Green tea for weight loss

“We are unloading on milkweed , who is with me?” – periodically there are calls from our enthusiasts. “And what kind of milkweed ?” newcomers ask. “Oh, yes, it’s just tea with milk, can you lose weight from tea?” Doubters add incredulously. Well, let’s try to figure out whether it is really possible to lose weight with the help of the most ordinary tea.

In general, teas are called different drinks prepared with the help of infusion of various herbs in hot water. We will discuss a drink that is completely familiar to every family, which is an infusion of specially processed leaves of a tea bush plant (botanical name “Chinese camellia”).

Depending on how the leaves are processed, several different varieties of tea are obtained. In Europe and Russia, the most popular is “black tea” (which is called “red” in its homeland, China). Green and white teas are obtained from the same plant, only with a lesser degree of processing. It is believed that the popularity of black tea arose for historical reasons, since it was better preserved during its long transportation from China to Europe. In Asia and the Middle East, green tea is more popular. Now that there are no problems with transportation, the popularity of green tea around the world is only growing, and this is no accident.

In addition to the fact that the taste of green tea is very different from black, the composition of these drinks also differs significantly, just because of the processing of the tea leaf. Black tea has a more tart flavor, while green tea is more herbal. The reason is poor fermentation. Fermentation is an oxidation process, which in green tea is only 3 to 12%. When fermentation is stopped, the tea leaf is steamed, rolled and dried. This method of processing allows you to maximize the preservation of all the beneficial substances contained in tea. In the case when the process takes longer, some of them disintegrate, giving the future drink a darker color and a tart taste; produces black tea.

And that useful substance in green tea, which actually interests us, is contained in it in quite large quantities and is called ” gallate epigallocatechin “(EGCG). This is an antioxidant from the catechin group, which is responsible for most of the beneficial qualities attributed to tea itself. In addition to it, tea contains a significant amount of caffeine, flavonoids ( quercetin and mirecetin ), polyphenols and other phytochemical compounds, which, in addition to medicinal qualities give the drink taste and aroma.

Benefits of green tea

Green tea is believed to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, have antimicrobial effects, fight Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and (attention!) Promote weight loss.

Despite the fact that tea has been known as a drink for hundreds of years, research on its medicinal qualities has only been actively conducted in recent decades, during the heyday of the weight loss industry in the United States. Numerous scientific papers have been published showing that taking green tea or its extract promotes weight loss.

For example, in the article [4], scientists argue that, unlike pure caffeine, green tea increases energy consumption and the rate of fat breakdown in humans. In another article [5], Japanese scientists claim that BMI and adipose tissue mass (including subcutaneous fat) are significantly reduced when green tea extract is consumed. And in the study [6] it is said that the use of tea in combination with physical activity (walking for half an hour 3 times a week) for 2 months led to a significant increase in the utilization of fat by the body, compared with ordinary walks. Researchers [9] show that the rate of fat oxidation when drinking green tea increases by as much as 17%, and insulin sensitivity improves.

However, the evidence about whether green tea helps you lose weight remains controversial. For example, in the article [7], scientists found that tea extract really speeds up the metabolism in men, but does not affect fat oxidation, while other critics [8], [10] argue that there is an effect, but not very significant. However, the positive effect of combining physical activity with green tea intake is considered proven and should be enjoyed!

Tea in tablets

Due to scientific discoveries confirming the effectiveness of green tea for weight loss, the industry of “dietary supplements” began to produce highly concentrated green tea extracts with increased levels of EGCG and caffeine under various brand names. But do not get carried away with such capsules, as they can be harmful to health! The American College of Gastroenterology has issued a warning on green tea extract stating that it may be toxic at manufacturer’s suggested doses (greater than 500mg of catechins per day) and that this may lead to jaundice, hepatitis, or liver failure. And the recommended amount of healthy catechins can be obtained by drinking no more than 4 cups of tea per day.

Ginger tea

To enhance the effect of weight loss, you can try green tea with various additives. For example, you can add some ginger root to your tea (or buy ready-made ginger tea).

Ginger root is a common spice with a sharp, “warming” taste and delicate aroma, which contains substances that have the ability to reduce cholesterol and fat levels in the blood, as well as improve metabolism, which is scientifically confirmed [11].

The combination of properties of ginger and green tea mutually enhances the fat burning effect. In addition, ginger has the ability to reduce the feeling of nausea, which women during pregnancy can take advantage of when such symptoms appear [12]. Another beneficial effect of ginger is its ability to relieve muscle pain, especially after exercise [13].

Myths and facts about the dangers and benefits of green tea

Green tea raises blood pressure

Tea contains caffeine, which really raises the pressure immediately after drinking it. However, at the same time it dilates the vessels of the kidneys and has a diuretic effect. Excess water quickly leaves the body, due to which blood pressure levels off and even decreases somewhat over time [3].

Green tea contains beneficial vitamins and minerals

Tea practically does not contain any vitamin C, let alone vitamins A or E. The content of B vitamins is also quite insignificant (less than 2% of the daily requirement). The only exception is vitamin B2 and, among the trace elements, manganese, the content of which in a cup of green tea reaches 10% of the daily requirement. Tea also contains almost no proteins, fats and carbohydrates (about 2 kcal per cup) [2].

Tea should not be mixed with milk as it interferes with the absorption of calcium.

Studies show that caffeine promotes calcium excretion from the body. However, vitamin D, which is found in milk fat, acts in the opposite direction, which completely neutralizes this effect. However, there is another reason not to mix tea with milk – milk protein (casein) binds to catechins, forming a difficult-to-digest complex, which can reduce the effect of beneficial antioxidants contained in tea [1].

Which tea to choose

Green tea is an amazing drink that has not only a number of useful properties and the ability to perfectly quench thirst, but also a wide palette of flavors and aromas. There are so many different varieties, each with its own “zest”, that it’s hard to believe that they are all made from the same plant.

Depending on the time of collection, the part of the leaf used, the method of processing, the method of brewing tea, you can get a drink with a milky aftertaste, and with a honey aroma, with hints of dried fruits, coffee-woody smell, grassy or sweetish taste. But whatever the variety of green tea, they all have beneficial properties.

Of course, green tea “in bags” has nothing to do with real green tea, since tea production waste and flavorings are used for its manufacture.

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