Unwanted body fat is something that we could all use less of. Although diet and exercise play the biggest roles when it comes to weight loss, there is a drink that has been proven to help you lose weight and keep it off! By drinking 3 cups each day you will begin to notice extreme changes in your waistline. So if you’re ready to fit back into those jeans from high school, you’re in the right spot…
What is it?
The mysterious drink? Tea! More specifically, green tea! People have been drinking tea for centuries. Today, the only beverage consumed more than tea is water. This is good news for all you tea connoisseurs because studies have revealed numerous health benefits associated with the daily consumption of tea. We are going to focus on one of the most widely studied, green tea!
Green tea, like the majority of teas, comes from Asia. One of main reasons green tea packs so many health benefits is because its leaves are left unfermented during preparation. By not fermenting the leaves, they retain their antioxidant profile. Antioxidants play a major role in keeping your body healthy. They do this by preventing your cells from dying from the stress they encounter through various everyday activities. Although the antioxidant itself may be destroyed, your cell remains healthy. This is great news for you because some of your cells, like brain cells, can’t be replaced!
Green tea has a diverse antioxidant profile containing six primary compounds: catechin, gallaogatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and apigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Anyone who has studied green tea is probably familiar with EGCG because it’s the most active and widely studied component in this tea. It packs some powerful health benefits that we will discuses in the next section!
Green tea also contains the stimulants caffiene, theophylline, and theobromine. It has just enough of these compounds to provide you with steady energy but not so much that you feel the need to run a marathon, making it the perfect drink at any point in your day! To complement its stimulant profile, green tea contains the compound l-theanine, which calms your nervous system! So you will become much more calm and have steady energy levels throughout the day, winning!
What are the benefits?
Well, I have already hinted at a couple of the health benefits of green tea but the list goes on and on! From protecting your body against disease to helping you trim down your waistline, green tea seemly does it all!
Those antioxidants that were mentioned earlier are powerful. They play an important role in helping your body prevent and even treat certain health conditions. Numerous studies have been done and these are the conditions that green tea may play a role in treating:
- High Cholesterol
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Liver Disease
This is a lengthy list filled with common health conditions that you are probably already familiar with. You may even be dealing with one right now. It’s important to note that green tea alone will not prevent or these health conditions. Lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise also play an important role!
The whole premise of this blog is that green tea is going to help you lose weight! How does it work though? Studies revealed that EGCG (antioxidant component mentioned earlier) has the ability to raise your resting metabolism and prime your body for fat burning! As your metabolism elevates, your body begins to release it’s stored energy (fat) to use as fuel!
One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition tested the 24-hour energy expenditure in humans. One group in the study was given 90mg of EGCG and 50mg of caffeine from green tea, another was given caffeine only, and the last group was given a placebo. What did they find? You guessed it, the EGCG and caffeine group reported significantly higher energy expenditures during those 24 hours!
Again, it is important for me to mention that diet and exercise are important factors when it comes to weight loss as well. Your metabolism may be elevated but if you’re eating a tub of ice cream every night then green tea will not have its full effects on your health. Unfortunately, green tea isn’t that “magic weight loss method” that everyone dreams of. However, when added to a sound diet and exercise routine, it’s impact will be profound!
According to Harvard Health Publications, 2-3 cups of green tea each day is enough to reap all of its benefits. Dosages of green tea are commonly reported in terms of antioxidant compounds, specifically EGCG content. Although it varies depending on which source you are using, getting 250-500mg of EGCG is a common recommendation.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you can get green tea extract in capsule form.This may be the better option for you if making 2-3 cups of green tea is too difficult with your schedule. EGCG content is typically found on the nutrition label. Again, your goal is to have between 250-500mg of EGCG each day for best results! Keep in mind that most of the studies that I have mentioned in this blog didn’t use capsules to get their results.
Green tea is safe for most people to take. However, it is important for people to note that it does contain a small amount of caffeine. If of the following descriptions applies to you, please speak with your health care provider before using green tea:
- High blood pressure
- Taking other medications
- Kidney problems
- Liver Problems
- Stomach ulcers
On a final note, green is not a magic herb that is going to lose the weight for you. With subtle lifestyle changes in diet and exercise, green tea will prove to be a useful tool! What are you waiting for? Get some water boiling, your tea bag ready, and start your weight loss journey today!