Green tea extract has been hailed as a miracle substance, something that can aid with weight loss, burning fat, suppressing appetite and increasing metabolism. But how true is all of that? Is green tea and its extracts effective for this purpose; can it provide additional health benefits?
Let’s find out.
Why Is Green Tea Healthy?
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. Green tea is definitely healthy. Whether it is capable of burning fat is a different matter and one we’ll get to soon, but healthy it is.
Basically, green tea comes from the same plant as white tea and black tea (but not red tea). If you think of a plant that comes to flower, then white tea is the buds/flowers before they are ripe and ready; green tea are the flowers when they are at their freshest and most optimum; and black tea is what happens when you take green tea and then let it ferment.
All of these teas are healthy because they all contain a wealth of antioxidants. There is also a lot off caffeine in there and per pound, there is actually more caffeine in tea than in coffee. But per cup of brewed drink there is less, and there is also less caffeine in green than in black and less in white than in green.
There are huge amounts of antioxidants in the leaves and as you brew them, these leech out into the water, along with unique flavor provided by the tea. If you were to chop these leaves up into a powder and consume them directly you would get more, of course, and that’s basically what matcha is. As for red tea, it comes from a different plant altogether, but it’s still healthy.
Extracts are made from these teas and these are often used to flavor drinks, including commercial iced tea (black tea) and desserts/smoothies (matcha). Where green tea extract is concerned, the main use is supplements.
So, now that the basics have been covered, let’s focus on green tea extract as a fat burner and weight loss aid.
Do Green Tea Tablets Work?
On the one hand, you’re always going to get the antioxidant benefits and other benefits from green tea, but on the other there are some issues with green tea as an effective supplement. Many of the health benefits associated with it come from one particular antioxidant which goes by the name EGCG (short for Epigallocatechin Gallate). When you see it being touted as an extract that can help with all kinds of diseases and cardiovascular problems, this is usually the thing at the core of those claims.
Where weight loss is concerned, caffeine plays a significant role, but when compared to black tea and coffee, there isn’t much caffeine in green tea extracts. There are also amino acids in there that are said to offer a range of benefits and to some extent these are backed up by claims, but these are abundant amino acids that are often better found in other substances and they are not concentrated enough in green tea to offer any significantly noticeable weight loss.
Green Tea Extract for Weight Loss
We are happy to recommend the use of green tea and believe that you can’t go wrong with a cup of freshly brewed tea. Add a little honey and you have something that is fresh, fragrant and beautiful, a perfect way to finish large meal, aiding with digestion and keeping your antioxidant levels high.
However, as a standalone fat burner, it’s hard to see how green tea extract could be effective, particularly when compared to other ingredients. We would certainly look to add it to a weight-loss stack, but only because it can’t do any harm to your weight loss endeavors and not because we are confident it can do a lot of good.
Green Tea Extract as a Fat Burner: What Else to Use
Instead of searching for green tea extracts, look to buy some of this tea yourself and try to drink a cup at least every other day. It’s a good way to get a hit of EGCG, which is looking like a very promising and very important antioxidant. However, you shouldn’t dismiss black tea in favor of green tea.
It contains more antioxidants and more caffeine, so if it’s true that green tea can help with weight loss, then back tea should be even more effective. There are countless studies out there that show just how beneficial black tea is and it also tastes great, so if you drink a lot of coffee or soda, then make the switch to a few strong cups of black tea instead.
You should also try white tea and even red tea. There are a lot of positive studies being done on the health benefits of all of them and a diet that combines a healthy mixture of occasional cups of different teas is one that should help to keep you healthy. It might not help much with your weight loss, but the same could be said for a lot of things, including green tea extract.
Best Green Tea Pills
There are some good green tea extracts out there, but they are often bundled in with other ingredients, such as large doses of caffeine or amino acids. If it’s just green tea that you want and you don’t want to buy the real stuff to drink, then opt for a brand like Now. They excel when it comes to simple, high quality vitamins, minerals and extracts.
We haven’t tried their green tea extract ourselves so we can’t vouch for this product personally, but we are big fans of Now.
As for green tea extract, we’ll stick to the real thing. For us, it’s more Whittards than Now.
Benefits of Green Tea
You have to take a lot of what is said about green tea with a punch of salt. The problem with looking for green tea benefits is that there are many articles that have picked apart every possible ingredient and have then exaggerated claims about those ingredients. For instance, green tea extract, as mentioned already, contains a minimal amount of caffeine, but in one hour of research we saw over a dozen sites using this to claim that it was a “powerful weight loss supplement” and that it could “stimulate the body and decrease appetite” etc, etc.,
The same goes for some of the antioxidants and amino acids. These can help to promote natural processes within the body, which has led to many claims that it can do everything from kill cancer to cure anxiety.
Look, we get it, tea is great and there really are some exciting studies being done. But whenever those studies focus entirely on green tea and make all kinds of outrageous claims, we become suspicious and you should too.
At worst it’s blatant marketing to sell a product or to promote leads for an affiliate. At worst it’s lazy writing and pandering to readers who are desperate to find the next life-saving superfood. In all cases, it’s not something we want to see and it’s certainly not something we’re going to emulate.