Green tea may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, powering your workout, and more

Green tea may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, powering your workout, and more
Green tea can give you more sustained energy, without a crash, opposed to sugary drinks.Rawpixel/Getty Images
  • Green tea can help with weight loss by boosting your metabolism, helping you get more out of your workout, and functioning as a healthy alternative to sugary drinks.
  • The best way to drink green tea for weight loss is by brewing true green tea leaves and drinking the tea without any added sugar.
  • You can drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea per day, and drinking it before a workout may be especially helpful for weight loss.

When people are trying to lose weight, they usually focus on what to cut out of their diet. But adding green tea to your diet can be an easy, healthy addition to your weight loss journey.

While green tea may help you shed pounds, you should check with your doctor to see whether losing weight is a healthy option for you. If your doctor gives you the go-ahead, then it may be worth it to try this antioxidant-rich beverage.

Here's why green tea can help with weight loss.
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Green tea may help boost metabolism

Green tea can boost metabolism because it contains caffeine. This allows you to burn more calories and helps with weight loss. "The stimulant properties of the caffeine increase the oxidation rate within the cell's metabolism which .... increases the calories we burn," says Hunnes.

In a small 2008 study, researchers gave obese participants either green tea or a placebo over the course of 12 weeks. The participants did not change their activity level or diets. After 12 weeks, those who had green tea lost 7.3 pounds more than those who had the placebo, and burned 183.38 calories more with their resting energy expenditure.

Green tea can help you get more out of your workout

The caffeine in green tea is responsible for this benefit. Caffeine has been shown to enhance performance in athletes when consumed close to competition, says Emily Monfiletto, RD, senior registered dietitian at Baylor College of Medicine. This is because caffeine can make you feel like you are exerting yourself less than you really are and help reduce exercise-related pain, says Monfiletto.
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Aside from enhancing performance, green tea may also help you burn more fat during a workout. In a small 2008 study, men were given green tea extract before working out. Their fat burning rate was 17% higher than those who received a placebo.

Green tea is a healthy alternative to sugary drinks

When you're trying to lose weight, it's a good idea to cut back on sugary drinks. Hunnes says green tea can have zero calories from fat if you don't add sugar to it, and you will get nutrients like antioxidants that you wouldn't get from drinking soda. Green tea can also give you more sustained energy, without a crash, opposed to sugary drinks. If you replace sugary drinks with green tea, then you will be cutting back on a significant amount of calories over time, which can help result in weight loss.
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"One can of soda typically contains 150 calories. Simply brewed green tea without anything added has negligible calories, so every can of soda that you replace in a day with green tea or any other calorie-free beverage, you would save 150 calories every serving," says Monfiletto.

How to consume green tea for weight loss

Hunnes says the best way to drink green tea for weight loss is by drinking it brewed either hot or cold, without any added sugar.

You should use authentic green tea made from true green tea leaves. It should say this on the label. Hunnes says herbal teas are usually not made from true tea leaves, so you may want to stay away from those.
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There are different varieties of green tea, such as sencha, matcha, and jasmine. They all offer great health benefits. They originate from the same plant, but there are differences in how they are processed, Monfiletto says.

Regardless of the type of green tea, the suggested amount is three to four cups of green tea a day, and there isn't necessarily a "best" time to consume it, Hunnes says.

However, Monfiletto says if you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to avoid drinking it in the afternoon and evenings so it doesn't interfere with your sleep. She says the absolute maximum consumption of green tea should be nine or ten cups a day, based on safe caffeine limits.
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Insider's takeaway

Green tea alone likely won't be a major factor in your weight loss, but it may help make a small difference, especially if you are replacing sugary beverages with this healthy alternative.

To experience the most significant weight loss results, you will also need to make changes to your overall diet and activity level - and green tea might just give you the boost that you need to get going.

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