Professional Guide: Green Tea
April 17, 2014
Green Tea is among the most popular supplemental ingredients available. In fact, 15% of American tea consumption is green tea.
According to experts, “health benefits have been attributed to tea consumption since the beginning of its history,” and better still, “scientific investigation of this beverage and its constituents has been under way for about 30 years.”
But what about green tea makes it so special? Let’s examine green tea for its potential health benefits.
How Does Green Tea Fight Fat?
Green tea’s most widely-known benefit is its potential to fight fat and support healthy weight loss. Studies show those who take green tea daily reduce body weight in as little as 8 weeks.
This is because green tea is rich in polyphenols, which not only target fat from multiple angles but also boost immunity, alleviate inflammation, and detoxify enzymes. Among these polyphenols, EGCG is the most studied, and researchers believe it is the component responsible for much of green tea’s health benefits.
Recent research shows the EGCG in green tea interacts with a component of the leptin receptor-independent appetite control pathway. To put it simply, EGCG regulates hunger levels, making it easier to consume fewer calories throughout the day.
When you take green tea regularly, you experience fewer cravings so you’re in control of your diet – not your stomach!
Green tea further supports weight loss by stimulating thermogenesis and fat oxidation. When test subjects consumed green tea, their resting energy expenditure increased much more than the placebo group did.
Essentially, green tea helped dieters burn more calories, even when they were resting. This resulted in better body composition and a reduced waistline.
Additional Green Tea Benefits
Green tea may be your best tool for losing weight, but it’s also the secret to a healthier, happier body. Green tea’s polyphenols prevent inflammation and swelling, protect cartilage, and fight infection.
Additionally, green tea offers the following benefits:
It Improves Brain Function
According to the national Parkinson Foundation, green tea polyphenols “could have a neuroprotective effect and possibly even a treatment effect in PD (Parkinson’s Disease.)”
It Protects Your Heart
Experts at the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation have found that those who drink green tea have better blood vessel function within 30 minutes of consumption.
What’s the Best Dosage?
Green tea has been thoroughly studied for a wide variety of doses. If you’re drinking green tea, then the typical range is between 1-10 cups daily.
However, most users find it convenient to take a green tea extract, which allows for a higher concentration of polyphenols for greater benefits.
Experts recommend taking green tea extract containing 50 mg caffeine and 90 mg EGCG with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to promote weight loss.
Are There Any Risks?
Green tea is safely consumed in large amounts worldwide. Most users handle green tea without worrying about side effects.
But, some users do experience stomach upset and constipation when taking more than 5 cups of green tea a day. This is likely due to the caffeine in green tea, which is known to cause dizziness, insomnia, nervousness, and headaches.
Is Green Tea Worth It?
Despite its side effect risk, green tea is a reliable supplement. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or merely improve your health, green tea is a great choice when used appropriately.
Some people don’t respond as well to green tea as others, so it’s best to ask a doctor before incorporating green tea into your diet, just in case.
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(5) Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Kovacs EM’s “Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation.” Obes Res. 2005 Jul;13(7):1195-204 Body weight loss and weight maintenance in relation to habitual caffeine intake and green tea supplementation.
(6) WebMD’s “Green Tea.” Green Tea.
(7) National Parkinson Foundation’s “Green Tea Polyphenols.” Green Tea Polyphenols.
(8) Miller, Kelli’s “Green Tea Lowers Risk of Heart Disease.” Green Tea Lowers Risk of Heart Disease.
(9) Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, Girardier L, Mensi N, Fathi M, Chantre P, Vandermander J.’s “Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.” Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5. Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.