weight loss ingredients in green tea

Drinking of green tea has been relished by the Chinese for centuries and is now increasingly becoming popular in Western countries. The use of green tea for health and more particularly for its weight loss benefits have also started getting more widely known and appreciated globally.

Some of the weight loss benefits of drinking green tea include its ability to increase the body’s metabolic rate thereby enhancing fat oxidation which overall helps the body to burn fat more quickly. Green tea additionally helps to keep you satiated, increases your energy levels and helps to calm and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Surprisingly, scientists have just but in the last few decades started turning their attention to exploring the connection between drinking tea and green tea in particular and its effect on weight loss management.

Interestingly but not coming as a surprise, the plethora of new research studies point to the incontrovertible fact that green tea contains potent ingredients which work synergistically to promote healthy weight loss. Most of the studies have confirmed that green tea contains three fundamental ingredients that have been proven to have a powerful effect on weight loss.

While it has equally been shown that any of these ingredients on and of itself can have a degree of effectiveness in helping the body lose unwanted body fat, it is however their combined effect that gives green tea its extraordinary weight loss capabilities.

Hereunder, we take a look at what these ingredients are and how they work together to assist you achieve your goal weight.


Green tea does contain some amount of caffeine as does every other type of tea. Caffeine as a chemical is found naturally in more than sixty species of plants including coffee, cola nut, tea, and cocoa. Like prescription appetite suppressants, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system.

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Caffeine’s stimulation of the nervous system has been shown to give a boost to the body process known as thermogenesis – the generation of heat in the body. Thermogenesis is at the very center of the body’s ability to lose weight as it is the way in which fat cells are burned for energy by the body. The more energy the body expends, the more calories it will burn.

Categorically, caffeine boosts energy, temporarily increases mental alertness, and helps to burn fat. Some fitness experts even claim that caffeine can buffer muscle pain, enabling an individual to exercise longer. This is most probably what have resulted in caffeine being included in most weight-loss dietary supplements with many having extremely unhealthy side effects due to their high concentration of caffeine.

Too much caffeine is generally considered detrimental to health. Some of the negative effects of caffeine intoxication include restlessness, sleep disturbances, irritability, nervousness, frequent urination and stomach upsets.

However, the quantity of caffeine in green can be regarded as inconsequential and incapable of causing any serious side effect. Nevertheless, there have been a lot of speculations that the weight loss benefits derived from the consumption of green tea is primarily because of its caffeine content. However, scientific evidence proves that this is not the case as will be discussed a little bit later.

The Catechin – Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG)

Tea leaves contain a range of polyphenols particularly the flavonoids – flavan-3-ols. The flavonoids in green tea are of two major types namely (+)-catechin and (–)-epicatechin with both having their corresponding gallate derivatives.

The polyphenols in green tea are generally referred to as catechins. There are six major catechins which are Catechin, Epicatechin, Epicatechin gallate, Gallocatechin, Apigallocatechin gallate, and Epigallocatechin gallate (commonly known as EGCG).

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However, one type of catechin, the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has become the most studied catechin as it is considered to be the most potent antioxidant of all the green tea catechins.

There are now substantial researches that have found that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) contained in green tea can influence genetic signaling and help to promote thermogenesis which increases the body’s metabolic rate and overall energy expenditure by about 4% while also having a significant effect on body fat oxidation.

Epigallocatechin gallate is also believed to help regulate blood sugar levels and therefore help to inhibit the abnormal production of insulin which is known to normally encourage the storage of body fat. EGCG also increases insulin sensitivity to abnormal blood sugar levels. The combination of these effects practically translates into increased burning of stored body fat and a decreased ability of the body to store glucose as fat in fat cells (adipose tissues).

The ability of EGCG to influence blood sugar level equally translates into the altering of hormone levels (reduced insulin and increased glucagon levels) which naturally help to suppress appetite. High blood sugar levels normally make you feel very hungry and thus increasing the urge to eat more food more frequently.

Now, let’s come back to the controversy over the effect of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in increasing thermogenesis. The authors of a 1999 study concluded that EGCG not only had the ability to stimulate fat tissue thermogenesis but also remarkably prolonged it to a much greater extent than caffeine alone was able to do.

The research studied a group of men who were given 90mg of EGCG three times daily and found that the men taking the EGCG burned 266 more calories than the control group who were given just placebos. In the words of the researchers, green tea’s “thermogenic properties could reside primarily in an interaction between its high content in catechin-polyphenols and caffeine…" Therefore, EGCG helps burn fat even if you’re doing nothing other than sitting around drinking tea all day.


Besides one obscure mushroom, L-theanine is known to be produced by only Camellia sinensis – the tea plant from which green tea and other teas are made from. It is a medicinally powerful naturally occurring non-protein-based amino acid found in green tea.

Some studies have found that the reason why caffeine in green seems to have only a temporarily harmful effect is due to the influence of L-theanine on the central nervous system. Research has found that L-theanine enhances brain function, improves concentration, calms and reduces anxiety, and improves mood, without sedation.

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