Does Green Tea Burn Fat?
Antioxidant-rich green tea is the beverage of choice for many health-conscious men and women. And while it does help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and boost muscle strength and exercise performance, it is no miracle fat-burning cure. Among healthy individuals of normal weight, it could provide a boost to fat oxidation after exercise or for a short interval after a meal. But this is not enough to trade it in for a comprehensive diet and fitness plan.
Green tea, its many benefits, and claims that it is a miracle fat burner must have popped up on your radar some time or the other. While the brew has earned a formidable reputation among health and fitness enthusiasts for its antioxidant content, its claims on weight loss are slightly more tenuous.1
So, what has led people to believe green tea could have some benefits for weight loss and fat loss? Here’s a closer look at the truth of these claims and the actual benefits green tea can offer in this area.
EGCG In Green Tea Helps Boost Fat Oxidation
Green tea contains a compound known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is thought to help boost fat oxidation. There have even been claims that it increases fat oxidation by as much as 33 percent. One study found that obese men who were given low 300 mg doses of EGCG saw postprandial fat oxidation rise in the two hours after a meal. Higher doses of 600 mg, however, did not have this effect.2
A separate study found that fat oxidation rates in healthy men after moderate exercise were about 17 percent higher after consuming green tea extracts, compared to when a placebo was taken.3
However, it is important to note that the size of the studies was small and more research is needed before the direct impact of green tea on fat oxidation rate can be confirmed.
Other Ways Green Tea Can Help With Weight And Fat Problems
While its fat burning properties are still tentative and need to be studied further, green tea can help tackle many other common challenges faced by people who are overweight or carry extra fat.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Green tea is said to help lower cholesterol levels in your body. This effect is part of the reason why green tea is associated with fat loss. While drinking green daily won’t magically melt away the belly fat on your body, it could help reduce the levels of the total as well as the “bad” low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your body.4
Through these beneficial actions of the antioxidants in green tea, the drink can help you combat coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, two major cardiovascular illnesses that plague people with a weight or excess fat issue.5
Reduces Triglyceride Levels
Research shows green tea may also help reduce triglyceride levels in the body. In one animal study, test subjects fed on a high-fat diet plus green tea extract solutions had lower triglyceride levels in their blood than subjects given just distilled water along with the high-fat diet. The natural antioxidant epicatechins in green tea are said to have this hypolipidemic effect on the body.6
Increases Muscle Strength And Helps Burn More Calories
The body is made up of muscle and fat and, simply put, the more fat you lose, the better the ratio of muscle to fat you will have. On the flip side, if you are able to make your muscles stronger and get active, you should be able to burn more calories and boost your metabolism. That’s because fat burns fewer calories than muscle. So the more the muscle you build, the higher your metabolism.7
One study found that by supplementing exercise as gentle as tai chi with the consumption of green tea polyphenols, subjects were able to see an improvement in their muscle strength. While this study was among postmenopausal women, it opens up the possibility of benefits for the wider population as well.8
Lowers Blood Pressure
If you are carrying around extra weight or are fatter than you should be, you are at risk of high blood pressure problems. If you don’t keep hypertension in check, it can raise your chances of having a heart attack or a stroke. Green tea may be able to help on this front. Research has found that for those with a high blood pressure issue in general, and obesity-linked hypertension in particular, green tea extract can lower inflammatory markers and reduce blood pressure.9
Boosts Exercise Performance
The caffeine in green tea may not be as much as in a strong cup of coffee, but you could still tap the benefits of the stimulant. Among other things, it could help you push yourself further when you exercise, thus aiding your fat loss effort. As one piece of research found, having caffeine reduced the rate of perceived exertion. In other words, you won’t “feel” like you’re doing as much as you are. Possibly spurred by this effect, a 11.2 percent improvement in exercise performance was recorded among test subjects in this study.10
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Cheng, Tsung O. “All teas are not created equal: the Chinese green tea and cardiovascular health.” International journal of cardiology 108, no. 3 (2006): 301-308.|
|2.||↑||Thielecke, Frank, Gabriele Rahn, Jana Böhnke, Frauke Adams, Andreas L. Birkenfeld, Jens Jordan, and Michael Boschmann. “Epigallocatechin-3-gallate and postprandial fat oxidation in overweight/obese male volunteers: a pilot study.” European journal of clinical nutrition 64, no. 7 (2010): 704-713.|
|3.||↑||Venables, Michelle C., Carl J. Hulston, Hannah R. Cox, and Asker E. Jeukendrup. “Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87, no. 3 (2008): 778-784.|
|4.||↑||Onakpoya, I., E. Spencer, C. Heneghan, and M. Thompson. “The effect of green tea on blood pressure and lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 24, no. 8 (2014): 823-836.|
|5.||↑||Green tea. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|6.||↑||Chan, Ping Tim, Wing Ping Fong, Yuk Lin Cheung, Yu Huang, Walter Kwok Keung Ho, and Zhen-Yu Chen. “Jasmine green tea epicatechins are hypolipidemic in hamsters (Mesocricetus auratus) fed a high fat diet.” The Journal of nutrition 129, no. 6 (1999): 1094-1101.|
|7.||↑||Muscle cells vs. fat cells. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|8.||↑||Shen, C-L., M-C. Chyu, J. K. Yeh, Y. Zhang, B. C. Pence, C. K. Felton, J-M. Brismée, B. H. Arjmandi, S. Doctolero, and J-S. Wang. “Effect of green tea and Tai Chi on bone health in postmenopausal osteopenic women: a 6-month randomized placebo-controlled trial.” Osteoporosis International 23, no. 5 (2012): 1541-1552.|
|9.||↑||Bogdanski, Pawel, Joanna Suliburska, Monika Szulinska, Marta Stepien, Danuta Pupek-Musialik, and Anna Jablecka. “Green tea extract reduces blood pressure, inflammatory biomarkers, and oxidative stress and improves parameters associated with insulin resistance in obese, hypertensive patients.” Nutrition research 32, no. 6 (2012): 421-427.|
|10.||↑||Doherty, M., and P. M. Smith. “Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta‐analysis.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 15, no. 2 (2005): 69-78.|