Ask Is instant tea as bad as real tea?

February 22, 2012

“i was just in the hospital for the 2nd time with kidney stones. My question is, is instant tea as bad for you as real tea? Also what are some main foods and drinks i should avoid to prevent getting them again?”



Instant tea has a similar amount of oxalate as regular tea. Below, in order of decreasing amount of oxalate, is a list of different foods and types of teas containing oxalate.

Food item Oxalate Content Equivalent to
Spinach (frozen) 1236 mg per 200 gm One box spinach
Chocolate 126 mg per 90 gm About one bar
Black tea (loose) 5.11 mg per gm 12.21 mg per cup
Black tea (bags) 4.68 mg per gm 9.54 mg per cup
Instant tea 6.6mg per gm 4.62 mg per cup
Green tea 0.68 mg per gm 1.36 mg per cup

For most stone formers however, the three most important things to remember are to increase the amount of water you drink, decrease the amount of salt you ingest, and decrease the amount of meat protein you eat. Guidelines for salt and meat intake are similar to what is advised for all adults (2300mg salt and 6 oz of meat a day).

In addition to this, keep a normal calcium intake and a moderate oxalate intake. You may also want to undergo testing with your doctor to see if a high oxalate level in the urine (hyperoxaluria) is truly an issue for you. Unless you have hyperoxaluria, restriction of oxalate containing foods may not be of much benefit.


In our “Ask” section, we field questions from stone formers or their family members. See previous questions and answers here.

About Dr. Mike Nguyen

Mike M Nguyen, MD, MPH, is a urologist and an Associate Professor of Clinical Urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, CA. He specializes in the treatment of kidney stones with both surgery and dietary prevention and the in the treatment of kidney and prostate cancer using the latest robotic surgical approaches. He sees patients at clinics located in Los Angeles, Pasadena, and La Canada, CA. He is the founder of the website.
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