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The Truth About Drinking Green Tea And Weight Loss

Updated on March 8, 2011

The History of Green Tea

Green tea has been receiving a lot of attention recently, specifically for its use as a weight loss aid and natural metabolism booster. But before the relatively recent diet craze that's swept Western culture, green tea was widely consumed in Asia for thousands of years.

Archeological evidence indicates that green tea has been consumed in China and India for over 5000 years. Later, use spread to Japan, Korea, and the Middle East.

Green tea, like oolong and black teas, is brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference is that black tea's leaves have been exposed to the air for longer, turning them a dark color. Oolong falls somewhere between green and black teas.

In 1191, a zen monk named Eisei wrote a book called Kissa Yojoki, or "The Book of Tea," describing the health benefits of green tea, based on folklore and observation. More than 800 years later, numerous studies have been done to investigate the effects of green tea on health, including weight loss.

Green Tea Health Benefits

Eisei noted that green tea aided in hydrating the body, improving brain operation, digestion, and the function of the urinary system. Today, we've added a few more health benefits to that list.

Green tea contains EGCG, a powerful antioxidant, which helps to eliminate the free radicals in the body, and thus may reduce your risk of cancer and slow the progression of diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Research suggests that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of heart disease. This may be due to the power of green tea to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and bolster good cholesterol (HDL).

Green tea leaves, steeping
Green tea leaves, steeping

Green Tea And Weight Loss

In addition to its other benefits, green tea helps in the oxidation of fat, and speeds up metabolism, but researchers don't always agree to what extent. A Japanese study concluded that green tea can boost metabolism up to 4% for two hours after consumption. By contrast, oolong tea was shown to increase metabolism by 10% over the same time period.

A different study had volunteers drink green tea five times a day for three days. Drinking green tea or water with caffeine resulted in about a 3% increase in metabolism over drinking plain water.

So while scientists and nutritionists don't all have the same ideas about just how much good green tea does, in terms of weight loss, nearly everyone agrees that it helps.

Green Tea Side Effects

Some people express concern over the caffeine in green tea. While green tea does contain a sizeable amount of caffeine, each cup contains only a third of the caffeine of a cup of coffee. In general, green tea will not give you the jitters or crash associated with coffee or other highly-caffeinated beverages, but those who are sensitive to stimulants should be wary.

For this reason, before beginning a green tea regimen, you should consult a doctor if you suffer from a blood disorder, kidney disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, or anxiety or nervous disorder.

Other side effects to watch out for include upset stomach, heartburn, headache, nervousness, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and irregular bowel movements. If you encounter any of these symptoms while taking green tea, seek medical advice.

To Tea or Not to Tea?

While studies so far haven't demonstrated that it will make the difference between losing weight and not, they have shown that drinking green tea can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat, at least to some degree. I would definitely recommend drinking green or oolong tea regularly, if only for the all the other health benefits of the amazing antioxidant (EGCG) that these teas contain.

Don't drink tea? Try these green tea drink recipes, or make getting healthy that much sweeter with green tea pudding or green tea cake recipes.


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    • Joyette  Fabien profile image

      Joyette Helen Fabien 

      8 years ago from Dominica

      Great article! Really useful information. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i love green tea as well and drink it everyday, this is how I was able to write an amazing story found here to be able to do 100 pushups drinking green tea.

    • Eileen Goodall profile image

      Eileen Goodall 

      9 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      I normally get really bad headaches when I stop drinking tea and that's definitely caffeine withdrawal, never heard of it the other way around before. Thanks for a great article on Green Tea, did you find any studies on the Oolong Tea you mentioned? Voted up.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      drinking green tea for 5 times how much lbs we will lose in 1month..?can u tell plzzzzzzzz

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      9 years ago from Oakland, CA

      Hi Wayne,

      It might be that you are experiencing caffeine headaches. Try reducing your intake of green tea and substituting water.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I'm starting to think that I'm drinking to much green tea in a day and it's giving me headaches . Is that possible ?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      how many cups of green tea consume per day for reducing weight?

