Did you know that green tea and black tea all come from the same plant native to Asia? Yes, they are both products of Camellia sinensis. The difference between the two teas is how they are processed. Black tea is the most processed of the two and as a result, most of its nutrients are lost in the process.
Green tea originated in China and has been used for thousands of years. It’s popularity spread throughout Asia and until recently, it has gotten very popular in the West. In fact, green tea’s popularity almost doubled in 2006 and it accounts for 4% of all teas consumed in the U.S.
It is especially popular because of the health benefits it’s associated with. It has antioxidant properties and plays a very important role in preventing diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. The greatest health benefit, however, is the fact that it burns fat and helps you to lose weight.
How to Find the Best Green Tea for Weight Loss?
The best green tea for weight loss is the one that is free of additives and is minimally processed. Green tea is rich in catechins and processing it can reduce the concentration. This means that you may want to avoid purchasing the bottled tea and brew your own. You can use loose leaves or plain tea bags.
Catechins can also be further degraded if you add sugar, ascorbic acid or citric acid. Many processed green teas have acidic additives and contain sugar. If you are trying to lose weight, avoid purchasing processed green tea. One tablespoon of sugar contains about 50 calories. Pre-sweetened tea contains even more calories, which ultimately defeats the purpose of taking the tea to help you lose weight.
Stick to the plain brewed tea if you want to realize results. If you are unable to take the tea without any sugar or your prefer to use a sweetener, then you should use honey. Honey is a high calorie food but it has more nutritional value than refined sugar.
How Does Green Tea Extract for Weight Loss Work?
Green tea extract for weight loss is rich in both catechins and polyphenols. It can help to burn fats and calories but it does not work as fast as some of the other weight loss products. Since it is natural and does not contain any chemicals, it is considered safe to help you lose weight without compromising your health. Here’s how it works:
1. Reduces Fat
When fat and sugar enter your body, it is converted in the liver and small intestines into an essential substance known as triglyceride. This substance is transported to all other parts of the body through the blood stream. Triglyceride is very important to our bodies because it helps to provide enough energy for the body to function normally. When its levels increase, however, it becomes a problem. The excess amount is transformed into fat and this can lead to obesity.
Here’s where green tea comes in. It helps the body to control the amount of triglyceride in the body thanks to the high amount of polyphenols that it contains. Polyphenols stimulate a certain enzyme in the body that dissolves the excessive amounts of triglycerides. This means that when you drink green tea often, the fat content in your body will be reduced.
2. Stimulates Metabolism
As mentioned earlier, green tea is rich in antioxidants, which are very beneficial to the body in a number of ways. One of the useful antioxidants that it contains includes epigallocatechin gallate, or simply put EGCG, which helps to speed up weight loss by stimulating metabolism.
ECGC works together with caffeine found in green tea to send signals to the central nervous system to tell the body to release fat into the blood stream. This fat is in turn used as fuel by the body through a process known as thermogenesis. Although caffeine can cause thermogenesis all on its own, it works better when combined with ECGC and other elements found in green tea.
3. Improves Endurance During Exercise
It’s obvious that exercise is one of the ways that you can lose weight with, but without endurance, it is less effective. Green tea helps to increase the body’s endurance by stimulating the body to burn carbohydrates at a slower rate. When there is an adequate supply of carbohydrates in the body, you can exercise for longer periods of time without feeling exhausted. The catechin and polyphenols found in green tea will help to stimulate your liver and muscles to use more fatty acids and preserve the carbohydrates.
How Much Should You Take?
If you are using the herb itself, there are no suggested maximum and minimum doses but you should know that one cup of green tea contains about 50 mg of caffeine and 80-100 mg of polyphenol. This can of course vary depending on the size of your cup and the strength of the tea.
If you plan to use green tea pills for weight loss, then you should know that each pill could contain about 10-750 mg of caffeine and other green tea contents. If you are wondering whether you should take green tea pills for weight loss or simply brew the tea yourself, the answer is that you should take green tea in its purest form. Studies show that people who take green tea in beverage form get many more benefits than those who take the pills. In beverage form, green tea is hydrating, relaxing and has a soothing effect.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Just like any other herb or supplement, green tea should be taken with caution. Green tea contains caffeine and taking lots of it can have side effects such as loss of sleep, increased anxiety and raised heartbeat. It may also cause gastrointestinal distress.
Some people have reported liver problems from taking concentrated green tea extracts. You should therefore talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplements especially if you are on any type of medication.
Unfortunately, tea can also stain your teeth, which isn’t really a health problem but nevertheless something that is a concern for many people. However, discolored teeth can fairly easy be cleaned and restored by using some kind of teeth whitening product.
If you are hoping that green tea will work like a magic weight loss pill, then you will be disappointed. Green tea accelerates metabolism by only 4%, which means that you burn only 100 calories more per day than you otherwise would. If you want to lose weight quickly, then green tea is not for you. However, there is enough scientific evidence to suggest that green tea does help people to lose weight. So as a complement to a balanced diet and exercise, it works great and is highly recommended.