Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
It is loaded with antioxidants and various substances that are beneficial for health.
Many studies have shown that green tea can increase fat burning and help you lose weight.
Let me explain how that works…
Green Tea Contains Substances That Can Help You Lose Fat
Green tea is more than just hot, flavored water.
The bioactive substances in the tea leaves dissolve in the water and make it into the final drink.
When you drink a cup of quality tea, you’re actually getting a large amount of beneficial substances with potent biological effects (1).
The best known of these is caffeine. A cup of green tea contains much less caffeine (24-40 mg) than a cup of coffee (100-200 mg), but still enough to have a mild effect.
The most important of these is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a substance that can boost metabolism.
Keep in mind that these benefits can be derived both from drinking green tea as a beverage, as well as taking green tea extract as a supplement. Most of the studies used extracts.
Green Tea Can Help Mobilize Fat From Fat Cells
In order to burn fat, it must first be broken down in the fat cell and moved into the bloodstream.
The active compounds in green tea can aid in this process by boosting the effects of some fat burning hormones.
The main antioxidant in tea, EGCG, can help inhibit an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine (5).
This hormone is used by the nervous system as a signal to the fat cells, telling them to break down fat. Therefore, more norepinephrine leads to a stronger signal being sent to the fat cell and more fat gets broken down.
Caffeine and EGCG (both found naturally in green tea) may actually have a synergistic effect, because caffeine enhances another step in the same pathway (7).
The end result is that the fat cell breaks down more fat, which is released into the bloodstream and becomes available for use as energy by cells that need it, like muscle cells.
Green Tea Increases Fat Burning, Especially During Exercise
This is because green tea has been repeatedly shown to increase the burning of fat, especially during exercise.
In one study, men who took green tea extract and exercised 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 (8).
Another study that went on for 8 weeks showed that green tea increased fat burning, both during exercise and during rest (9).