The story last week about the woman who claims drinking nine cups of green tea a day helped her to lose five stone in one year must have boosted green tea sales tremendously – especially as it’s holiday season. But is there any truth to it? Can the gentle cup of green tea help you lose weight?
The answer is yes...Green Tea contains bioactive substances in the leaves which dissolve in the water but stay active so that the drinker still gets all the benefits from each cup!
A cup of green tea contains less caffeine (24-40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100-200 mg). Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that has been shown to stimulate fat-burning but it’s the antioxidants it contains that really help to boost the metabolism. Green tea contains the catechin EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a substance which is known to give a huge boost to the metabolism. EGCG helps to inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. This hormone is used by the nervous system to tell the fat cells it’s time for them to break down the fat. The more norepinephrine in the system, the stronger the signal sent to those fatty cells and the more fat they break down! Once they’ve been broken down, the fat is released into the bloodstream and becomes energy, leaving you feeling lighter and revitalised!
Green tea has also been repeatedly shown to increase the burning of fat, especially during exercise.
In one study, men who took a green tea extract before exercising burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t get the supplement. This study suggests that green tea can boost the fat burning effects of exercise.
Another eight-week study showed that green tea increased fat burning, both during exercise and during rest.
So it seems to be true! Green tea selectively boosts the burning of fat, which, along with a healthy diet and excercise, may lead to reduced body fat in the long term. So get drinking!
photo credit: Miss Eco Glam