It has been 4,000 years since the Chinese knew about medicinal benefits of green tea. Numerous scientific studies, conducted both in Asia and the West, have provided evidence for the health benefits associated with drinking green tea in different medical conditions including cancer, impaired immune function, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, and high cholesterol levels. More recently, green tea has been linked to weight loss.
Several studies have suggested that the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can raise your metabolic rate and increase fat oxidation so you burn more calories, especially during exercise. Come as no surprise that you will likely see green tea listed as an ingredient on the label of almost every fat-burning supplement. One study showed that men who took green tea extract before exercise burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t take the supplement. Even at rest, taking green tea extract can increase your burning of calories to about 3–4%. When it comes to actual weight lost, the effects of green tea are relatively small. Based on review of many controlled trials on green tea supplements, people may lose about 1.3 kg on average.
Nevertheless, although the weight loss effects seem modest, a significant percentage of fat lost is harmful visceral fat, also called belly fat, which is associated with inflammation and insulin resistance. However, research studies in this area mostly use doses that contain a higher proportion of catechin or caffeine than would be typically found in a cup of green tea.
Therefore, if you drink a few cups of green tea, you won’t see the fat melt away, but drinking it in place of sugary drinks such as soda can help you cut calories.
To sum up, green tea is rich in nutrients and antioxidants that have a range of health benefits and even though the effects of drinking green tea on actual weight loss are probably minimal, every little bit adds up, and its regular intake may be a useful addition to other effective weight loss strategies like eating more protein and cutting carbs and exercising.
But… Just be careful with adding honey or sugar to your green tea!