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Research Review: Green Tea Burns Calories and Boosts Energy Expenditure

Green tea cup

Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. Green tea not only has a refreshing taste, but also a positive effect on your energy expenditure and calorie output.

If you trying to lose weight, increasing your calorie burn or output is crucial. While we normally achieve this via exercise, the addition of green tea may help you take it one step further!

This study tested the effects of green tea extract on 10 healthy men. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three different treatments groups.

Other than the supplementation, all subjects had the same dietary intake. During breakfast, lunch and dinner they were given either:

  • Caffeine (50mg),
  • Green tea extract (50mg caffeine and 90mg epigallocatechin gallat [EGCG] ),
  • Placebo (i.e. an empty pill).

Results

As shown above, the results of this study show that the combination of caffeine and epigallocatechin gallat (EGCG) from the green extract is more potent in increasing energy expenditure than caffeine or placebo.

The difference in total energy expenditure for 24 hours was 3.5% in the green tea group and 2.8%  in the placebo and caffeine group. Research shows  that thermogenesis (heat expenditure) in sedentary people provides about 8% of daily expenditure, therefore, supplementing with green tea would provide a significant (35-43% increase) increase in this aspect of energy expenditure.

But what about people who are sensitive to high amounts of caffeine? Another interesting finding of this study was that no subjects felt any negative side effects, and there were no significant differences in heart rate between green tea, caffeine and placebo group in the first 8 hours after the treatment.

The conclusion of the study was that if taken orally, green tea extract stimulates thermogenesis and fat oxidation, and by doing so, has potential to be used in weight control and fat loss diets. Ofcourse, this difference is very small and would have no effect if the basics (i.e. diet and exercise) aren’t being optimized.

However, other studies have shown even greater increases and, green tea provides some other remarkable health benefits. Lastly, green tea is very cheap to obtain via a drink or supplementation, so, what’s not to love?

Remember, it may not get you shredded overnight, but, over a year it may provide a significant difference to your health and maybe fat loss!

Reference:

Dulloo, A. G., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., … & Vandermander, J. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 70(6), 1040-1045.

About the author

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Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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