If there’s one thing you should pick immediately or right after the moment you think about losing weight – it’s green tea! Green tea is the most popular beverage among fitness enthusiasts and its effects with regards to weight loss and on overall health unanimously hailed by health experts. There’s no confusion about all the good things green tea can do for you body, but there’s a lot of subtleties about this amazing beverage that one needs to know to get maximum benefit out of it, from the kind of water one uses to steep green tea, to the correct temperature of water, and many such things. To get more out of your cup of green tea, read on to know about some kept secrets of green tea when it comes to weight loss, that no one has probably told you before. In the same breath, we would like to reiterate the fact that nothing can replace a healthy diet and exercise when it comes to weight loss – green tea can just act as a little helper to give your weight loss efforts a good boost, but don’t expect it to work like magic when diet and exercise parts are unfulfilled. People who have followed a dedicated workout routine apart from following the right kind of diet benefit a great deal because green tea boosts metabolism to a considerable level and flushes out antioxidants.
What Makes Green Tea Special?
Green tea is extracted from Camellia sinensis plant and is rich in antioxidants (polyphenols), catechin (epigallocatechin gallate), flavonoids, etc. which have numerous health benefits. Green tea is not heavily processed and that’s why is rich in antioxidants which flushes out toxins from the body and also boosts metabolism. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea also help prevent many diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Research has also proven to reduce risk green tea helps in reducing the risk of various types of cancer such as breast, prostate, ovarian, skin and stomach cancer. The EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) content of green tea suppresses the activity of pro-inflammatory chemicals produced in the body and also helps in reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and the accumulation of plaque in blood vessels which are all the major risk factors for heart disease. Even if you do not want to drop any weight, it would be a great idea to switch to green tea from normal tea, to reap its amazing health benefits.
Why Green Tea is a Must-Have in Weight Loss?
The metabolism boosting properties of green tea helps to reach out for fat reserves in the body to burn as energy, thus aiding weight loss. Compounds in green tea increase levels of hormones that tell fat cells to break down fat. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy. One study has shown that people consuming green tea can burn up to 100 more calories in a day than people who do not consume it at all, this is because green tea is rich in antioxidants which speed up up body’s metabolism and thus help in burning more calories.
Green tea can also:
- Green tea contains caffeine as a chief constituent and a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is an antioxidant.
- Helps mobilize fat cells, resulting in redistribution of fat.
- Can cause increased fast burning.
- Boosts metabolism.
- Green tea is thought to reduce appetite.
- Reduces cholesterol level.
10 Best Kept Secrets of Green Tea for Weight Loss:
- While we all know, green tea should be made in hot water. Never make it like your regular chai, do not boil green tea leaves in the water while it’s on the flame. Boil water to 80 to 85 degrees, or when the bubbles start forming at the bottom of the vessel. Take it down from the flame and steep the green tea bag at this temperature. If the water is cold, the antioxidants and catechin will not get activated. If the water is too hot, it will reduce antioxidant activity.
- To prevent green tea from tasting better, do not brew it for more than 2 to 3 minutes in hot water.
- It’s better to opt for pure flavour of green tea without opting for lemon, ginger or mint flavours. We have seen that some brands add reduce the green tea content and add artificial flavours of mint, lemon, ginger etc., to enhance the flavour of green tea.
- Do not add any kind of artificial sweetener to your green tea. Artificial sweeteners are not healthy and can in fact add calories. Read more about the side effects of taking artificial sweeteners here.
- It’s okay to squeeze in fresh lemon to your green tea, there are no negative effects.
- It’s okay to add honey too to enhance the taste of this beverage, but it would be great if you could wean yourself off any kind of sweetener in green tea and take it in as original form as possible.
- Since green tea can cause dehydration, it’s advisable to restrict intake to just 3 cups a day. Since green tea also contains caffeine, it can have negative effects if consumed in excess, so one must consult a doctor to know about the right dosage as per one’s health condition. As per Harvard Health Publications, 3 cups is considered a normal amount. In order to get maximum benefit from this drink, you should stay within the optimal dosage, which is about three cups of tea a day.
- Always use water with less TDS (total dissolved salts), for example RO water, to get maximum benefits of the green tea because minerals found in water can interfere with the compounds and reduce their effectiveness.
- Should you drink green tea hot or cold? You can drink it both ways – just remember it to steep it for at least 2 to 3 minutes in hot water to release its antioxidants and other compounds. Once the compounds get activated, you can drink it at any temperature that you want.
- The best time to drink green tea is one hour before or after a meal as it can help in digestion and boost metabolism as well. Also, having green tea half an hour before working out can provide you with a boost of energy.
- Do not consume green tea before going to bed as it can disturb your sleep pattern and you might find yourself staring at the ceiling for most part of the night.
- Do not consume green tea with your meals as, tannins, which is an antioxidant can interfere with iron absorption in the body. Keep a gap of at least an hour between green tea and your meals.
- Loose green is preferable than the ones that are available in tea bags because the flavour is richer. When using a tea bag, you can tear open the bag and spill some content into the cup.
- Do not consume green tea on empty stomach as it can cause acidity by stimulating the release of gastric acid and cause acidity and gastritis.
Side Effects of Drinking Excess Amounts of Green Tea:
As green tea contains considerable amount of caffeine, having it in excessive amounts causes headache, nervousness, sleeplessness, irritability, irregular heartbeat, heartburn, dizziness and confusion. Too much green tea in the body will lead to dehydration. It might also lead to increased chances of developing osteoporosis because it increases the amount of calcium lost through urine. Drinking green tea close to bedtime can disturb the sleep pattern and lead to insomnia. In case you are pregnant, you should definitely limit your green tea consumption to two cups a day. Tannins present in green tea reduces consumption of folic acid which is an important vitamin to reduce child birth defects, so it would be a better choice to skip it completely. It is also known to interfere with the absorption of iron, hence you should avoid consuming green tea with meals.
Best Green Tea Brands in the Market:
1. Tetley Green Tea.
2. Organic India Tulsi Green Tea
3. Lipton Green Tea
4. Himalaya Green Tea
5. FabIndia Tulsi Green Tea
Green tea can help in speeding up the process of weight loss but green tea alone cannot help you in reducing weight if you do not follow a healthy diet and exercise on a regular basis. Green tea can never replace healthy diet programs such as on Rati Beauty and also regular exercise. Instead, you can boost your weight loss efforts by consuming 2-3 cups of green tea per day.