Green tea is highly effective for weight loss as it contains caffeine, high antioxidant content, and nutritional compounds called catechins. This article is a detailed explainer that tells you how green tea aids weight loss, how and when to consume it, and other health benefits that it offers.
How Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Green tea is a healthy beverage that contains flavonoids and caffeine, which help boost metabolism and contribute to weight loss. One of the most potent flavonoids in green tea is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), an antioxidant that helps speed up metabolism. EGCG and caffeine together stimulate the production of norepinephrine hormones, which trigger the breakdown of fat molecules. This process releases fat into the bloodstream that the body then metabolites. (1)
If you are wondering about any harmful effects of caffeine in green tea, you need not worry. A cup or 230 ml of green tea has just 20 to 45 mgs of caffeine, much lesser than a cup of coffee, containing 91.8 mgs. The caffeine present in green tea improves physical performance and fat oxidation, unlike the possibility of insomnia or restlessness, a common after-effect of coffee consumption. However, do not overconsume it.
Green tea with caffeine mobilises fat present in the body, so, regular yet moderate consumption can help in reducing waist circumference, lose significant weight and get rid of belly fat. (2) In comparison to other beverages, green tea certainly has long-lasting health and weight loss benefits.
Weight Loss Benefits Of Green Tea
Green tea not only boosts metabolism to help you lose weight, but also works in other ways for the same purpose. It is low in calories and has exceptional thermogenic properties, making it a must-have beverage in your diet.
- Aids Fat Burn During Workout: It is an excellent fat-burning, pre-workout drink, which helps accelerate weight loss. As per a study, green tea extract helped burn 17% more fat in people who consumed it along with workouts than non-drinkers. (3)
- Stimulates Weight Loss Through Increased Fat Oxidation: As EGCG triggers increased oxidation of fat deposits in the body, it has an impact on both visceral and subcutaneous fat deposits, promoting the loss of harmful fats. It is thus a favoured weight loss drink, especially to get rid of harmful belly fat.
- Improves Digestive Health: Green tea helps in processing sugars and carbohydrates, which regulate insulin and blood sugars. (4) Regulated blood sugar helps our body to prevent weight gain by avoiding unhealthy cravings. (5)
- Activates Good Fat: The bio-actives in green tea help shrink white fat cells and increase brown fat, which is a healthy fat. The shrinkage triggers the release of fat cells, which the body can then utilise. The brown fat helps burn calories, prevents white fat gain, and improves insulin levels in the body. (6)
How to Make Green Tea For Weight Loss?
Here is a green tea recipe that will help you achieve optimal health benefits
- The recommended ratio for a perfect and healthy cup of green tea is 2 gms of green tea leaves for 177 ml of water.
- Water for green tea should be neither too cold nor too hot. The ideal temperature is between 160-180 degrees.
- Let the tea brew for 2 to 3 mins. If you let it sit for longer, it will taste bitter.
- You can add some mint leaves, honey or lemon juice to make it tastier and healthier.
Green tea, a healthy pre-workout drink
The hormone, Catecholamine (norepinephrine and epinephrine), which helps in fat breakdown rises after exercise. Catechins in green tea delay catecholamine breakdown, allowing fat oxidation to occur for longer periods of time. Thus, green tea before exercise accelerates the fat-burning process and lasts much longer. One or two cups of green tea before your workout session can give you better weight loss results. Choose green tea with higher EGCG content as research shows that EGCG with caffeine 90 minutes before exercise dramatically boosted the fat oxidation rate during exercise.
Further, green tea may also stimulate your metabolism and enhance your endurance and attention during exercise due to the caffeine content. Lastly, the catechins present in green tea aid in muscle recovery and reduce inflammation, making it a perfect pre-workout drink.
How To Drink Green Tea For Weight Loss?
- Have green tea every day to maximise weight loss benefits.
- Loose, organic green tea is the best, followed by matcha tea, a powdered and concentrated form of green tea.
- Avoid consuming green tea right after meals as it may interfere with the absorption of nutrients.
- Do not drink green tea before sleeping as it may affect your sleep cycle.
Best Time to Drink Green Tea For Weight Loss
- You can drink about 2-3 small cups of green tea per day. If you take too much of it, it can cause diarrhoea.
- You can have one cup of green tea on an empty stomach as the first thing after you wake up. However, be mindful as a strong brew may lead to acid reflux, nausea or constipation.
- You can have another cup before a workout session if the purpose of your workout includes weight loss.
- Try to replace other drinks such as coffee or milk tea with green tea.
Other Health Benefits Of Drinking Green Tea
Besides promoting weight loss, green tea provides other health benefits. Here is a list:
- Improves Brain Function: Green tea boosts brain functions such as memory, mood, vigilance, reactivity, and more. L-Theanine is an active compound in green tea that protects the brain, prevents ageing and reduces the risk of certain degenerative diseases such as dementia. It also helps relieve stress and has a calming effect on the brain. (7)
- Lowers the Risk of Certain Cancers: The antioxidants in green tea protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of developing certain cancers such as breast cancer (8), prostate cancer (9) and colorectal cancer. (10)
- Prevents Type-2 Diabetes: Green tea helps in managing blood sugar levels in the body and insulin sensitivity. Drinking green tea helps reduce elevated insulin levels, thus preventing the risk of Type-2 diabetes. A study shows that green tea drinkers are at a 42% lower risk of getting Type-2 diabetes. (11)
Say hello to Matcha!
Matcha is a powdered green tea from Japan that locals cultivate in a traditional manner. They grow the plants without sunlight for a few days and this improves the synthesis and accumulation of physiologically active chemicals such as theanine, caffeine, chlorophyll, and various types of catechins. Matcha contains at least 7 times greater available concentration of EGCG than other green teas and more antioxidants. This distinct chemical makeup and treasured flavour distinguish it from other teas, while the high amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds have health-promoting qualities. Matcha also has a higher caffeine content than regular green teas, giving it a distinctive scent and flavour. It helps in improving cognitive functions, and insulin sensitivity and decreases stress, oxidative stress, glucose, and lipid absorption, and slows down ageing.
- Improves Cardiovascular Health: Drinking green tea regularly reduces LDL or bad cholesterol levels in the body. This implies that green tea improves heart health and reduces the risk of various heart diseases. As per a study, those who drink green tea regularly are at a 31% lower risk of having cardiovascular diseases than those who do not. (12)
- Increases Life Expectancy: The bioactive compounds present in green tea improve life expectancy. A study conducted on older Japanese individuals who had green tea regularly were 76% likely to live longer than those who did not.
- Reduces Bad Breath: Green tea is great for oral health and helps in the prevention of plaque formation as well as bad breath. Catechins present in green tea may prevent the growth of bacteria (Streptococcus Mutans) that contribute to bad breath. (13)
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Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages with benefits beyond weight loss. You may consume it regularly but in moderation for weight management. The right way to achieve the best weight loss results is through a holistic diet and exercise plan.