Consumed by over 159 million tea-loving Americans in a single day, tea is the second most popular beverage next to water, being served in approximately 2.16 billion cups every day. Even though it is now widely popular in many Western countries, the Chinese have actually been using green tea for ages now in their traditional medicine, often using it as a remedy to a lot of illnesses, including minor ones like healing wounds or treating headaches. Containing boatloads of antioxidants and plant compounds that are highly beneficial to your health, green tea is considered one of the healthiest beverages in the entire world. Green tea can potentially protect you from illnesses like cancer and heart diseases, it can also boost your mental alertness. One of the associated health benefits of consuming green tea, and is now gaining a lot of attention, is weight loss. What links green tea to weight loss is its ability to help the body’s metabolism to function more efficiently. Apart from green, there are also other varieties of tea, from black to oolong and white. Nevertheless, all these varieties contain the substance known as catechin flavonoid, a health-promoting substance known to bring down inflammation and help fight illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.

But how effective is green tea in promoting weight loss?

As aforementioned, green tea contains caffeine and a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is also an antioxidant. The combination of these two compounds speeds up your body’s metabolism. As we know, metabolism is the way the body processes and converts the food and drink we consume into usable energy. So, while catechin breaks down excess fat and caffeine aids the fat-burning process, the combination of both on the other hand increases the amount of energy our body uses. Although a cup of coffee (100mg and more) contains a significantly higher amount of caffeine than a cup of tea (24mg and more), the amount of antioxidants a cup of green tea contains is where it takes advantage. By drinking a cup of green tea, you introduce a potent amount of catechin into your bloodstream while also receiving another kind of antioxidant, a bioactive substance called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which functions just like caffeine and has powerful effects on metabolism. The body’s process of burning fat starts in the actual fat cell, once the fat is broken down in it, it will move to the bloodstream where it is eliminated. This is where the compounds found in green tea come in, they aid and boost this breaking down the process and make the fat-burning hormones such as norepinephrine (noradrenaline) work more efficiently. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the main player antioxidant found in green tea, also promotes efficient breaking down of excess fats by inhibiting an enzyme that dissolves or breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. By inhibiting this enzyme, the actual amount of norepinephrine increases, thus, promoting an efficient fat breakdown.

But how much green tea should you consume for effective weight loss?

The University of Maryland Medical Centre suggests drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea each day should be sufficient to aid weight loss, based on a medical study they have conducted. Still, the actuality in the amount of green tea one person should drink to be able to shed off some weight depends on one’s metabolism, varying from one person to another. Green tea is also considered a natural diuretic, which helps with combating fluid retention.

How to prepare green tea

Although preparing green tea sounds like an easy task, you actually have to be very careful about how you brew your tea for that can make all the difference. Never overheat the water for your tea, as this will damage the tea’s precious substance that you are after, the catechins. For the best taste, while retaining its nutrients, it will be best if you first boil the water and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Then, pour it over your prepared tea leaves and let it brew (brewing time depends on how you like it) before pulling out the leaves. Drinking green tea right after every meal is ideal if you’re consuming it for weight loss. Please take note that drinking green tea often may bother those with a sensitive stomach. Being alkaline in nature, green tea in your stomach would stimulate the secretion of more gastric juices than usual. Some people also drink green tea right in the morning and later at night, but those with sleeping issues should avoid drinking green tea close to their bedtime as it contains caffeine.

Green tea for weight loss and your health

Having wide varieties, some green tea types have more effective weight loss properties than others. Matcha green tea, for example, is the richest source of nutrients and antioxidants among any other green tea type. “The whole leaf is ground and consumed as part of the beverage, as opposed to other (most) types of green tea where the leaves are steeped and then the tea is consumed.”, as explained by registered dietitian Isabel K. Smith. Consuming matcha is known to be more nutritious because you actually drink the tea leaves themselves in ground form.

Weight loss, among others, is a health benefit you can get from drinking green tea.

This is possible because it contains a range of different compounds such as:

  • flavonoids
  • folate
  • magnesium
  • B vitamins and other antioxidants

Other health benefits linked to green tea consumption are:

  • Containing anti-cancer properties
  • Improving heart health and reducing cholesterol levels
  • Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Contains brain-healthy properties

Although we have established in this article that green tea is an excellent aid for weight loss, it is also proven that green tea and its many nutrients and antioxidants, are great for you. And drinking it, regardless of what your intention is, be it for weight loss or to take advantage of its other health benefits, is something you should go for. As Isabel K. Smith said, “It contains many nutrients, including antioxidants and anti-cancer and brain-healthy compounds. All teas contain many healthful nutrients; it’s one of the healthier choices for a beverage!”


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Vence Barnes
Author: Vence Barnes

A promoter of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle through my writing.

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