Green tea is one of the most popular beverages consumed across the globe. Amongst it’s many proposed health benefits, which include the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular disease, anti-inflammatory effects, antioxidative properties, and neuroprotective effects. it’s most popular claim to fame, is weight loss. But can green tea really help you lose weight? We’re going to take an in-depth look at what the research says, to find out if green tea really helps with weight loss.
In this article, you will learn about
- What is Green Tea Extract?
- How Does Green Tea Work?
- Does Green Tea Extract Help You Lose Weight?
- How Much Green Tea Extract You Should Take?
- What Are The Side Effects Of Green Tea Extract?
- Is Green Tea Good For Weight Loss?
What Is Green Tea Extract?
Green tea is produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant. To produce green tea, freshly harvested tea leaves are immediately steamed to prevent fermentation from taking place. This process then yields a dry, stable product. The steaming process destroys the enzymes responsible for breaking down the color pigments in the green leaves and allows the tea to maintain its green color during the ensuing rolling and drying processes. This process preserves the natural polyphenols, which holds all of the health-promoting properties [R].
Green tea has many proposed health benefits due to its antioxidant properties. Since green tea is not oxidized, unlike black tea or oolong tea, it naturally contains more health-boosting polyphenols (antioxidants). These polyphenols include flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. The majority of polyphenols are flavonols which also known as catechins [R].
The four kinds of catechins mainly found in green tea are epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin-3-gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) [R].
Of the many proposed health benefits of Green Tea Extract, research indicates that EGCG is the key catechin responsible for its weight loss benefits.
How Does Green Tea Extract Work?
EGCG has a direct effect on increasing fat oxidation, the body’s ability to use body fat for energy and boosts your ability to burn more calories at rest through promoting thermogenesis. In other words, EGCG boosts your metabolic rate. Research indicates, that by combining green tea extract with moderate-intense training, fat oxidation will increase from 17-20%, in addition to the increase of fat-oxidation from exercise alone. Therefore, green tea extract can help you lose weight by utilizing your body fat for fuel and helping you burn more calories.
The exact mechanism of action of EGCG is not directly known. However, EGCG is thought to have a direct effect on the sympathetic nervous system stimulation lipolysis, thus increasing fat oxidation.
Green Tea And Weight Loss: What The Research Says
In a double-blind cross over study, investigators found that 300mg of green tea extract, combined with 150mg of caffeine significantly increased fat oxidation rates at rest, and were 20% higher than the placebo of caffeine alone [R].
During exercise fat oxidation rates increase 10-fold, due to the energy demand of energy that your muscles require [R]. In a study published in the Journal Of Clinical Nutrition two studies were performed to determine if green tea extract can help with weight loss by promoting fat oxidation at rest and during moderately intense exercise. In study A, 12 healthy men performed a 30-min cycling exercise at 60% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) before and after supplementation. In study B, 11 healthy men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after supplementation. The results indicated that with 900 mg of green tea extract supplemented per day, fat oxidation rates increased by 17% during moderate-intensity exercise and can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance [R].
In yet another study, male subjects who supplemented with 570mg of green tea extract, for a period of 8 weeks, combined with moderate exercise 3 times per week, found that fat oxidation levels were 24% higher than the placebo, confirming a significant increase in metabolic rate. [R].
The research indicates that Green tea extract has a direct impact on fat oxidation, but what does that mean for weight loss? Simply put, since Green tea extract increases fat oxidation, your body burns more body fat for fuel, and increases its energy expenditure, which translates into burning body fat and greater weight loss.
A systematic review, which analyzed 14 randomized control trials to determine the effects of green tea extract on weight loss, concluded that study participants lost 0.5-7.7 more pounds on average than the control groups, when supplementing with green tea extract for 12 weeks [R]. Therefore, by increasing the rate of fat oxidation, you burn more body fat as energy.
Consequently, more studies are needed to confirm these effects and evaluate the dose and content of tea catechins and caffeine required to achieve expected results on weight loss.
How Much Green Tea Should I Take?
According to clinical trials, green tea dosage varied between 300-900mg. Therefore, if fat loss results are to be replicated, then it is advised to ingest between 300-500mg of green tea per day, for maximum weight loss benefits [R].
What Are The Side Effects Of Green Tea Extract?
Although green tea has several beneficial effects on health, yet higher doses may cause some unknown adverse effects. Too much of anything is bad and the same goes for green tea extract. EGCG of green tea extract is cytotoxic, and higher consumption of green tea can exert acute cytotoxicity in liver cells and DNA damage. However, drinking even a very high dietary amount of green tea would be unlikely to cause these adverse effects in humans [R].
Green Tea Extract For Weight Loss: Takeaway
Considering the fact that Green Tea Extract promotes an increase in fat oxidation and promotes lipolysis, green tea extract can help you lose more body fat and optimize body composition when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise regimen. It’s important to remember, that fat burners such as green tea extract do not work on their own.
Weight gain and weight loss occur when the body consumes more or fewer calories than what you burn at your BMR. Since Green tea extract increase your basal metabolic rate, your body is burning more calories at rest, meaning that green tea extract will help you with your weight loss goals.
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