There’s a reason why green tea is consumed by a plethora of well known bodybuilders, why it’s extract is taken alongside a regular training regimen and balanced diet, and it is no coincidence that one of the most consistently seen ingredients in most of the major fat burner supplements is....green tea! Green tea merits its place in the fat burning, tone, definition and health and longevity bracket of the supplement world; it is backed by research that supports its ability to enhance our metabolic rate and mobilisation of fat stores (using fat for energy) (Sarma, Barrett, Chavez, et al. 2008; Kreider, Wilborb, and Campbell et al. 2010).
Mobilisation of fat stores
Green tea has been seen to promote the utilisation of our ‘brown fat’ stores, whereas humans primarily use white fat for energy due to a marked reduction in brown fat stores after infancy. Brown fat contains more mitochondria (energy manufacturing sites) than white fat resulting in a direct increase in energy expenditure when it is used as an energy source. Aside from this point, an interesting study by Di Pierro, Menghi, Barreca, et al. (2009) found that green tea combined with a low calorie diet led to the subjects (people) losing 9kg more over 90 days than those that didn’t consume green tea (Kreider, Wilborb, and Campbell et al. 2010).
More than just a weight loss supplement
Green tea offers far more besides its weight loss and fat mobilisation qualities. It contains high quantities of catechin polyphenols and caffeine, both of which have been seen to aid weight loss but also defend against heart disease and other medical conditions. Epigallocatechin gallate is the main catechin associated with weight loss and toning, and it is also well established as a potent antioxidant helping to fight against heart disease and cancer (Shixian, Van Crey, Shi, et al. 2006). Catechins can help to prevent the onset of atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), reduce arterial inflammation, whilst also reducing the risk of clots and hyperlipidaemia (high blood lipid/fat).
So if you want a sophisticated, stimulating, health promoting and effective fat burning product, then green tea (and its respective extracts) could, and perhaps should be added to your dietary and supplementary repertoire.
Di Pierro, F., Menghi, A, B., Barreca, A., Lucarelli, M., Calandrelli, A., (2009). Greenselect Phytosome as an adjunct to a low-calorie diet for treatment of obesity: a clinical trial. Alternative Medicine Review. 14(2):154-60.
Kreider, R, B., Wilborb, C, D., Campbell, B., Almada, A, L., Collins, R., Cooke, M et al, (2010). ISSN exercise & Sport Nutrition Review: Research & Recommendations. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition. 7: 1550-2783.
Sarma, D, N., Barrett, M, L., Chavez, M, L., Gardiner, P., Ko, R., Mahady, G, B., Marles, R, J., Pellicore, L, S., Giancaspro, G, I., (2008). Safety of green tea extracts: a systematic review by the US Pharmacopeia. Drug Safety, 31(6):469-84.
Shixian, Q., Van Crey B., Shi, J., Kakuda, Y., Jiang, Y., (2006). Green tea extract thermogenesis-induced weight loss by epigallocatechin gallate inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase. Journal of Medicinal Food. 9(4):451-8.