Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.
This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
Here are 10 health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies.
1. Green Tea Contains Bioactive Compounds That Improve Health
Green tea is more than just green liquid.
Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients.
These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidantEpigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.
Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health.
Try to choose a higher quality brand of green tea, because some of the lower quality brands can contain excessive levels of fluoride (2).
That being said, even if you choose a lower quality brand, the benefits still far outweigh any risk.
2. Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter
Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter.
It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine.
What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (3, 4).
Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory (5).
However… green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (6).
Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. Thecombination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function (10).
Because of the L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder and different kind of “buzz” than coffee.
Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance
If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.
In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4% (13).
Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat (14).
However, I’d like to point out that some studies on green tea don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects may depend on the individual (15).
5. Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.
Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.
Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentally lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (28, 29, 30).