    • starstream profile image

      Dreamer at heart 

      9 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for the great article! I love green tea and recently have been taking 2 tea bags to work.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      from where will we get wu long tea?

    • nancyyoung1 profile image


      9 years ago from Fort lauderdale, florida

      I am a Matcha green tea drinker. I regularly drink a Japanese tea called "Aiya matcha green tea" it is the best.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Please note that some people have an odd allergic reaction to green tea. I started drinking it in hopes of giving up Mt. Dew - the result was horrible joint pain. I blogged about it here and have had many people stop by and say they experienced the same thing.

      so if you are drinking this tea and are experiencing joint pain, try to cut it out and see what happens.

      I've also heard that white tea is processed differently and will not give this result

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I don't drink any tea except GREEN TEA it's the best

    • wmseo profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      3-4 cups of green tea per day - and you'll look better :)

    • wmseo profile image


      10 years ago from Canada

      yah, green tea is always good for our body :)

    • glassvisage profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      Very great and informative Hub, covering all of the bases! Even if people don't drink tea :) I didn't really hear about any weight-loss benefits associated with green tea before, but the antioxidants are good enough for me. Thanks for this Hub and for clearing the air :)

    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 

      10 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Fantastic hub maddie. I've seen recent studies that green tea is not recommended for IBS sufferers. What's your take on that?

    • lemonadedieter profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I drink tea everyday because it's good anti-oxidant and burns fat. My weight used to fluctuate every day, I believe green tea makes my weight more steady, just the way I like it...

    • Ruchira profile image


      10 years ago from United States

      I, have been having issues with Green tea alone but lately found green tea with a pinch of lemon and that tastes wonderful...'am loving the taste and also the part that I am getting the required anti-oxidants. Interesting hub :)

    • AutumnLockwood profile image


      10 years ago from Northern California

      I've learned a lot. Thanks! I once tried drinking green tea everyday but I just can't take the taste. I'll try it again.

    • profile image

      priyanka patl 

      11 years ago

      i actually lost 5 kg weight in one month and feeling much lighter than ever before, my was 50 kg and ot looked as if i m having 10 pounds as my height 5'1"so now i m looking back to zero size figure . thanks a lot . please can u tell me the best brand of green tea? thanks

    • profile image


      11 years ago


    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i accually just started drinking this tea and i feel great. i automatically have more energy and have been exersizing more. and i drank lots of it for a month and noticed dramatic results!!! thanks so much

    • healthwriter profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      i'm a green tea drinker...and the benefits are amazing...

    • logish profile image


      11 years ago from Singapore

      I'm a green tea drinker as well. I particularly enjoy the Chinese style green tea called 'Premium Dragon Well Green Tea'. However, it is expensive. Ceylonese and Japanese green tea have their unique flavours as well.

    • michelle.dragon99 profile image


      12 years ago

      Hi Maddie...the antixoxidant inside the green tea is good for improves body immune system and increases metabolism ..

    • yourdietanalysis profile image


      12 years ago from Denver, CO

      Great article Maddie. I actually drink green tea concentrate and just add water to it in the morning.

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      green tea is the greatest thing I found to loose weight...

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      i'm a green tea drinker, and I do get heartburn but never associated it with green tea, now that I was reading your comments and I haven't had a cup of tea for 4 days and am not getting any heartburn now. What does that mean?

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Very nice article, thank you for sharing.Green tea is definitely healthy and may help to boost weight loss.

    • flutterbug77 profile image


      13 years ago from USA

      I'm not a big Green Tea drinker, but I wonder, will I benefit if I drink only one cup a day?

    • amulets profile image


      13 years ago from Singapore

      Green tea is selling well in Singapore as more people are getting to believe in healthy living. I have been drinking it for months now and learn to appreciate the joy of tasting it. I tend to get the Japanese brand of green tea.

    • Rookie Expert profile image

      Rookie Expert 

      13 years ago from US

      I was reading the comments and i had the same query as 'compu-smatr' did, and read your answer too. So i might try it sometime actually!

      I learnt something new today, thanx Maddie.

