Green tea is one of the few weight loss boosters that is backed by science; in March 2000, the International Journal of Obesity reported that green tea helps burn extra calories and is effective for weight loss. But what is green tea exactly, and what are its other benefits? On top of this, are there side effects from green tea that you should be worried about?
What is Green Tea and How Does It Work?
Green tea is native to Asia and is produced by the same plant that gives us black tea. The difference, however, is in the method of processing. While black tea is processed using several methods, green tea is processed less, much less. As soon as the leaves are picked from the plant they are steamed or heated, dried, and crushed. This keeps the nutritional integrity of the tea intact and unleashes numerous health benefits.
As already mentioned, there are scientific studies that prove that green tea is effective for weight loss. The important thing to consider is the process through which it induces weight loss. Studies in both rats and humans have shown that green tea has some pretty specific effects that trigger weight loss.
The first is that it induces thermogenesis. This is the process through which the body generates heat that literally melts fat. In addition, green tea increases the amount of energy expended – this means that even when you are in a resting state you will be burning off more calories than usual.
A research that was conducted at Institute of Physiology at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland exposed some fatty cells from mice to green tea, green tea with caffeine and then green tea with both caffeine and ephedrine. Results showed that the most effective fat burning occurred when green tea was mixed with both caffeine and ephedrine. Most fat burners that are made of green tea extract usually contain these two additional ingredients.
The truth is that no amount of green tea will help you shed more than a few pounds. The best green tea weight loss scenario, if you are looking to lose a significant amount of weight, is to use fat burning supplements that contain not just green tea but other fat burning ingredients as well.
Green Tea Benefits
As you may already know, green tea is one of those beverages so packed with benefits that taking it even once in a while can deliver great results. Here are some of the numerous benefits of taking green tea:
- Because it isn’t heavily processed the catechins in the tea are not destroyed. These powerful antioxidants are great for boosting your immunity and protecting you from disease. As a matter of fact, it contains one of the most effective antioxidants called EGCG. As far as neutralizing free radicals, it is 100 times as powerful as vitamin C and about 25 times as powerful as vitamin E.
- It helps to reduce cholesterol levels and also lowers blood pressure. This means that regularly taking green tea can help you avoid many heart related conditions.
- A research study conducted in Switzerland revealed that green tea is also great for better cognition. Because it expands blood vessels your blood receives a lot more oxygen. As a result, you will enjoy a clearer mind, better memory and overall alertness.
- Some research also suggests that green tea can lower blood sugar and therefore reduce the risk of diabetes. In people who already have the condition, it can help to make it more manageable.
- Green tea has also been shown to reduce the possibility of the brain plaques that are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
- The Journal of National Cancer Institute published a study that showed that in Chinese communities where green tea is a staple the risk of developing esophageal cancer is reduced by up to 60%.
- The University of Purdue has also published that green tea seems to have an effect on all kinds of cancer cells.
How Much Green Tea Pre Day is Safe?
Like most things, if consumed in excess green tea has the potential for harm. That being said, the potency of the tea that you take makes a difference. It is recommended that you buy brands that can give you between 240 and 320 milligrams of polyphenols a day (you can achieve that total by drinking two or 3 cups every day). If you decide to take green tea supplements then you should not take more than 750 mg a day.
Potential Green Tea Side Effects
There are some potential side effects of green tea that you should be aware of:
- It contains caffeine. If you take too much of it you will experience the same jitters and anxiety that you experience when you drink too much coffee
- You should not take it when fasting as it can lead to liver damage
- It can interfere with how the body reacts with some medications
- Too much green tea can lead to weak and brittle bones
Green tea is a great way to lose weight because of its thermogenic properties. But green tea by itself may not deliver the ultimate weight loss goals you want to achieve. You may want to consider using fat burners that have green tea as one of the ingredients to maximize the synergistic effect of the nutrient with other natural fat burning ingredients.