Green tea has been touted as the only drink you will need to lose weight. You must have come across articles and advertisements claiming that drinking green tea for weight loss can cause the fat in your body to simply melt away, leaving you slim and trim.
However, how much of this is true? Is green tea really that effective for weight loss? Are any of these claims supported by science? Let’s find out!
Nutritional Profile of Green Tea
Green tea is made from the same Camellia sinensis leaves as regular tea, but the leaves used to make green tea undergo less processing and oxidation than black tea leaves. This lack of oxidation gives them their characteristic green appearance.
Green tea leaves are a rich source of plant-sourced antioxidants called polyphenols, which are the primary reason for the numerous health benefits of green tea.
Green tea contains a very low number of calories and protein and has no carbs, fats, or sugars. The following is the nutritional profile for 1 cup (245 ml) of brewed green tea, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Brewed Green Tea, Regular (245 ml)
Green tea also has slight amounts of B complex vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and pyridoxine. A single cup of green tea also contains about 50 to 100 mg of polyphenols called catechins and 29.4 mg of caffeine.
Is Green Tea Good for Weight Loss?
The catechins present in green tea have been shown to induce weight loss. A specific type of catechin in particular, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), boosts metabolism and burns calories when combined with the caffeine present in green tea.
However, drinking only green tea without any modifications to your diet and regular exercise is unlikely to cause significant changes in your weight. So, combine green tea with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise to lose more weight.
What are the Benefits of Green Tea for Weight Loss?
It promotes fat loss
The caffeine and EGCG present in green tea can kickstart your metabolism and burn more fat to fuel your body when fused with exercise. Green tea can be especially effective in reducing visceral (belly) fat, which can improve your overall health.
It regulates blood sugar levels
As green tea gets rid of belly fat, it contributes to improving the insulin sensitivity of your cells and tissues. This leads to lowered and stabilized blood sugar levels. When your blood sugar levels are stable, you experience fewer sugar cravings or hunger pangs, which leads to lowered calorie intake.
How to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss?
Brewing green tea the right way is important for retaining the beneficial compounds present in it. Follow the below process to brew green tea for the best weight loss results:
- Bring about 250 ml of water to a boil.
- Transfer to a cup and let the water cool down for a few minutes till it reaches a temperature of about 85°C.
- Add one tablespoon (2 g) of green tea leaves or a green tea bag to the water.
- Let the leaves or tea bag steep for 3 to 4 minutes, then strain the liquid to remove the tea leaves.
- Add lemon, ginger, mint or any other ingredient of your choice.
Avoid adding sweeteners as they can negate the weight loss benefits of green tea.
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How Much Green Tea Can You Drink in a Day?
You can consume about 3 to 5 cups of green tea per day for the best weight loss results.
What is the Best Time to Drink Green Tea for Weight Loss?
Drinking green tea before or with your breakfast can help stimulate your metabolism and cause your body to burn more fat. Green tea also makes you feel full, which can help prevent overeating.
Having green tea between meals instead of snacking can lower your calorie intake as the number of calories in unsweetened green tea is negligible. Drinking green tea between meals can also curb hunger.
The catechins present in green tea, especially EGCG, boost the calorie burning and fat loss effects of your workout. Green tea also lowers your heart rate and reduces inflammation and soreness caused by exercise.
Best Green Tea for Weight Loss
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is a more concentrated form of green tea where only the leaves are ground into a fine powder after the leaf stalks and veins are removed. The leaves of the tea bushes are covered with a cloth to block out the sunlight for a few weeks before the leaves are picked, which gives Matcha tea its bright green colour. Unlike regular green tea, you consume the tea leaves when you drink Matcha, which compounds its health benefits.
Ginger Green Tea
Ginger water is often consumed as a detox drink. Adding ginger to the water when you are brewing green tea gives it a spicy and earthy flavour along with the numerous medicinal benefits of ginger. Ginger can lower stress, stabilize blood sugar levels, and suppress your appetite, all of which can curb overeating.
