The benefits of drinking tea are well known and extensive. From promoting relaxation and sleep to clearing up skin or giving you an energy boost, tea does some amazing things.
Green tea receives some of the highest praise, and you've probably seen green tea supplements in the weight loss section of your local drugstore or supermarket. But how do they work? What makes this type of tea so amazing in the battle to burn off that extra fat? The reason is EGCG.
What is EGCG?
found in green tea are called catechins, which help fight off free radicals we encounter that can damage our cells, causing them to age and even make us sick. The antioxidants found in green tea are more powerful than those found in other tea varieties because of how green tea is made. Black tea, for example, is fermented, which makes it a more processed tea. While this doesn't make it unhealthy, it doesn't have the same strength as green tea which is produced by withering and steaming the leaves. Also known as epigallocatechin-3-gallate, EGCG is the most powerful of these catechins.
EGCG has been linked to numerous health benefits. Ongoing studies have seen positive results using EGCG for weight loss
, cardiovascular health
, protecting skin from ultraviolet rays and even cancer chemoprevention. EGCG was featured on the May 18 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" as a natural fat burner.
Now the part you really want to know, how can EGCG help you lose weight? This antioxidant has been shown to help increase your metabolic rate (metabolism) to burn more calories. By raising your resting metabolic rate, your body starts using the fat you've stored throughout your body as a source of fuel to help shed those pounds hanging around.
A 2003 study conducted at the University of Chicago found that EGCG helped reduce the body weight of rats by up to 21 percent. Human studies are still ongoing to determine how exactly EGCG affects the human body to cause these results, but a 2007 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
of 38 overweight and/or obese post-menopausal women found taking 150 mg of EGCG twice a day for 12 weeks reduced the resting heart rate and the amount of plasma glucose.
Adding EGCG to Your Diet
As Dr. Oz said, EGCG can only enhance any diet and can help you stay focused on your diet to help you lose weight. He recommended 500 mg of this antioxidant per day on its own. Green tea extracts are also a popular choice for weight loss because they've condensed this powerful ingredient into a potent form for maximum fat burning.
Of course, you can always drink green tea -- it's amazing for you anyway -- but there hasn't been any conclusive study to determine how many cups you should drink per day for weight loss. Start with three, one with each meal, and increase from there. The caffeine in the tea can also work as an appetite suppressant to keep you from snacking between meals. A 2009 study conducted by K.D. Maki saw an average of 5.4 pounds lost after 12 weeks of drinking the equivalent of 660 mg of EGCG daily.
Choosing tea is always a smart beverage choice. Now you have one more reason to love it!
For more information about tea, how to brew it and the different kinds, read out Ultimate Guide!