Green tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, and it is also one of the healthiest. In addition to its antioxidant properties, evidence also suggests that green tea can help with weight loss. As such, drinking green tea may be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet and an overall healthy lifestyle.
How Does Green Tea Promote Weight Loss?
There are a variety of ways by which green tea can be an effective weight-loss ally. Let’s look at them one by one.
Although a cup of green tea has a lot less caffeine than a cup of coffee (24 – 40 mg vs 100 – 200 mg, respectively), it’s caffeine content is still enough of a stimulant to give fat burning a bit of a boost. Drinking green tea has also been found to improve exercise performance.
One of green tea’s many, potent antioxidants is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is known to boost the effects of certain fat-burning hormones. Combined, the caffeine and EGCG in green tea may have a synergistic effect on metabolism.
Increased fat burning
Green tea is a common ingredient used in many commercial weight-loss and fat-burning supplements. Studies have linked the catechins in green tea to increased fat burning, particularly during exercise.
Increased metabolic rate
Some studies have shown that green tea extract or EGCG supplements can boost the burning of calories by at least 3-4%, even when the body is at rest. This is comparable to the increase in metabolic rate when on a high-protein diet.
Because green tea is filling, it can help naturally reduce appetite, which translates to fewer calorie consumption.
Best Time to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss
For boosting metabolism, drinking green tea in the morning is ideal as this is when metabolism is highest. You can also drink another cup in between meals so as to keep your metabolism up.
Some studies have found that drinking green tea before exercise may also be beneficial in increasing fat burning by 17%. Taking green tea extract supplements after an intense workout has also been found to aid in muscle recovery.
Two to three cups of green tea a day may be beneficial for weight loss, especially if combined with a healthy weight-loss diet plan and regular exercise. Although the benefit is modest, drinking green tea can still be an adequate supplement to any weight-loss strategy.
What Tea is Good for Weight Loss?
Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, but it can be fermented in different ways to produce different types of tea: black, green, white, and oolong.
- Black tea. The fresh leaves go through the process of withering (the first stage), which involves reducing its water content to about 60%-70%. The second stage is rolling, wherein the tea leaves are twisted and turned to prepare them for the third stage – oxidation. During oxidation, the leaves are allowed to dry at a certain temperature until their color changes to a light or dark brown (depending on the desired strength of flavor). The fourth and final stage is drying or firing, wherein the leaves’ water content is further reduced to about 3%.
- Green tea. The leaves are quickly heated through pan-drying or steaming. Then they are withered and rolled. The oxidation process is skipped, which retains its antioxidants and gives green tea its fresh flavor.
- White tea. The leaves undergo the same process as green tea, but only the unopened buds and young leaves of the plant are used.
- Oolong tea. The leaves only go through partial oxidation.
Green tea is the best type of tea to drink for weight loss, as it contains the highest amount of antioxidants – which are the compounds that have been shown to have mild beneficial effects on metabolism, fat burning, and calorie burning.
It is best to stick to plain and minimally processed green tea to ensure that you will only get the maximum health and weight-loss benefits.
Green Tea and Weight Loss – The Bottom Line
The combination of catechins and caffeine in green tea makes this popular beverage modestly beneficial in boosting weight loss. It can boost metabolism and energy consumption; it can mildly increase fat burning and calorie burning. Because the drink is also filling, it can naturally reduce appetite.
On its own, drinking green tea may not lead to significant weight loss. But if combined with other healthy weight-loss strategies, such as calorie counting, cutting carbs, eating more protein, and/or exercising, then drinking green tea has the potential to be an effective weight-loss supplement.
While its caffeine content is lower than that of coffee, some people might still have an unwanted reaction to the stimulant, i.e. difficulty in sleeping, acidity, bloating, and/or acid reflux. This might mean that they should only drink green tea at certain times and only in small amounts.
It should likewise be noted that too much green tea has the potential to inhibit iron absorption, which can lead to a deficiency in this mineral. Individuals who already suffer from iron deficiency should avoid green tea. It’s also best to drink green tea between meals so that it doesn’t interfere with the body’s nutrient absorption from food.
Beyond facilitating weight loss, green tea also offers plenty of other health benefits, so making this beverage a regular part of your diet can prove good for your overall health. You will have to drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day to maximize its mild effects.
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