Green tea has long been thought to have a number of health benefits, and the fact that it can even be used as a way to help weight loss has many dieters clamoring to get their hands on it. But can green tea live up to its claims of being a useful weight loss aide? That’s what scientists are trying to find out.
So far, studies into the effects that green tea can have on weight loss seem to be promising. There are a lot of studies indicating that just adding green tea into our diet can have a significant impact on our ability to lose weight, with one being published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005.
In the study, conducted in Tokyo by Nagao et al, participants were given 690 mg catechins (a type of antioxidant found in green tea) per day. After 12 weeks participants displayed significantly reduced levels of body fat, with researchers concluding that daily consumption of green tea could therefore be beneficial in the fight to lose weight and in the prevention of obesity.
Other studies offer similar findings. One study, which was conducted in Japan by Shimotoyodome et al in 2005, used mice as test subjects and divided them into five groups. Each were fed a high-fat diet with one group receiving daily green tea extract, another one green tea extract plus exercise, and the rest being given varying levels of exercise but no green tea. The results were quite astounding – despite the high-fat diet, the mice that had the green tea extract exhibited a 47% reduction in weight gain and those who had the extract plus exercise showed a massive 89% reduction.
Although this study was conducted with mice, it wouldn’t be so hard to envisage the same type of effects being possible with humans, as shown in other studies. This indicates that just drinking green tea can help to prevent us from gaining weight even if we don’t alter our diet in any other way. Of course eating a healthy diet as well would be even more beneficial!
So, what could be causing these weight loss effects? A number of theories are being offered, with just one of them being the ability of green tea to raise our metabolism. Green tea contains caffeine, and drinking moderate amounts of caffeine can increase our metabolism and thus our ability to burn more fat. The caffeine content also means that we’ll be more energetic, which, subsequently, can lead to increased levels of activity and as such increased levels of calorie burning.
But is it just the level of caffeine in green tea that means we burn more energy? Actually, there’s more to it than that. In a study conducted by the Department of Physiology at the University of Geneva in 1999, participants were randomly given green tea extract plus caffeine, just caffeine or a placebo on different days. The results showed that the participants expended more energy and burned far more calories on the days that they were given green tea plus caffeine than they did on any other days, indicating that there are other factors in green tea besides its caffeine content that give rise to its ability to help us lose weight and expend energy.
It could be down to antioxidants instead. The antioxidants contained in green tea, particularly catechins, raise our metabolism by encouraging a process known as thermogenesis – the raising of our body temperature leading to an increase in the number of calories being burned – meaning that this could also have an impact in the ability of green tea to reduce weight.
So, green tea really can be beneficial in our attempts to lose weight. Researchers suggest that drinking around 5-6 cups of green tea per day can have the most benefit, and if you substitute your regular tea or coffee for green tea then you’re sure to notice the effects. Make sure to give green tea a go and see if it can help you in your weight loss quest.
We invite you to re-post this recipe on your own web site with the following hyper-linked attribution
“Republished with permission from EatGreenTea.com, the original edible green tea.”