Does Green Tea Help with Weight Loss?
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
The Truth from Scientists About Green Tea and Weight Loss
Claims that green tea can make your fat melt away have been swirling around our tea mugs for years, but what’s the truth – does green tea help with weight loss? Let’s take a geeky moment with our Official Science Steeper, Allison Tannis MSc RHN, and see if the science is STEEP enough to warrant these claims of weight loss. It may seem a far stretch that your favourite soothing act of sipping a mug of green tea helps with weight loss yet, the science may surprise you.
Is it True that Green Tea Helps with Weight Loss?
In a world filled with some very obscure diet claims, it seems only right to pause and question what does scientific research says about whether green tea helps with weight loss? Over a decade of research offers us some interesting insights into the effects of green tea on human health. A cup of green tea contains many healthy plant compounds that offer health benefits to the human body, including antioxidant effects, and alterations in metabolism that do have some favourable effects on weight loss. Hug a mug of green tea as we steep farther into the science – it’s is a TEArrific choice for your health!
NOTE: Experts agree the healthiest way to lose weight is to adopt a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes exercise (both moderate and intense exercise), a diet that focuses on whole-foods that are rich in nutrients (which can include some cups of green tea), and a positive mindset.
Is it Healthy to Drink Green Tea Every Day?
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can find. A cup of green tea contains an interesting mixture of nutrients, which research shows have positive effects on the body. Green tea contains a helpful group of antioxidants, called catechins. Within an hour of drinking a cup of green tea, there is a significant increase in antioxidants in the bloodstream, note researchers. The antioxidants in green tea are readily absorbed in your gut, where these helpful nutrients reach your bloodstream and start to protect your body’s cells and DNA from damage caused by oxidation. This is important, as damaged cells malfunction or die. These antioxidants in green tea also play a role in metabolism. Research suggests catechins in green tea help with weight loss when part of a healthy lifestyle.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Components of green tea have shown some abilities to support weight loss in humans, which makes it exciting to think sipping your mug of steaming hot tea may also help you shed a little unwanted weight. But, there are more reasons to start your kettle and make a cup of green tea. According to research, the following are the health benefits of tea:
- Supports weight loss
- Slows aging
- Boosts mood
- Lowers risk of heart disease
- Improves brain function
- Increases energy
- Lowers risk of some cancers
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves dental health
- Reduces anxiety
How does Green Tea Help You Lose Fat?
Researchers have noted certain nutrients in green tea increase the amount of energy you burn. There is also evidence that certain nutrients in green tea encourage your body to burn fat. This is helpful in weight loss as fat is usually one of the last fuel sources the body uses, sugar (present in the bloodstream) being the easiest to burn. There are other mechanisms scientists think are at play – it appears green tea helps with weight loss through the effects on appetite, fat storage, and increasing how much fat is excreted in poop.
What is in Green Tea that Helps Weight Loss?
There are a lot of nutrients in green tea, but a few have caught the attention of scientists for their abilities to influence weight loss. Of most interest are caffeine and catechins. Catechins are plant-based compounds with antioxidant abilities. Green tea has the highest antioxidant capacity of any major tea type, according to scientists. The antioxidants in green tea are highly bioavailable (easily used by the body) and have strong antioxidant abilities. The most popular catechin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), due to its impressive antioxidant capability and well-recorded health benefits in the human body, including benefits to the cardiovascular system and the brain. Clinical studies have found catechins significantly increase body fat loss, waist circumference, and BMI in humans. It is possible the mechanism by which catechins reduce body fat is related to increasing energy expenditure through influence on enzymes, liver metabolism, breathing rate, digestion, and much more.
As for caffeine, you can probably attest to the BUZZING desire to burn more energy when caffeine is surging through your veins. Part of that stimulation to use more energy includes an increase of how much fat your body burns. Caffeine has at times been a popular supplement for weight loss for years, but please note health professionals caution against the use of caffeine in this way. In addition, research suggests the way green tea helps with weight loss is not due to its caffeine content – there’s a more synergistic effect happening.
Let’s take a geeky look at what research scientists from Maastricht University (Netherlands) found when they took an inclusive review of the evidence for caffeine alone or caffeine and catechins on weight loss. In the published scientific review, the experts reported the human body burns more fat when both caffeine and catechins are ingested. Steep your green tea and enjoy drinking it as both caffeine and catechins work better as a team to enhance weight loss, something science geeks like to call synergy.
What in Green Tea Causes Weight Loss
Green tea contains a few plant-based compounds that are thought to support weight loss when consumed as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and plenty of whole, plant-based foods.
- Caffeine – about 20-40mg per cup increases both energy expenditure and fat loss.
- Catechins – evidence shows it works with caffeine to help you lose fat and burn energy.
- EGCG – a type of catechin that indirectly enhances the use of fat as energy.
How Much Green Tea Do You Need to Drink for Weight Loss?
What appears to be most effective for weight loss, according to human clinical studies, was to include about 200mg of caffeine and 300mg of EGCG per day into a healthy lifestyle. How much tea do you need to drink for weight loss? A cup of green tea can contain anywhere from 30 to 50mg of caffeine, suggesting about 4 cups would be helpful. As for EGCG, you’ll need more than 4 cups if you’re steeping dried green tea. A mug of dried green tea contains only about 25mg of EGCG. You’d need 12 cups to achieve the amount of EGCG noted to be helpful by researchers. On the other hand, fresh tea leaves brew you a cup of green tea that contains 5x more EGCG! Doing some quick math, drinking about 2.5 cups of fresh tea would provide the same amount of EGCG to match what was successful in the weight-loss clinical trials.
Which Green Tea is Best for Weight Loss?
As fresh tea leaves contain 5x more EGCG per cup than dry green tea leaves, fresh tea can offer your body more antioxidants known to help promote weight loss. Fresh tea is the most antioxidant-rich version of tea you can get – it’s pure, undried leaves, kept as fresh as when they were picked from the organic, fair-trade farm. Flash frozen, you can enjoy the freshest tea straight from your home freezer. Where can you get fresh tea? Millennia Tea is fresh tea. Order fresh tea to your door from Millennia Tea’s website, or find it in select stores. Get steeping today!
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