Why is Green Tea Associated with Weight Loss?
Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world—and for good reason too. The hot and delicious beverage has many beneficial effects on health, thanks to the unique compounds it contains.
You’ve probably been told to drink green tea if you want to lose weight. Why is that though? Well, there are several reasons.
Let’s have a look at some of them below.
Green Tea Breaks Down Fat
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is an antioxidant catechin found in green tea. Of course, the fact that it is an antioxidant alone is a good thing. However, there are other reasons why this compound is beneficial.
EGCG allows norepinephrine levels in the body to increase. When norepinephrine travels through the blood, it sends signals to the fat cells and this eventually leads to a breakdown in fat.
Caffeine (which is also found in green tea) also enhances this effect since it also increases epinephrine.
There have been many studies demonstrating the fat-burning effects of green tea. One study showed that men who took a green tea extract and exercised burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t take the supplement.
Studies also show that a significant amount of the fat lost by consuming green tea is visceral fat (or belly fat). This type of fat is dangerous, as it is linked to a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Green Tea May Improve Exercise Performance
We all know that one common method to lose weight is to exercise. Well, green tea can actually improve your exercise performance, further adding to your weight loss. That’s because it contains the stimulant caffeine, which increases endurance and power.
One study found that caffeine has a positive effect on muscular endurance, increasing the amount of repetitions performed at a certain weight. Another study found that runners who drank caffeine were able to cover more miles than the placebo group.
How does caffeine increase endurance? Well, one way it does so is by reducing the perception of effort. This means that individuals are not as aware of the physical exertion of their muscles. So, they continue exercising longer and work harder. Of course, if you exercise longer, you are bound to burn more calories.
Green Tea Improves Metabolic Rate
We are always burning calories—even when we are resting. Your basal metabolic rate describes the number of calories your body needs to function at rest.
The good news (especially for those who don’t like to exercise) is that green tea can increase the amount of calories you burn at rest. Some studies show that it may increase the amount of calories you burn by up to eight percent. These effects have been shown to persist in the long term, too!
In one study, obese individuals who took green tea extract lost more weight and burned more calories than those who did not, even after three months.
Green Tea Reduces Appetite
Another way that green tea may allow you to lose weight without any effort is through its appetite suppression ability. ECGC inhibits the breakdown of an enzyme that would normally break down norepinephrine and dopamine. That means that the hormones are free to perform their functions—one of which includes reducing the desire for food.
Green tea also increases the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), the hormone which, after a meal, tells the brain that it has received enough food and that it doesn’t need to keep eating.
In addition, there have been animal studies suggesting that green tea can reduce the amount of fat we absorb from foods. However, more research needs to be done to demonstrate this effect in humans.
So, how much green tea do you need to drink?
In order to reap the weight loss benefits of green tea, you should aim for two or three cups of green tea per day (which is about 120 to 320 milligrams of catechins and 10 to 60 milligrams of caffeine).
Author Bio: Helen Sanders is chief editor at Health Ambition. Dedicated to empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.
Discover more information on the health benefits of Green Tea in this article