There are lots of health reasons to drink green tea.
Let’s be honest though, if you’re reading this you’re probably interested in either using green tea for fat loss or using green tea to lower your risk of certain diseases. The focus here will be on how to use green tea strategically for fat loss.
Three Big Questions
- How does it work?
- How big is the effect? ( is it even worth it? )
- How do you use green tea to get the effect? ( how much, how often, etc. )
How Does Green Tea Boost Fat Burning?
What’s exciting is that we know exactly how they work their magic. Lets walk through it quickly.
- Thermogenesis is the production of heat by the body. The body will burn a fuel such as fat to warm itself up.
- Noradrenaline (NA) activates thermogenesis.
- There are two ways of boosting NA.
- Dangerous Method: You can increase NA release using ephedrine. This leads to adrenal fatigue and nasty side effects.
- Safe Method: You can simply prevent NA from being broken down using EGCG.
- NA requires cAMP to activate thermogenesis.
- Boosting cAMP levels enhances NA thermogenic effect.
- Safe Method: Prevent cAMP from being broken down using caffeine.
So they work together and together they have a much larger effect than if they we’re used on their own.
If you want to geek out for a bit you can read more here.
How Big is the Effect?
We’re going going to look at this in terms of Calories per hour. We want to know how many extra Calories per hour are burned by this stuff. We also want to compare it to other things.
|Action/Drug||Calories Burned per Hour|
|EGCG + Caffeine||~ 3.25 Calories per hour|
|Ephedrine + Caffeine||~10 Calories per hour|
|Walking (100lb person walking 2 mph for 10min once an hour)||~ 17 Calories per hour|
Don’t panic. The effect from green tea lasts for 2-3 hours.
From this data we can see two things. First, green tea shouldn’t be your primary strategy for losing fat. Second, although the effect is small it’s very real, and if you’re replacing a sugary drink with plain green tea you’re going to win big time.
How to Use Green Tea for Fat Loss
Most studies don’t actually use green tea as we normally think of it. They cheat! They use green tea extract.
Why? Simply because you would need to drink too many cups of tea to get a good sized effect. The problem isn’t with the caffeine content. Green tea is naturally lower in caffeine than say a coffee. The limiting factor is the EGCG content. There is just too little per cup of tea.
Fortunately people quickly noticed this and EGCG extract is sold virtually everywhere now. You can combine the EGCG extract with coffee, green tea or your favorite caffeine source of choice. Just make sure your EGCG is from a reliable source. (Take the ten extra seconds to google the company before buying.)
Now there is just one extra thing to cover. When to use it.
When to Use Green Tea
Just as the caffeine and the EGCG work together to produce an effect larger than what they could accomplish on their own, you can pair EGCG+caffeine with other things to produce a bigger effect. More bang for your buck so to speak.
Target Periods of Exercise
Green tea works synergistically with exercise. Make your exercise count for more!
Combining green tea with exercise can boost the rate of fat burning by 17%. That’s an impressive number.
By the way, the highest fat burning rates are seen in people on ketogenic diet during exercise. They’re literally fat burning machines.
Target the Peak of a Fast
NA (remember NA from the start of this article?) rises steadily during a fast. Your fat burning is typically at its highest rate at the peak of a fast as well. Capitalize on this and strategically target your green tea to hit this zone.
Green tea is typically safe and effective.
It’s been used for a very long time by a large number of people and we’ve only seen great things. Health benefits beyond the fat burning boost that you can look forward to are:
- Decreased Cardiovascular Risk
- Decreased Risk of Dying (10-20% decreased risk)
- L-Theanine in green tea mellows out the caffeine content to produce “smart caffeine”
- Appears to reduce the risk of breast, colorectal and prostate cancer by at least 20%
- Increases the antioxidant content of your blood. Perfect for those with high blood sugar to reduce AGES.
If you know of any other health benefits comment below.