Green tea originated in China, and is considered to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. The tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries due to a number of health benefits it provides. Consumption of green tea is strongly linked to cancer prevention, lower risk of heart disease and stroke, and so on. But let’s not forget that green tea is an inevitable ingredient in weight loss teas and supplements. How effective is green tea? Does it really help? Let’s find out!
Catechins and weight loss
Green tea contains various substances that exert their benefits and help you lose weight – and caffeine is one of them. Of course the amount of caffeine present in the tea is significantly lower than in a cup of coffee, but it’s still helpful for weight loss endeavor. There’s evidence that caffeine aids fat burning and a study from the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports discovered that caffeine has a tremendous potential to improve exercise performance.
Despite the benefits of caffeine from green tea on weight loss, the antioxidant content is where this beverage really shines. Antioxidants in green tea are called catechins with EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) being the most important one. This particular substance boosts metabolism. One study showed that catechins have a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance.
Green tea mobilises fat from fat cells
To burn fat successfully, it has to be broken down into the fat cell and moved in the bloodstream. Thanks to active substances, green tea assists in this process by enhancing the effects of fat-burning hormones. The above-mentioned EGCG inhibits the enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. The hormone is utilised by the nervous system as a signal to the fat cells to break down fat. Basically, the greater norepinephrine levels, the stronger signaling sent to the fat cell. As a result, more fat is broken down in the body.
A study from the Physiology & Behavior revealed that green tea’s catechins act through inhibition of catechol-O-methyl-transferase as well as the inhibition of phosphodiesterase. Green tea proved to improve weight maintenance through thermogenesis and fat oxidation.
Fat burning during exercise
Strenuous physical activity is paramount for successful weight loss. If you have ever looked for fat burning supplements, you probably noticed they contain green tea on the label. A study published in the Antioxidants in Sport Nutrition found that consumption of green tea catechins increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure. This beneficial effect was recorded in both sedentary men and those who exercise regularly. In one study, men who took green tea extract and exercised burned 17% more fat compared to participants from the control group. Scientists from the UK concluded that green tea boosts the fat-burning effects of physical activity.
Metabolic rate boost
We’ve all heard it: to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume through diet. But as seen throughout this post, green tea aids weight loss through fat oxidation and thermogenesis, and it helps you burn more calories. While a majority of studies focused on the short-term effects of green tea on calorie burn (1-3 days), researchers from Denmark confirmed the metabolism-boosting effect persists in the long-term as well. A fast metabolism is key to losing weight, which is why individuals with slower metabolic rate find it difficult to lose those excess kilos.
Fat, particularly in the abdominal area, can be harmful to your health. Various studies have confirmed that green tea consumption is associated with reduced fat for at least 3 pounds (1.3 to 1.4kg). Although this seems small and insignificant, bear in mind that consistency plays a role, not all fat is the same, and every lost kilo of fat matters immensely.
Another way to definitively shed some kilos is to kick the sugar habit for good and watch your weight fall right off!
Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.