Green Tea, aka Camellia Sinensis, extract has had a rapid rise to become one of the most common ingredients found in dietary supplements today.
It’s been well known for centuries that Green Tea has health benefits, and has been more recently proven to in a scientific capacity.
An antioxidant effect is probably the most well established benefit, but there is also strong evidence in support of its thermogenic fat burning capability and possibly more.
Molecules called Catechins are a group, the most powerful of which is EGCG and quality supplement that include green tea will also state the standardized weight of EGCG present.
For fat burning, isolating the EGCG molecule appears to be the most effective method, but for overall antioxidant benefits, and particularly anti-cancer effects, it appears to be better to take a Green Tea extract which includes all four catechins.
Green Tea is – in the most scientific language possible – super healthy stuff! It protects the heart, liver, brain, and is anti-fat and anti-cancer.
However, it’s difficult to get enough of the bioactive molecules by drinking Green Tea alone. You would spend half your day drinking it and the other half in the toilet.
With this in mind, a supplement might be the best option, especially considering a lot of research points to 500mg equivalent EGCG per day being the optimal dosage.
Green Tea for Fat Loss
The fat burning effects are dependant on the person using it, and how tolerant they have become of caffeine. If caffeine is consumed habitually, the effects of it will be greatly reduced.
Dosage is also a factor in green tea’s efficacy as a weight loss aid. Most decent supplements contain extracts which are 50% EGCG by weight.
Optimal doses for fat burning have been found to be around 300mg to 500mg per day, which means that anywhere from around 500mg to 1000mg of green tea extract (with 50% EGCG) will have an effect, increasing proportionally within that range.
Green tea works synergistically with caffeine and increases fat burning thermogenesis by the interaction of EGCG and its own caffeine content. EGCG can actually inhibit the enzyme which breaks down adrenaline, while caffeine boosts the production of adrenaline.
One study shows that green tea catechins can reduce the absorption ratio of carbohydrates consumed. While the dosage in the study was higher than we’d recommend, there may at least be some carb blocking effect from any dose, and thus another weight loss mechanism.
Here’s a scientific meta-analysis on green tea and weight loss.
Green Tea for Cancer Prevention Effects
Studies with rats, which are good proxies where human studies are lacking, show that certain anti-cancer cells known as Natural Killer Cells increase in activity on the consumption of green tea extracts.
The total number of NK cells does not appear to increase but rather their destruction rate of cancer cells.
Green Tea’s Other Health Benefits
If you’ve been awake in the last ten years you’ll have been told by a friend that they drink green tea, and they feel just magnificent as a result.
The health benefits we can define scientifically are probably outnumbered by the ones that we can’t.
There’s evidence to suggest green tea is protective of the liver, the heart, the brain and the very DNA that is the physical code from which you were designed.
It’s no great leap to therefore assume that the most extravagant claim – that green tea may possibly extend your life – is in fact correct. Life extension, or “longevity”, as some folks like to all it is a very difficult thing to measure. After all, the clinical trial would have to be a rather long one.
However, taking into account all of the potential benefits of the elixir that is green tea and its catechin molecules, you can’t help but think there are precisely zero reasons to avoid the stuff.[clickToTweet tweet=”Green Tea contains powerful antioxidants called Catechins, which may help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol imbalances. It also can help burn fat and improve your insulin sensitivity, which can help you stay on the track to weight loss” quote=”Green Tea contains powerful antioxidants called Catechins, which may help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol imbalances. It also can help burn fat and improve your insulin sensitivity, which can help you stay on the track to weight loss”]
How To Use Green Tea Extracts
Taking green tea on an empty stomach increases the absorption to the bloodstream about four fold, which is a lot, but can cause some nausea.
Green Tea extracts should be taken on the same cycle as caffeine as far as we are concerned. If they are combined within the same supplement then all the better.
Eight weeks on with two weeks off is a good starting cycle, again like caffeine. It’s also highly synergistic with caffeine so the pairing has a functional advantage as well.
Green Tea Dosage
The EGCG inclusion weight is the most important if you are taking a green tea extract for fat loss.
Any decent supplement should be standardized to about 50% or more EGCG in the green tea dose, so that if you have 600mg Green Tea Extract (stand. to 50% EGCG) will equate to about 300mg EGCG.
Between 300mg and 500mg of EGCG per day is a good dose for fat loss. The lower end of that range is perfect if an equal amount of caffeine is taken alongside.
Lower dosages can be taken if you are looking for cancer prevention and general health benefits alone.
If you wanted to only drink green tea to avail of these benefits as opposed to taking a supplement, you would be looking at 9 to 10 cups a day. Good luck explaining those trips to the bathroom.
Green Tea Side Effects
Green Tea has featured in hundreds of scientific studies and found to be safe for use over long periods of time at between 500mg and 1000mg per day. Higher single doses in the order of 1500mg are safe but can cause nausea and are therefore not recommended.
Stupidly high doses are dangerous and can cause liver failure amongst other things. That would only happen at ten times our recommended dose.
We recommend sticking to around 500mg per day as your maximum, with 300mg per day as a good all round dose.