TLDR: Can green tea help you lose weight? We go over some health benefits of the jade tea and whether or not drinking it can help you lose those extra pounds.
Hey Smart Moms!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard a lot in the past years about how green tea can help you lose weight. I drink green tea very regularly for its taste as well as the antioxidants, but I never really put any stock into whether it would help me lose weight.
Fast-forward to this morning when I was talking about how much I love green tea with my mother. She mentioned she had recently taken diet pills that had green tea in them. The green tea is supposed to help with weight loss. My mom said they made her feel and act crazy. They also sped up her heart rate.
Doesn’t sound very safe. Which I hated for 2 reasons. First, I hate that my mom had to feel like that. I also love green tea so much! I don’t like the idea of them being harmful. Especially because tea makes me feel so great!
It made me curious, though.
Ok ok, I’m getting ahead of myself. Green tea is good for you. Definitely.
Green and black tea are picked from a shrub in the same family of plants as Camellia sinensis. (1) But black tea is fermented and treated and it breaks down its active compounds. Green tea, on the other hand, is lightly steamed after picking, which preserves the active compounds and prevents other enzymes from breaking them down. (1)
Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese culture to help digestion, moderate blood sugar, boost energy and focus, help in healing, and heart health. (1) And I don’t know about you, but I trust a lot of what has come out of Chinese culture. Have you ever seen The Great Wall? That is one effective defense mechanism. Likewise, I love Chinatown. All the ones I’ve been to.
It is rich in catechins, which are antioxidants that help fight and prevent cell damage. (2) Green tea is great for your blood flow, cholesterol, and for your heart, which in turn helps your brain! One study even showed that people who drank green tea had “greater activity in the working-memory of their brains” which also helps prevent plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s. (2)
It can help with diseases ranging from liver problems, type 2 diabetes, and it’s even suggested to help your mental health. (3)
So what do we get from all this? That green tea is awesome for you–but does it help you drop the weight?
The information on this is conflicting. One source says that it “unlocks your fat cells” by causing the release of fat from your fat cells and speeds up the liver and its ability to turn fat into energy. (4)
The same source mentioned the green tea drinkers (if they drank 4-5 cups a day) usually lost a little bit more weight in the same time frame than non-green tea drinkers.
Another source says that the flavonoids and caffeine found in green tea can increase your metabolic rate, “increase fat oxidation, and even improve insulin activity.” (5)
Caffeine is linked to stimulating fat burning, and some nutrition sites highlight that as the reason green tea is effective for losing weight. However, that doesn’t quite make sense as coffee has much more caffeine in it and yet hasn’t been lauded as a fat burner. However, it also highlights (as do many other sites) EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), which is one of its antioxidants. This antioxidant is linked, along with caffeine, in speeding up your metabolism. (6)
WebMd, however, talks about how, even though some studies show EGCG might help you drop some weight, there are other studies that show that the antioxidant has no effect on weight loss. (2)
There are a lot of sites that praise green tea for its slimming effects. However, you won’t find those sites providing opposing views. Which is pretty typical for most things in the health industry. I have also found it seems like some of the information/results are a little stretched. Which I would blame on the marketing teams. But hey, when you have a product to sell. That’s the name of the game, right?
When it comes down to it, drinking green tea in place of other high-calorie and sugary drinks will help you cut down calories and lose weight. Coupling this with exercise will help you lose more weight. And green tea is very, very good for you.
Is green tea a great weight loss agent? Science is inconclusive at this point. But as far as benefits go, it’s definitely not going to hurt you. Really, at all. In which case, if you think it helps you, and you’ve had success with it, go for it. In the same breath, if it’s not your thing, not big deal. It would appear that the most you’ll be missing out on is antioxidants, not weight loss.
While I didn’t really find out why my mom experienced the symptoms she did with the diet pills, I do know that too much caffeine can cause heart palpitations. Especially in people sensitive to that. Maybe the pills were just loaded with tons of caffeine to make them more effective?
I don’t know.
I do know it didn’t work for my mom. For her, it probably would have been better to just drink the tea. That’s also a good way to control caffeine intake.
At any rate, Smart Moms, green tea is great for you. So whether you’re working on weight loss or just trying to live healthier, give green tea a shot or two.
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I cannot tell you all how much I love LOVE Matcha Green Tea! Not only is it organic (which I will always buy when I can) but it is without a doubt the tastiest green tea I have ever tried. And from an avid tea drinker, you ought to know, that’s a LOT of tea!