Is Green Tea an effective diet aid ?

Girl-Drinking-Tea-WebGreen tea is one of the healthiest drinks known to man.

It is jam-packed with  antioxidants that have been proven to be  beneficial to the body in preventing skin damage, improving brain function, lower risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes and more (1,2,3,4)

The benefits of green tea are not dependent on drinking it in tea. It is just as effective in extract form.

In fact, if you read the label of any fat burning product (5,6,7) and their is a high probability that it includes some Green Tea Extract.

Substances in Green Tea help boost metabolism

Boost-MetabolismTheir are several bioactive substances from the leaves of green tea that have been shown in research studies to have some small beneficial effect on weight loss for obese individuals (8,9)

When you drink the tea, these substances are readily absorbed by you body (10).

The most well-known of these substances is caffeine. A single serving of green tea only has about 40 mg of caffeine, whereas the same amount of coffee holds well over 100 mg.

However, it is still enough to have a slight effect on your system.

Caffeine is well-known to be effective in fat burning, and studies have shown it to enhance performance in physical exercise (1112).

Caffeine is not the only star of green tea. It  is full of catechins, a potent antioxidant (13). The most important catechin is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a powerful substance that aids in boosting metabolism (14).

Green tea contains bioactive substances such as caffeine and EGCG,  which have many beneficial effects including boosting metabolism

Helps Cells Release Fat

brain to fat cellsTo burn body fat, it must first be broken down within the cell and then moved into the bloodstream.

Green tea’s active compounds aid this process by enhancing the effects of fat-burning hormones within the body.

For instance, the antioxidant EGCG helps by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine (15).

When this occurs, norepinephrine increases (16). The nervous system reacts to this hormone increase by signaling the fat cells to break down their fat reserves.

On top of this, the naturally occurring EGCG and caffeine in green tea may have a synergistic effect as caffeine enhances steps along the same signal path (17).

This results in the cells breaking down and releasing more fat into the bloodstream, where it is then used by the body as energy.

The healthy substances found in green tea increase the hormones that signal the body to break down fat in its cells, where it is released to become energy.

Targets harmful Visceral Fat

visceral-fatGreen tea has only a modest effect on total pounds lost. Two studies reviewing controlled trials of weight loss with green tea show an average of three pounds per person, on average (1819).

However, it is important to note that all types of fat are not the same.

Subcutaneous fat is fat which is stored under the skin.

Visceral fat is the much more dangerous abdominal fat that builds up around the organs.

It is this visceral fat that causes insulin resistance and inflammation, which are two leading causes of many serious conditions, including diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart disease (20).

While the weight loss effects of green tea may be humble, the good news is that a notable portion of the fat that is lost is that dangerous visceral fat around our midsections (212223).

The unhealthy visceral fat around the midsection is reduced most with use of Green Tea

Burns Fat much more effectively when combined with Exercise

exercise cartoon
In one particular study on the subject, some men took green tea extract while others did not.

Both groups exercised, but those who were given the extract burned a whopping 17% more fat than those who did not (24).

Another study performed over an 8-week period showed that green tea was not only an effective fat burner during exercise, but at rest as well (25).

Several other studies have backed this claim. It seems that green tea promotes fat burning in general, which can lead to reduced fat stores over time (2627).

Numerous studies have shown the efficacy of green tea in burning fat in the body, and this effect is further increased when exercise is included.

Boosts Metabolism and Helps Burn Calories 24/7

Studies show that green tea increases the body’s ability to burn calories even when it is at rest. This is generally around 3-4%, however, may rise as high as 8% in some cases (282930).

These studies were short, but there is evidence outside of them to suggest the metabolism-boosting effects occur over the long-term (3132).

In one such study, 60 obese individuals were tracked over a period of three months. Half of the participants were given green tea extract, the rest placebo.

Those receiving Green Tea Extract lost on average 7.3 more pounds and after the three months were burning 183 more calories a day than those who received placebo. (33).

Not all studies show such positive results from Green Tea. It seems to be highly dependent on the individual.(34).

Studies have shown the metabolism-boosting effects of green tea, which can increase caloric burn 3-4% a day.

Final thoughts

Green tea provides a slight increase in fat burning and metabolism.

Although it doesn’t seem to be as effective as Garcinia Cambogia, it does help target the worst belly fat, and when combined with other weight loss strategies like low carbohydrate diets, eating more protein, and getting more exercise it is very effective.

Green tea is good for you in other ways beyond just losing weight. Read more about the benefits of Green Tea here.

Many of these same health benefits are being proven for the recently discovered Anti-Aging Vitamin Nicotinamide Riboside.