Does Green Tea Help With Weight Loss?
Does green tea help you lose weight? Here’s what science says about how green tea helps weight loss.
- Green Tea Contains Two Plant Compounds That Work Together to Help Burn Fat
- How Fat Relates to Weight Gain and Physical Activity
- Green Tea Weight Loss Benefits Without Physical Activity
- Weight Loss Associated With Green Tea With Physical Activity
- What’s the Best Green Tea for Weight Loss?
Green Tea and Weight Loss | How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
Green Tea Contains Two Plant Compounds that Work Together to Help Burn Fat
Green tea contains *four key water-soluble components: catechins, theanine, caffeine, and vitamins, each having unique health benefits. In this scenario, “water-soluble” means these components are released into the brew when the leaves are steeped in water.
In terms of weight loss and management, two of these nutrients have been identified by several studies to aid in fat burning: caffeine and the catechin Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).
- Caffeine can boost fat mobilization, which makes it available for oxidation (a.k.a. “burning”) and used as a source of energy. While caffeine can facilitate the burning of fat, it can only do so in small amounts, especially without exercise.
- Norepinephrine is a hormone responsible for boosting fat breakdown, but the enzyme catechol-o-methyl-transferase (COMT) threatens this function by breaking it down. EGCG can stop COMT from inhibiting norepinephrine so it can facilitate fat breakdown.
Zavadckyte, S. (2017). Japanese Tea: A Comprehensive Guide [Amazon Kindle]. Retrieved from Amazon
Why Green Tea Has More EGCG Than Other Teas
Compared to black tea, green tea has significantly more catechins (and in turn, EGCG) since it doesn’t go through oxidation. Through oxidation, the catechins in green tea are converted into the leading antioxidants in black tea: theaflavins and thearubigins.
How Fat Relates to Weight Gain and Physical Activity
Without physical activity, such as exercise, fat is burned at a slower rate. Since glucose is the primary source of energy, fat becomes a stored form of energy, which adds up to one’s weight.
When you exercise, your body requires energy. It taps into the primary source of energy first before it uses up the stored energy, which is fat. Depending on the intensity of your workout, your body won’t burn fat to produce energy until 30 minutes to an hour of exercise.
Green Tea Weight Loss Benefits Without Physical Activity
Green tea can help burn fat even without exercise but at a slower rate. By drinking green tea and not combining it with exercise, the body will still burn fat since caffeine mobilizes fat and EGCG helps burn it. However, the body does this at a slower rate because the lack of exercise means there is less of an energy demand.
In a 2008 study, which involved obese participants (those with a BMI of more than 25 kg/m2), researchers concluded that green tea can help in decreasing body weight by boosting *metabolism and burning fat even without any changes to the participants’ diet or physical activity.
*What is metabolism? Metabolism is the process in which the body converts food and drink into energy by combining oxygen with the nutrients you’ve consumed. This energy is required for basic bodily functions like breathing and cell development.
Weight Loss Associated With Green Tea Combined Physical Activity
Green tea can help burn more fat when combined with exercising. The more active you are, the more energy your body will require, which means you’ll burn fat faster. Some studies also suggest you’ll also burn more fat if you combine drinking green tea with exercise.
Here are some studies that show how combining green tea consumption with exercise can help with losing weight:
- In this study which monitored fat breakdown in women who drank matcha prior to doing a 30-minute walking exercise, researchers discovered that drinking matcha can boost fat breakdown induced by exercise.
- In another study, researchers studied the effects of regular exercise and adding green tea extract (GTE) supplements to one’s diet on the development of obesity in mice with high-fat diets. Results showed an 89% reduction in body weight gain in mice who took GTE supplements. Additionally, the mice that were given GTE supplements and exercised regularly also burned the most amount of calories and fat even when they weren’t exercising.
Additionally, research also shows that green tea can help muscles recover after vigorous exercise.
In a 2018 study, researchers asked participants to work out 15 days before and after they were asked to take GTE supplements. Results show that while the GTE didn’t alleviate muscle soreness after the exercise, it helped in reducing muscle damage and aid in muscle recovery.
What’s the Best Green Tea for Weight Loss?
- To choose the best green tea for weight loss, you have to look at **several factors that can affect the amount of beneficial compounds in your brewed tea, such as:
- Water temperature — Aside from affecting the taste of your tea, the ideal water temperature can also help increase the amount of catechins released into your brew. The hotter the water, the more catechins are released. We recommend 175 °F, but using boiling water will get you more catechins and caffeine.
- Steeping time — Another thing you want to consider to get the most benefit from your tea is steeping time. The longer the steeping time, the more catechins and caffeine are extracted. Steeping for 2 minutes with boiling water, while it won’t make the tastiest cup, will be the best for caffeine and catechin extraction.
- Farming method — Japanese green teas that have been grown using the Chagusaba Method have consistently appeared to produce tea plants that have the highest quality and amount of compounds that aid in weight loss.
Note: Different teas call for different temperatures and steeping times. If you’re unsure about what’s best for your Sugimoto tea, refer to our brewing guidelines.
Which Sugimoto Teas Have the Highest Catechin and Caffeine Levels?
The Sugimoto teas that are highest in caffeine are:
- Organic Ceremonial Matcha — 29 mg/g
- Organic Culinary Matcha — 16 mg/g
- Sencha — 15 mg/g
- Genmaicha — 14 mg/g
Meanwhile, the Sugimoto teas with the highest levels of EGCG are:
Note: Results are based on analysis done on Sugimoto teas by Eurofins Scientific, Inc.
Nishida, K. (2017). I Will Teach YOU How to be healthy by Using Japanese Green Tea!: Surprising Facts and Tips for How You Can Take Best Advantage of This Amazing Plant [Amazon Kindle]. Retrieved from Amazon
Does green tea help with weight loss? Yes, green tea has positive effects on weight reduction, but its effects are moderate. While drinking green tea can help you lose weight, it shouldn’t be done in isolation or replace other healthy weight loss strategies like exercise.
Disclaimer: Please note that this post is intended to provide information and shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. Additionally, any information in this post and any linked posts shouldn’t be used to replace professional medical advice or treatment.
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