Green tea is one of the healthiest beverage available in the planet. It is perhaps most popular for the benefits it provides to people who want to lose weight.
What makes green tea an effective tool in weight loss and maintenance is its catechin content. Most notably, green tea contains Epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, a catechin which has been extensively researched on for weight loss and management. [1, 2, 3]
How does green tea help you lose weight?
The average amount of caffeine per 8 fl. oz. of green tea is 25 mg.
Caffeine intake has been known to help in regulating energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Caffeine in green tea collaborates with green tea catechins, including EGCG, to increase the thermogenic activity and fat oxidation. Both of these actions can help you lose weight. [1, 2]
Burn more calories while exercising
Green tea and regular exercise complement each other. EGCG and caffeine in green tea work together to boost your daily energy expenditure which keeps you energized during physical exercise, helping you burn more calories.
Catecholamines such as norepinephrine and dopamine are known appetite suppressants. Green tea catechins are supposed to help these hormones in reducing appetite by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down the catecholamines.
Naturally, your daily food intake will decrease which helps in maintaining your weight.
Antioxidants in green tea boosts your body’s metabolism and helps in digestion. This is essential in weight management.
Lowers blood sugar level
High levels of blood sugar lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increase in body weight. When you consume starch, amylase breaks it down into sugar so that it can enter the bloodstream. Green tea polyphenols inhibit the function of this enzyme and thus can lower blood sugar. [4, 5]
All of these points makes green tea look promising as a weight loss beverage, but, there is a catch.
There are some side effects too
Excess concentration of EGCG can prove to be harmful for you. In low dose, EGCG is a powerful antioxidant but in high dose it acts as a pro-oxidant, possibly causing damage to cells of the liver.
You should avoid drinking green tea on an empty stomach. The tannins in green tea increase acidity in your stomach when it’s empty and can cause problems like nausea and constipation.
Reaction with Certain Drugs
EGCG can also be harmful when consumed with some drugs such as acetamiophen. So, it is advised that you consult your physician before consuming any green tea.