The use of green tea is currently on the increase partly due to new research studies which are providing convincing evidence about its antioxidant abilities, general health benefits, and more interestingly, its weight loss effects.
While weight loss teas may be growing in popularity today, green tea however remains the major focus given its historical background and proven effectiveness. Despite the fact that it is today considered an effective weight loss supplement, it would however be interesting unraveling what it is that actually gives it this ability.
Fortunately, there are a lot of research studies available today which give compelling information about the various mechanisms through which green teas aid weight loss.
1. EGCG and Caffeine Metabolism Boosting Effects
Several of these research studies have demonstrated that green teas have the ability to speed up the body's metabolic rate by up to 4%. This seemingly insignificant boost in metabolism can however with little or no effort than just drinking 2-4 cups daily help to burn stored body fats and reduce fat storage. Over time, this 4% boost in calorie burning can substantially increase an individual's overall fat burning capability.
Green tea's metabolism boosting effect is achieved by the inhibiting action of its most active ingredient epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on the activity of the enzymes that breakdown the neurotransmitter known as norepinephrine making it last longer. Norepinephrine (NE) is generally considered to be a sympathetic nervous system stimulant which increases the state of many of the body's processes and sends the nervous system into a state of shock.
The effect of norepinephrine increases the process of thermogenesis - the generation of heat in the body. Thermogenesis is generally considered to increase the body's energy expenditure while also having a significant effect on body fat oxidation.
Initially, this effect was attributed to the caffeine content which is about 25mg for a 6-ounce cup. However, a 1999 study publication in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that the use of green tea extracts did not only promote thermogenesis, but unlike caffeine which arouses the nervous system and speeds up heart beat when used alone, it was "not accompanied by an increase in heart rate."
This normalized heart rate has been found to be the effect of another very rare but naturally occurring amino acid in green tea known as L-theanine. The L-theanine is secreted from the small intestine into the bloodstream where it is transported into the brain producing a state of improved relaxation and alertness. This action effectively cancels out the harmful effect of caffeine.
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea, have been suggested by several research to significantly help to improve alertness, reaction time, and memory while also combating the effects of stress.
2. Reduced Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
They are also known to be effective in reducing blood sugar levels which consequently reduces the secretion of insulin. Research studies also indicate that green tea, Oolong and black teas increases insulin sensitivity by more than 15%.
The lowering of insulin secretion through the reduction of blood sugar levels is mostly regarded as the major reason why it actually have significant weight loss effects. The more green tea you drink, the lower your insulin levels and the more sensitive they become. This combined effect not only increases your body's ability to convert sugars into energy but also its fat burning capabilities.
3. Triglyceride and Cholesterol Reduction
Green tea also has the ability to reduce blood fats such as triglycerides and cholesterol. They also help to stop blood clots from forming which could partially or completely block arteries or veins.
The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) help to reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol while increasing HDL "good" cholesterol levels. EGCG essentially clears the blood of triglycerides before they are deposited into adipose tissues (fat cells). This is important because triglycerides are generally transported in the bloodstream in the form of very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) which is eventually converted into LDL "bad" cholesterol. Therefore, the fewer the amounts of triglycerides in the bloodstream, the lower will be the levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol.
4. Appetite and Cravings Suppression
It has also been proven that green tea also help to suppress appetite and eliminate cravings for sweet snacks. This can partly be attributed to its ability to lower blood sugar levels.
High blood sugar levels generally make you feel hungry and thus increase the tendency to eat more food more frequently. By reducing your blood sugar levels, green tea effectively helps to suppress the appetite.
It therefore becomes obvious, taking the above points into consideration, why the use of green tea as a supplement to weight loss is increasing today. However, while green tea in and of itself can result in weight loss, for quicker and permanent weight loss effect it is advisable to use it as a supplement to a healthy diet and regular exercise program.
Equally, not all teas are made equal and not all provide the desired effects. To get the best possible weight loss effect from green teas, it is highly recommended to get reputable brands such as Tava Tea.