What’s the Deal with Green Tea?

OK, so the myth is that green tea boosts metabolism, makes you absorb less fat, and in some parts of the world, I’m sure it’d make you pee rainbows and folds your laundry…but really, WHAT is the deal with the stuff?  It’s in all sorts of diet supplements, but why?  What makes it sooo fancy pants?  Let’s take a look.

Myth: Green tea improves mental alertness
Truth: Green tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant and is known for a temporary boost in energy and mental alertness.

Myth: Green tea helps with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, protecting skin from sun damage, preventing and treating cancer.
Truth: Not enough research has been done to give any conclusive answers.

*Source – NIH – National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

Well THAT is boring as all getout, wouldn’t you agree?  I find those answers less than desirable.  Back to the Googles!


Mythes: Green Tea –

  • Reduces Fat
  • Stimulates Metabolism
  • Improves Endurance During Exercise

OK, I’ll look at this information, keep in mind there is not any source listed on this website, so it may not be perfectly accurate (yes I will dig more as I have time)

Green Tea Reduces Fat…so, sugar and fat enter our bodies when we eat (no, really?) and are then broken down into triglycerides (yes, like cholesterol).  This all goes down in the small intestine and the liver.  The triglycerides now jump on the bloodstream and travel to the rest of the body.  This gives our body energy to function, the leftovers however get turned into fat.  Green tea, on the other hand, is high in polyphenols.  What THESE little gems do is activate an enzyme (yes, one you already have floating around in you) that will then break down the excess triglyceride.  Now, the article just says break down, I think it should read “break down SOME of the excess triglycerides” but that’s just me.  But either way, this helps get rid of the excess fat content that would be coming in.  Keep in mind, it’s not getting rid of it if it’s already been converted, just preventing additional fat from being created.

Green Tea Stimulates Metabolism…this is the big whopper of a pseudo-science that people somehow think is a magic bullet.  It’s not like you are suddenly Speedy Gonzalez, or Road Runner with their metabolism to boot.  Green tea is flush with antioxidants, it’s one of its biggest brags, and rightfully so.  One of those antioxidants is called (get ready for it…) epigallocatechin gallate.  You know you want to try and say it, don’t lie!  It’s abbreviated (thank God) as EGCG and this has the ability to stimulate the central nervous system (that’s your brain and spine) and makes it release fat into the bloodstream so it can then be burned off by the body, a process known as thermogenesis.  Thermogenesis works by producing extra energy, shedding excess water and burning body fat.  Keep in mind, caffeine on its own will cause a certain degree of thermogenesis (as opposed to just EGCG), but it is much more effective when it is a combination of caffeine + EGCG.  How much can green tea increase your metabolism?  Get ready for it…4%…roughly 100 calories a day (so green tea can help you kill one pound a month, roughly).  OK, so that might not be that inspiring, BUT keep in mind that the tea is also keeping you from adding on a bit of extra fat by its polyphenols, so double whammy there!  And, really, only 1 lb a month may not SEEM like a lot, but that’s 12 pounds a year, and that my friend is something to talk about! (Here’s a fancy medical experiment abstract report with rats and polyphenols, if your brain is not exploding yet)

Green Tea Improves Endurance During Exercise…another antioxidant in Green Tea is called catechin polyphenols, these bad boys will stimulate your muscle cells and liver so they use more fatty acids (that’s like Omega-3, -6, -9 etc.)  resulting in your body burning carbs at a slower rate during exercise.  This may sound bad (not burning carbs? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but by your body burning them slower, you can exercise for a longer period of time, thus burning more CALORIES (because calories = fat = weight) before wanting to die of exhaustion.

*Source – Fitday.com


So, if YOU have ever been a green tea toter, I’d love to hear if it has seemed to help in your weight loss journey to this point.  Here’s to reading the good read and learnin’ stuff!

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