You’ve probably heard that green tea burns fat.
If you’ve ever wondered if the fat burning benefits of green tea are real, you’re in the right place!
As green tea has grown in popularity in Western culture, more and more health benefits of this amazing drink have been confirmed to be true. These include brain boosting properties and lowered disease risks. But one of the most popular health benefits being touted for green tea is its fat burning ability. In this article, we will separate fact from fiction regarding this popular beverage.
While green tea does not have superpowers abilities of melting fat off your body, there are scientific reasons behind why this drink does, in fact, support weight loss and fat burning.
Green Tea Increases Thermogenesis
Thermogenesis is the production of heat inside your body. This process increases the energy (calories) expended by your body. The increase of energy results in more fat oxidation, which means your body is burning up fat for the purpose of energy. This effect is not only beneficial for weight loss, but it’s also useful for regulating already healthy weight levels.
Green Tea Contains Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the most studied stimulants in existence. It increases your Epinephrine blood levels – this sends signals to your brain to break down fat cells, making them available as energy for your body. It also increases your metabolism, meaning that your bodily processes require a bit more energy. The result is more fat being burned and used by your body.
Green Tea Has Very Low Calories
Think before you reach for that honey or sugar the next time you drink your green tea. Without additives, green tea only has about 2 calories per cup. This makes it a great alternative to plain water because you’re getting the antioxidant and flavanol benefits of green tea that water does not have. Also, it adds a nice taste. When you pass on the sweetener, the fat burning properties of green tea can really shine.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate)
EGCG is one of the many touted antioxidants, or catechins, found in green tea. EGCG is known to boost metabolism through increased fat oxidation, which is literally the ‘burning’ of fat.
The easiest way to lose weight? Consume less food. But that’s easier said than done for most of us. Catechins (like EGCG mentioned above) have metabolism increasing benefits. On top of that, they’ve also been shown in studies to have some appetite suppressant benefits. These appetite suppressant benefits are likely related to the increased fat burning that occurs after consuming green tea.
Increases Visceral Fat Burning
We humans have two types of fat in our bodies – subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous is the kind that builds up under our skin – think of the fat in our legs, arms, etc. The other kind – which is also the more dangerous kind – is known as visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat stored in our belly, and around our organs. Visceral fat is linked to all sorts of health problems, like inflammation and insulin resistance, as well as increased cholesterol. Studies have shown that a significant portion of the fat burned after drinking green tea is visceral fat. This is great news, especially for those trying to lose weight while fighting off diseases and inflammation.
Although there are many scientifically proven benefits, green tea is not a miracle cure. Here are a few of the common misconceptions regarding green tea.
If You Drink Green Tea, You Will Lose Weight
If only it were so simple. While green tea has many aspects that are beneficial to weight loss, it will not fix a bad diet or other poor lifestyle choices. You can’t expect to lose weight if you drink the occasional green tea but still sit around all the time, while eating pizzas and burgers. Green tea alone will not make you lose weight. But, combined with a healthy diet and consistent exercise/activity, green tea can definitely assist your efforts.
Green Tea Burns Fat
The problem with the phrase ‘burns fat’ is that many people take it too literally. When we hear ‘Green tea burns fat,’ some people think that simply drinking it will cause your body to start burning away fat. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Green tea naturally enhances the ‘fat burning’ process, if other conditions are met.
Choosing To Drink Green Tea Over Taking Tea Supplements
Thanks to a Western diet full of processed, chemically altered foods, and other generally nasty stuff found in our food, many people turn to supplements as a way to consume whatever vitamin or mineral they are lacking in. With the rise of popularity in drinking green tea, it’s no surprise green tea supplements have become popular too. Specifically, ‘green tea extracts’.
But is taking green tea supplements just as effective as drinking green tea? Scientists aren’t so sure. The main reason that real, fresh-brewed green tea is preferred over supplement form is synergy. Of course, these green tea supplements do have a few beneficial ingredients. But hardly any contain all of the antioxidants, catechins, and other helpful ingredients that real tea does.
More and more studies show that these ingredients work best when taken together – they work synergistically to increase each other’s effectiveness. Not only does this help with the weight loss, it also helps increase the cancer and disease fighting benefits of green tea.
Green tea is a proven health booster and should be an integral part of any well-balanced diet. But it’s important to remember that green tea alone is not a miracle fat-burning or weight loss drug. On the other hand, if combined with smart lifestyle choices like a good diet and exercise plan, it can go a long way towards helping you reach your goals.