Many people worldwide are drinking green tea to lose weight. Can the other types of tea usually available – black, green, white or oolong also help you lose weight considering that they all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis?
The differences in their appearance and active nutrients or ingredients are the result of the varying processes, particularly the levels of oxidation the leaves undergo. White and green teas are the least oxidized teas. In fact some white teas are not oxidized. Their zero or low level of oxidation allow white and green teas to retain a higher amount or concentration of epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG, weight loss compound compared to the amount in black tea, which is more oxidized.
White or Green Tea
Both white and green teas have high concentrations of EGCG but why is it green tea only that is often recommended for people who want to lose weight.
White tea is the dried bud and young leaves of Camellia sinensis. The leaves are younger than those used for green tea. Only the bud and young tea leaves handpicked within the early days of spring are used for white tea. The harvesting procedure, the short harvest time and the limited quantity of leaves that can be harvested per plant are the major reasons why white tea is not widely available and more expensive than the other types of tea.
Green Tea for Weight Loss
Various studies that have been conducted so far show that the amount of weight lost from drinking 3 to 4 cups of green tea daily isn’t significant. So, you can’t rely on just drinking green tea to lose weight. However, there are several ways green tea can be useful in enhancing the effectiveness of various weigh- management activities or programs as shown below:
Green tea can be the healthiest, calorie-free drink to replace body fluids lost due to exercise and other strenuous activities to lose weight. While water is easily available and costs less, it lacks the antioxidants and other beneficial ingredients for good health.
Low caffeine content
Green tea contains significantly lower amount of caffeine compared to other types of tea (except white tea). You can drink more green tea without suffering from insomnia, nervousness and other side effects of caffeine.
Studies show that caffeine works with EGCG to improve green tea’s ability to help the drinker lose weight.
Caffeine and EGCG in green tea work together to help increase the drinker’s metabolism according to separate studies published in Obesity Research in 2005 and in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry in January 2011.
Like other foods rich in potassium, magnesium and caffeine, green tea is a diuretic. Green tea’s diuretic effect helps the body in getting rid of excess fluids and reducing weight.
Green tea’s catechins are your natural endurance boosters. More endurance means that you are able to do more exercise, burn more fat and consequently lose more weight.
Green tea drinkers should be aware of the following:
- A study was published in Nutrients in 2011 that milk proteins reduce or prevent green tea’s ability to increase metabolism. So, don’t drink green tea while consuming dairy products.
- Drink tea before meals so that it can fill you up and reduce the amount of the meal you eat.
- Green tea may interact with certain drugs and food supplements. If you’re under medication or pregnant, check with your doctor if it would be safe to drink green tea