Lemon Green Tea
Lemon is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more calories while adding a tangy flavour to your green tea. Lemon juice can also keep you feeling full for a longer time, which can lower your calorie intake.
Hibiscus Green Tea
Hibiscus petals contain polyphenols like anthocyanins and flavonoids, which can improve fat metabolism and oxidation in your body. Adding hibiscus petals to the boiling water when brewing green tea can not only give it a pleasing red hue, but also enhance its fat-burning effects.
Risks of Overconsumption of Green Tea
- The caffeine present in green tea can cause headaches, irritability, anxiety, frequent urination, dehydration, irregular heartbeat, and poor sleep if taken in excess.
- Overconsumption of strongly brewed green tea can lead to acidity and an upset stomach.
- Avoid taking iron and calcium supplements 1 to 2 hours before or after drinking green tea as the catechins present in it can slow down the absorption of iron in your gut.
- Overconsumption of green tea may cause liver damage in certain people when combined with medications like antibiotics, stimulants, etc.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Green Tea?
- The catechins present in green tea can reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad) cholesterol levels in your body and reduce your risk of developing heart diseases.
- Green tea can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower your blood glucose levels, which makes it a great addition to your diet if you have diabetes.
- Green tea also reduces inflammation in your body, which has several positive effects like lowered blood pressure levels, a decrease in pain, and a reduced risk of metabolic disorders and certain types of cancer.
- The antioxidants present in green tea can also help negate the effects of free radicals and oxidative stress on your cells.
- The caffeine and L-theanine present in green tea can help boost your brain function, make you more alert, and lower anxiety levels.
- Regular consumption of green tea can help improve oral health and prevent halitosis (bad breath).
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Green tea has a negligible number of calories and proteins and no carbohydrates, fats, or sugars, but is rich in antioxidants called catechins and caffeine.
- Green tea can aid in weight loss when combined with a well-balanced low calorie diet and regular exercise.
- The catechins and caffeine present in green tea contribute to fat burning and blood sugar regulation, which help you lose weight.
- Avoid adding sugar or sweeteners to green tea as it can increase your calorie intake.
- Limit your daily consumption of green tea to 3 to 5 cups of 245 ml each for the best weight loss results.
- The best types of green tea for weight loss are matcha green tea, ginger green tea, lemon green tea, and hibiscus green tea.
- Overconsumption of green tea can cause acidity, stomach issues, lowered absorption of iron and calcium, caffeine overload and related side effects like headache, irritation, anxiety, loss of sleep, etc. Too much green tea may cause liver damage in some rare cases.
- Regular consumption of green tea can help lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, bring down your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, reduce inflammation, and improve your brain function and oral health.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading nutritionists and dieticians to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Check out our store to order healthy treats, weighing scales, fitness bands, and more! We also have a Weight Management Program which provides 360º care. Start your weight management journey with Phable.
Yes, several studies have shown that green tea can help you lose visceral or belly fat. This effect is enhanced when combined with exercise.
Though green tea causes your body to burn more fat overall, its specific effects can be observed on belly fat. Even though green tea does not specifically target your thighs, you can still lose fat from the thigh area by drinking green tea and exercising regularly.
You can see some weight loss after drinking green tea and exercising regularly for at least 8 to 12 weeks.
The effects of drinking green tea for weight loss would be minimal and almost negligible without exercise. Green tea can boost fat burning when combined with exercise, leading to weight loss.
Adding sugar to green tea can increase your calorie intake and negate the weight loss benefits of green tea.
Yes, the antioxidants and vitamin C in lemon can help you lose weight when added to green tea. Lemon also enhances the flavour of green tea for those who enjoy a tangy taste.
Drinking green tea before bed can boost your metabolism and help you burn more calories when you are asleep, but the caffeine in green tea can cause disturbed sleep and increase the frequency of urination at night. Hence, choose low-caffeine or decaffeinated green tea if you want to have a cup at night.
Both green tea and lemon water have similarly small effects on metabolism and weight loss that can be boosted with exercise. Try adding some lemon juice to your green tea to get the nutritional benefits of both.