    • flutterbug77 profile image


      13 years ago from USA

      Very informative and detailed writing! I will come back to this article again. I've had some pretty funky tasting green tea before, but I really should sip a cup now and then. Thank you for the info!

    • Paraglider profile image

      Dave McClure 

      13 years ago from Worcester, UK

      Living in a very hot country, dehydration is a problem, both from the intense heat outside and the dry AC inside. I drink sugar-free chinese green tea with jasmine, made very weak, so it's almost perfumed hot water. When I came here at first I drank cold water, but that's not very good for you in the heat. I'm not worried about losing weight, so in the evenings I switch to beer ;)

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 

      13 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      My wife, after hearing about the health benefits of green tea on Oprah, started having us drink it in the mornings. I found, when I drank it on an empty stomach, that I became very nauseous. In general it made me sick. Sort of like eating a vitamin without food in your stomach. So I tried to eat first, but my body just didn't seem to like it.

    • rmr profile image


      13 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm glad to hear I'm on the right track. I've been drinking iced tea, for years. I recently switched to oolong, and seem to feel better than ever! Thanks for the info.

    • cristina327 profile image

      Cristina Santander 

      13 years ago from Manila

      Great hub, very helpful information. Thank you for sharing this.

    • dayzeebee profile image


      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      i recently started drinking green tea daily and i feel great. this hub affirms my latest move. thanks

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      Maddie, thanks for the reassurance!, that's good news..I'm now on the green tea band wagon!

      Ps, if your ever in London, you're always welcome round mine for a nice cup of Rosie Lee.. That's cockney rhyming slang for tea:)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      13 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Thanks for this hub. I drank green tea last night before going to bed and had to take a trip to the loo several times before falling asleep. LOL But i do feel light esp in my tummy area. :)

    • Maddie Ruud profile imageAUTHOR

      Maddie Ruud 

      13 years ago from Oakland, CA


      Green tea will not inhibit you from putting on muscle, if you're exercising regularly and eating plenty of protein.  EGCG aids in the oxidation of fat, so that's where any weight you might lose from drinking it will come from.

      Hope this helps.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      HI Maddie..

      I have heard lots about green teas many benefits and i want to start drinking it, but im also trying to, and want to put more weight on (beef up a little:). Im wondering if drinking this teas would be recommended for me to drink.. I also have Ankylosing Spondylitis (A.S) and would like to start drinking it to see how it could help me, but because of the weight loss mentioned here I have not tried it!

    • jezzbb profile image

      Jess Ba-ad 

      13 years ago from Philippines

      I used to drink coffee a lot but have recently switched to green tea. I add bitter lemon to my green tea because it makes the antioxidants more bioavailable to the body.

    • clifinar-clifinar profile image


      13 years ago from Clifinar

      I liked reading your hub! :)

      I'll probably go now to drink a tea instead of a coffee when i get to my office!

    • jacobworld profile image

      Jakub Wawrzyniak 

      13 years ago from Ireland

      Hi mate I live in China and Chinese love their tea , They even have the special shops and tea houses where you can observe the traditional ceremony of tea preparation .

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      This is a great article and the facts speak for themselves after you've been drinking green tea for over a decade like I have... has an excellent green tea for those new to the drink because it blends wild pineapple and papaya with green tea to make for an excellent, refreshing drink with all of the health benefits you mentioned. (it's great iced as well for these hot summer days!). As a long time tea drinker and one who runs from caffeine, I've never found the caffeine in green tea to be hard on my system...

      Thanks for spreading the word on GREEN TEA!

    • Health Conscious profile image

      Health Conscious 

      13 years ago from South Florida - USA

      Hey Maddie

      It is amazing all we are learning about the different nutritional values of plants from all over the world.   Thankfully now the research is being done on these plants before they are processed.  I have seen some of the studies on Green and Black Tea done on Liptons or other highly processed brands. Not the freshest or highest quality, no wonder less benefits are found.

      Thanks for the Hub

    • salty steve profile image

      salty steve 

      13 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      i love green tea. i do think it's healthy. In fact, someone made green tea cupcakes the other day and i ate like six of those healthy suckers. delicious!


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