How Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
It is loaded with antioxidants and various plant compounds that may benefit your health.
Some people even claim that green tea can increase fat burning and help you lose weight.
This article examines the evidence surrounding green tea and weight loss.
Contains Substances That Can Help You Lose Fat
Tea leaves contain many beneficial compounds.
One of green tea’s compounds is caffeine. Although a cup of green tea holds much less caffeine (24–40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100–200 mg), it still contains enough to have a mild effect.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that has been found to aid fat burning and improve exercise performance in numerous studies (1, 2).
However, green tea really shines in its antioxidant content. Studies show that drinking a cup of green tea increases the amount of antioxidants in your bloodstream (3).
This healthy beverage is loaded with potent antioxidants called catechins (4).
The most important of these is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a substance that can boost metabolism.
Although one cup of green tea may raise your antioxidant levels, most studies have examined the benefits of green tea extract — which is a concentrated source of catechins.
Green tea contains bioactive substances like caffeine and EGCG, which can have powerful effects on metabolism.
Can Mobilize Fat From Fat Cells
To burn fat, your body must first break it down in the fat cell and move it into your bloodstream.
Animal studies suggest that the active compounds in green tea can aid this process by boosting the effects of some fat-burning hormones, such as norepinephrine (noradrenaline).
The main antioxidant in tea, EGCG, can help inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine (5).
When this enzyme is inhibited, the amount of norepinephrine increases, promoting fat breakdown (6).
In fact, caffeine and EGCG — both of which are found naturally in green tea — may have a synergistic effect (7).
Ultimately, your fat cell breaks down more fat, which is released into your bloodstream for use as energy by cells like muscle cells.
Compounds in green tea increase levels of hormones that tell fat cells to break down fat. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy.
Increases Fat Burning, Especially During Exercise
If you look at the label of almost every commercial weight loss and fat-burning supplement, you will likely see green tea listed as an ingredient.
This is because green tea extract has been repeatedly linked to increased fat burning, especially during exercise.
In one study, men who took green tea extract before exercise burned 17% more fat than men who didn't take the supplement. The study suggests that green tea can boost the fat-burning effects of exercise (8).
An eight-week study determined that tea catechins increased fat burning, both during exercise and rest (9).
Several other studies confirm these findings, indicating that EGCG boosts the burning of fat — which may lead to reduced body fat in the long term (10, 11).