Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Green Tea Choices
Are the benefits of Green Tea for real?
I’m an ardent coffee drinker, but I’ve heard a lot about green tea and its antioxidant-rich properties, so I’ve been willing to give it a try. Not to be confused with simple herbal teas, which can target specific health issues, green tea is one of four types of teas, including black, white, and oolong.
Apparently there’s some magic in those leaves.
In a study reported on in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , researchers found that green tea extract increased drinkers’ energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism) – and significantly affected fat oxidation. First, researchers theorized that the caffeine was the hero, but it turned out that it’s more complicated than that, since caffeine alone could not replicate the results.
Green tea extracts are all the rage, with some dubious claims about how they help people lose weight. One study showed a 4% increase in 24-hour energy expenditure when ingesting a green tea extract.
This number is explained in even more expanded terms by Suzanne Somer’s website, which says researchers concluded that “since thermogenesis contributes 8 to 10 percent of daily energy expenditure in a typical subject, that this 4 percent overall increase in energy expenditure due to the green tea actually translated to a 35 to 43 percent increase in daytime thermogenesis.”
Bottom line: drink green tea to burn more calories. With regular intake, that 4 percent can begin to unlock incremental amounts of fat from your cells because it will be called upon to burn.
A U.S.D. A. survey in 2007 gives credit to green tea for a having a higher content of flavonoids when comparing one cup of green tea to the same amount of fresh fruit, wine or veggie juice. Flavonoids are a plant by-product that have strong anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties. The survey also notes that this effect can differ widely among types of teas.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups a day to equal the amount in an extract supplement
- Drink it earlier rather than later. That energy boost may interfere with your bedtime
- Drink it with or immediately after a big meal. It is good at keeping you from absorbing some of the calories from your meal
There are a host of green tea varieties available from both China and Japan. I’ve tried several different kinds, and I don’t like some of them, so I suspect you’ll have to try out some before you settle on a flavor that you like.