

    HuFlungPu's picture

    I know how you feel Runs4daysStraight, iv had that problem before, even though now I think its worsened for me, cept Iv never had the "blue slushee" part of it, everything else iv gone through, and looking through all the anal problems on the web hasnt helped me feel any better. Just do what im planning on doing, go to a "Free Clinic" dunno if they deal with that kinda stuff.. but im gonna try em.

    Different Green's picture

    Cool and groovy site! I too have had some green poo. It's not neon, it's leaving a grass-like stain on the T.P. But I haven't had anything with food coloring in a long time. I note that some people say Chinese food can do it, and maybe vitamins. I've been drinking a lot of water and taking E-mergen-C (LOTS of vitamin C). Any thoughts? And what are the gallbladder symptoms some folks have mentioned? Shouldn't there be other symptoms as well?

    TooFruityForMe's picture

    Runs4DaysStraight, maybe you should try psyllium fiber (Metamucil) and eating high fiber foods. (Oddly enough, lettuce has no fiber but baked beans have lots of it. Fig Newtons have a fair amount of fiber, too.)

    Runs4daysStraight's picture

    Well, I don't know what did it, but today I only had the runs once and it had some substance to it and was almost a 'butterscotch' color. Feel much better today too. Must have been an intestinal virus or something. Watchout! It may be coming your way and is NOT any fun!

    PoopWorrier's picture

    What a hilarious, but informative site! I, too, got on the Internet to search why my son't poop was grass-like green. Now I know it is the purple POPSICLES he's been going through like crazy! Thanks!

    Matthew's picture

    Well, i got up this morning, and used the restroom. There was nothing strange about the bowel movement unitl i wiped. I was suprised to find that the color of my crap was bright green, like a neon color. I could only think of one thing that made my crap turn green. I had consumed an entire can of frito's mild cheddar cheese dip in a 12 hour span. That's alot of cheese. My body made my crap green... I never had a green crap when i lived in Canada

    leslie's picture

    my 14 month old daughter started having these neon green bm i thought there was something wrong but then read this n realized it was the purple juice shes been drinking alot of

    Stephanie's picture

    Drinking huge amounts of Cool Blue Gatorade definitely makes your poop green!

    joe peeboo's picture

    The other day i had this really bad craving for green cordial,green jelly and fried chicken.So i went up to the shops and bought it and when i got home i had a major pig out.The next morning i did the biggest,smelliest,sloppiest,chunckiest,greenest poo in my entire life.After a while i went back into the toilet and aet it for breakfast,it was steamy an hot

    Michael Tiller's picture

    I think that my poo is green beacause i always drink green cordial and KFC!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Joe Peeboo's picture

    I have a really funny green poo story to tell!A few weeks ago,my parents told me that they were going on a holiday for a couple of weeks and that i was going to have to stay behind.Iwanted to go with them but i guess it would be fun to stay home by myself cauze i can invite my friends over!!!Anyway,about two minutes after they left i rang my friends and told them to come over for the greatest party ever.By 8 o'clock there were about 50 people there.By 12 o'clock we were running low on the beer so i went downstairs and got some more from the cella.Our cella has a handle on the outside only so you have to put something infront of the door to hold it open,but i was in a hurry so i didn't put anything there.I grabbed the beer and the door shut,so i was locked in!I was thirsty so i drank the beer while calling for help!No one heard me and in the morning i did bright green shit and still am doing it today.thats my story,just thought you wanted to know!!!

    Joette's picture

    I have very runny green shit from eating hot thai curry,the shit burns ya but

    mean green poop machine's picture

    Hey pooper people,the easter show is coming up soon.That reminds me of a funny green poo story!Last year i went to the easter show and i didn't bring food with me so i had to buy some.All they had were spicy corn dogs and hot food,i stuffed myself silly,then bought showbags and had a major pig out.Fosr a month i was doing runny,hot,smelly green sloppy shit in bucket loads!!!I can't wait to go there again and replay the whole day over!!!

    corissa's picture

    why is my poop pink?

    Aunye's picture

    one time I went poo and when I wiped.It got on my hand and it was pink and blue.

    Lee's picture

    my name is lee and i only experience green poo at parties.I think that this is because at parties i get drunk and eat onnes of greasy deep fried chicken

    Meg's picture

    Thanks to everyone for making me laugh the most I have in a long time. But, I also had my little episode of worrying, just tonight. A huge bowl of Fruity Pebbles I ate yesterday did it for me (even though I also had tuna and Chow Mein (other possibilities)). Well, I wanted to do something to help some people out, and because I

    Esmiles's picture

    Thanks guys.. stopped me worrying for sure.
    Must have been all that powerade that turned my poop green. I've been mixing the blue stuff with the yellow stuff and drinking about two litres a day for the past few days. Gonna just try the yellow from now on and see what that does, although im running out of the powdered stuff and you cant get it in the UK. Any suggestions??

    :o)

    mom of 2's picture

    This has cleared up my frustration over trying to figure out the cause of my green stool. I made an Elmo birthday cake for my two year old this week. This involved black icing for the mouth and coconut with LOTS of red food coloring to make the fur. After reading posts that mentioned red things and black frosting I have decided that those had to be the root of the problem. That's what I get for eating so much of the cake. :)

    Gary's picture

    what a supepooperulous site! is it my liver going? should i call the physician. hmmm ...., first i will google for "green stool / feces" ... so i decided. and this uhhhh "medical research site" was # 3 on list!! must be that blue - purple colored "Jagged Ice" Powerade i have been guzzling. they really should post info on food /beverage products, but since they do not .... it's good we have this most indispensable website! hehehe

    Dawn's picture

    First of all, I would like to express how pleasantly entertaining and utterly interesting I found this site to be! These are the types of experiments people can really use. It is truly disturbing how many questions this site answers for me. I had my own startling run in with brilliantly green colored crap...and of course being accustomed to pooping out various shades of brown only, I was scared shitless. (Yes, I know I just made a pun and it was intended). After seeing this site, I now know my radio-active poo was the result of the nine grape Mini-Sips I consumed last night

    Mrs. Grape Kooaid's picture

    After all of these years somebody finally
    believes me. After I drank Grape Koolaid my number-2 was always GREEN and Hard. Nobody believed me.

