Green tea naturally contains Catechins, a polyphenolic antioxidant that is capable of cleansing the body of cell destroying free radicals.
All natural teas are derived from the leaves of the Tea bush, Camellia Sinensis. The only difference between the different teas is how they are processed. Black tea and Oolong teas undergo a fermenting process. The amount of fermenting affects the color of the tea. The darker the tea, the more it has been processed. Fermenting causes a slight loss in the strength of the Catechins.
Tea that is steamed rather than fermented does not lose any of its potency.
Our bodies are constantly going through a process called thermogenesis, the production of heat caused by our metabolic rate. Catechins increase the rate of thermogenesis and increase fat oxidation, which causes our bodies to burn fat as energy fuel even when we are not exercising.
Several major studies have been undertaken where the unfermented tea was compared against a placebo.
One study in 2000 showed the tea drinkers increased their energy expenditure by 4%. An increase in energy resulted in more calorie burning, ergo increased weight loss.
A 2005 study in Japan at Kao Corp’s Biological Sciences Laboratories, established that mice, given the equivalent to 4 cups of tea leaves that have been steamed and dried without fermenting per day over a ten week period, improved their endurance rates by as much as 24% and therefore improved their capacity for calorie burning through exercise.
The study also noted single doses of tea did not result in the same effect suggesting the beneficial effects will only be seen in long term consumption.
Green Tea Consumption for Weight Loss
Studies showed that drinking at least three cups of green tea per day as part of a daily diet improved energy and endurance resulting in a better metabolic rate for burning excess fat.
Steeping the tea for more than five minutes increases the concentration of catechin polyphenols, the antioxidants that cleanse the body. Steeping also increases the amount of caffeine. Anyone sensitive to caffeine but wishing to experience the benefits of this tea should reduce their caffeine intake from other sources such as soft drinks and coffee.
Green tea is available in decaffeinated form but for those drinking it for weight loss, caffeinated tea is best, probably because caffeine and polyphenols working together increase thermogenesis.
More than just weight loss
Tea is an excellent source of antioxidants necessary for cleansing the body of free radicals and their resultant fat cells and studies show there are many other benefits to drinking green tea. For more information on tea and weight loss, see the benefits of green tea.