Green tea is considered by several nutrition experts as one of the healthiest beverages in the world. Formerly, a favorite primarily of its native China, it has successfully made its way into the mainstream cultures of even coffee-loving countries such as the U.S. In India too, the green tea trend has caught on in a big way and it looks to stay.
Much healthier than our ubiquitous Masala Chai and that much lighter on our digestive system, green tea has innumerable and potent health benefits. It improves brain function and even protects our teeth against cavities! No wonder then, it is regarded as a super food by most dieticians, doctors, and nutritionists.
But one of green tea’s biggest claims to fame is that it can help you lose weight. So, what makes green tea, a weight watcher’s favorite beverage?
Green tea contains components that aid in fat loss
The most well known among these components is caffeine which though found chiefly in coffee, is also present in moderate quantities in green tea (24-40 mg in a cup). Caffeine not only makes your brain more active but also helps to burn fat and improve your performance during a workout.
However, a lesser-known but far more powerful component in green tea is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a kind of antioxidant (substances present in certain foods that prevent cell damage), which is found in abundant quantities only in this beverage. Apart from being beneficial for cardiovascular and brain health, EGCG also aids in weight loss.
A study revealed that consuming 270 mg of EGCG daily boosts body metabolism by as much as 4%.While the participants in this study took supplements, (As 270 mg of EGCG equals 10 cups of green tea which exceeds the recommended consumption), it still shows that sipping green tea in judicious amounts can only help you shed those pounds, even if moderately so.
Green tea can facilitate in activating fat from cells
Green tea consists of certain compounds that enhance the effect of hormones that burn fat in the body. Essentially, these hormones break down the fat in your system and convert it into energy thus helping you lose weight while giving you more energy to lead an active lifestyle.
Green tea accelerates fat burning, especially while exercising
Tea is a popular ingredient in most weight loss pills or supplements. A study showed that men who consumed green tea supplement before exercise lost 17% more fat than their counterparts who didn’t consume the extract. This study highlights that green tea can substantially increase the power exercising has on fat burning.
Green tea can enhance body metabolism causing greater calorie-burn 24×7
Several studies indicate that green tea can help us burn additional calories, even while we’re asleep.
Whilst in most findings, these totals about a 3-4% rise, some studies show as much as a whopping 8% growth.
Though most studies had a short time span (1-3 days), there is also some proof that the increase in metabolism continues permanently.
However, all studies don’t confirm this finding so it can be inferred that the effect on metabolism varies from one individual to another.
Green tea could aid in reducing harmful abdominal fat
One of the most harmful types of fat that is linked to serious illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is the belly fat that surrounds the organs. A major chunk of the weight loss that takes place through green tea is of this kind of fat. Hence, sipping green tea curbs your risk of contracting such dangerous and potentially fatal diseases in the long run.
But just like any other food, green tea can turn counterproductive for your health if not consumed in the right manner. On the flipside, there are certain practices, which can make consuming it even healthier and/or tastier.