    Now the same thing is happening to my baby girl. Not even the doctors believe. I would say "Just try it!
    Thank you for finally bringing this to light. I was tired of hearing, "You must have a stomach virus"!!!!!!

    Must be the roman noodles, lol's picture

    The past few days I've had extremely green poop, lol. Thought there must be something wrong with me. Until I finally got curious enough to get online and found this site. I'm pregnant and it turns out that the roman noodles I've been craving and eating the past few days have had a huge effect on my feces color, ew, lol. Thought I'd share! =)

    Julie's picture

    I was looking for answers about my sons stool color... Aqua Green UH. Well, I feel sooo much better. It is what I first thought (KoolAid) but I was worried so I checked. Thank you for your web site.

    Pauly Hoffman's picture

    if drinking six liters gives the desired bright green doodie then could one skip the step of drinking copiouse amounts of koolaide by mixing say six packets in a twelve ounce glass with sugar. since the body is 90% water i would think that it would still give the desired effect. anyone tried it. I think i might....

    Lori's picture

    Thanks for the info on the dye! My 15-month-old son has had the stomach flu for the last few days and I've been giving him grape ibuprophen. Well, last night, his poop turned green, and his puke turned this lovely shade of light lime green. While searching the web to find out the implications of green puke (yes, it can be bad, but only if it is _dark_ green), I found your site. My son didn't have any of the other symptoms associated with dark green puke, so I'm assuming the green is due to the grape ibuprophen. I checked the label, and it doesn't say which dye was used, but I bet it's the blue #5. Thanks again for your info - it sure helped a frantic mom calm down!

    tossa's picture

    if anyone is from the orlando area...and knows of a club called vibe.....drink around twelve of their superman tini's and then see what a mixture of blue and green shit does...fucking awesome.

    Green Pooper's picture

    I ate tons of trix cereal with a bunch of tuna fish yesterday . i was like damn this shit is really green i wish it turned into money. but i looked up on the net and found this site and it answered my question. trix and tuna do not mix.

    matt w's picture

    when i searched for green feces on yahoo i didnt know what i was getting into! hurray for green poop and the relief that i dont have some kind of digestive order!!!

    Spencer's picture

    For one weekend I was only allowed to drink gatorade because I was sick. The only gatorade we had was Grape and we had lots of it. I started having green poop, but I figured it must have been from the illness, but after reading this website I believe Grape gatorade gives 'ya green poop.

    Gabbadj's picture

    Hahahahahaha... Love the site..

    Love that sooo many people are experiencing the green poop phenom. I too get it with mass amounts of purple gatorade and also when I take multi vitamines. Ill bet my crap would glow if I did them together =)

    FiveStars's picture

    I googled feverishly to get to this site.
    My worry has kept me up most of the night.

    Now lo and behold I hear the great words.
    The simple explanation of my green turds.

    Loads of Fla-Vor-Ice were consumed before this fateful night.
    When I wiped my ass today, I had a great fright.

    Holy shit! (no pun intended) My poop has turned green!
    It's the damnedest thing I ever have seen!

    Just goes to show whether it's koolaid, ice pops, or trix.
    You can have so much fun when you put blue #5 in the mix.

    WasWorried's picture

    Hi, I have just had similar results with the All-Stars Grape or Strawberry Gatorade. Woke up in the middle of the night with a horrid tummy ache and imagine my suprise when all was compacted green! I thought maybe I was really sick and just didn't know it and got geared up to make a call to my doctor on this issue. So as I was planning the exact words I would use to explain my illness I came across this web page. I think for now just in case I'll stay away from the Gatorade for a bit and not worry unless it happens again! Thank you much for the hours you spent digging though your, and everyone else's
    research!

    Big POOPER's picture

    I took a monster poop at college last semester, it was the sea snake of sea snakes. It wraped around the toilet bowl, probably almost a 2 footer. it was really sweet.

    clupmaster's picture

    I need help my poop is always green and its really clupy and doest feel good

    BooPoo's picture

    Yup. Had the greens this morning. Had to get the Boo Berry when I saw it in a movie. Only had about 2 bowls. Eat a couple peanut butter on cheese crackers and you can get orange.

    Someone's Mum's picture

    Spiderman birthday cake does it too!

    walmart's picture

    The walmart brand of crystal light sugar free grape drink did it for me!

    Jason's Green experiment's picture

    I been drinkin some Propel Fitness water and gave up drinking soda, now my poophas become green and exits my anus in 10 seconds flat. The pain from taking a crap is too much for me to handle, considering its about every hour on the hour that I take a crap now.

    Eric J. Sanchez's picture

    I have come to understand that since I have gone on an all carb diet that my poopies haves turned a very neon green color and tastes much more salty than normal? can someone please tell me what I'm doing wrong!!

    Randycat Jones's picture

    I got locked out of my hosue and to take the crpa of a lifetime, so instead of bothering my neighbors I just went to the back of my house and took a crap there, little did I realize there was no toilet paper so naturally I used my T-shirt. Quickly I eliminated the evidence by throwing it in a nearby tree where it dwelled for over a month.

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