We’ve been hearing about the wide-ranging — almost miraculous — health benefits of green tea for years now.
With far less caffeine than a cup of coffee, a cup of green tea is chock full of antioxidants known as catechins, which have been reported to lower your risk of diabetes and cancer.
With obesity in our country reaching epidemic proportions, more attention is turning to green tea as an aid in fat burning and weight loss.
Research into how green tea can help you lose weight has been ongoing throughout the past decade. Most recently, an international group of eight researchers performed a meta-analysis into past research on green tea as a weight-loss aid for obese patients.
The results of this analysis suggested that “the use of green tea can be combined with a balanced and healthy diet and regular physical exercise in the management of obese patients.”
But that’s just the beginning…
How does green tea encourage weight loss?
Let us count the ways:
- Caffeine. The stimulant effect of caffeine has been shown to aid in fat burning. Although a cup of green tea has just 20-40mg of caffeine, as compared with coffee’s 100-200mg, the effect is still present.
- Antioxidants. Green tea is loaded with catechins, a potent antioxidant. The most important of these is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that can boost metabolism.
- Fat burning during exercise. A number of studies show that taking green tea extract can boost fat burning and that this effect is even stronger during exercise. In one study, men who took green tea extract before exercise burned 17 percent more fat than men who didn’t take the supplement.
- Boosts metabolic rate. Several studies suggest that taking green tea extract or EGCG supplements can make your body burn more calories, even while you are at rest.
Other health benefits of green tea
As I mentioned, weight loss was the tip of the iceberg when it comes to green tea. It’s been studied for decades for health benefits, including these:
- Good for brain function. Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, known for its ability to lower cortisol levels and boost the brain chemical GABA, which promotes relaxation and sleep.
- Protects against cancer. Studies and research reviews have shown that drinking green tea could lower the risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
- Protects the aging brain. Studies have also revealed the possible neuroprotective effects of green tea in preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The healthiest kind of green tea
There’s one type of green tea that stands out in terms of helping you to lose actual body fat. And this has greater health implications than just a lower number on the scale.
Matcha green tea comes from the same plant as green tea. But there’s one important difference.
Matcha tea is made from the entire leaf. It’s basically stone-ground green tea.
Because of this, it offers a higher concentration of antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds. In fact, a cup of matcha green tea is about equal to 10 cups of regular green tea in terms of antioxidant power.
It’s extra-powerful at reducing that dreaded belly fat, the visceral fat that is associated with inflammation and insulin resistance, both of which are strongly linked to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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- Green tea may help with weight loss efforts — Wiley
- How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight — Healthline
- The effect of green tea supplementation on obesity: A systematic review and dose–response meta‐analysis of randomized controlled trials — Wiley Online Library
- Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults — Green Tea Catechin Consumption Enhances Exercise-Induced Abdominal Fat Loss in Overweight and Obese Adults