The green tea myth: does it really burn fat?
The health benefits of regular green consumption are well-documented It has been associated with benefiting almost every organ system in the body. It has a rich nutrient and antioxidant profile, which helps to improve many facets of immune health, while also providing weight loss support and energy boosting benefits through it's thermogenic and mild stimulant effects.
Fat burning benefits:
Green tea is commonly consumed stimulant derived from the leaves of the Camelilia sinensis plant. Expoerts have suggseted that the caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) - both found naturally in green tea - may actually have a synergeristic effect when it comes to reducing body weight by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation, reducing fatty acid production, and decreasing fat absorption. Green tea is also associated with a reduction in sugar cravings and appetite regulation.
Increases metabolic rate & energy expenditure:
The combination of caffeine and EGCG found in green tea was shown in the British Journal of Nutrition to increase resting metabolic rate by approximately 4% in 24 hours, increasing the amount of calories you burn each day, even at rest. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea was shown to stimulate the thermogenic fat-burning activity of the body. When given to moderately obese patients, it was stated that the green tea extract resulted in a decrease in weight by 4.6% and a reduction of waist circumference by 4.48% after twelve weeks.
Mobilises fat cells & prevents fat accumulation:
In order to burn fat, it must first be broken down in the fat cell and transported into the bloodstream. The active compounds in green tea can aid in this process by increasing the effects of some fat burning hormones. The caffeine and EGCG (both found naturally in green tea) may actually have a synergistic effect when it comes to this process, as caffeine enhances another step in the fat oxidation pathway. This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available to be used as energy. It is also known as a potent inhibitor of the intestinal absorption of fat compounds which can result in body fat accumulation. Long term of consumption green tea is known for reducing body fat accumulation, especially abdominal fat.
A naturally occurring side-effect of green tea consumption is that of appetite suppression. EGCG increases the hormone CCK (cholecystokinin), which is responsible for creating the feeling of satiation or fullness, helping to prevent snacking and consuming excess calories.
In addition to it's fat burning effects, green tea is packed with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances which combat free radicals, which are damaging compounds in the body that change cells. Free radicals contribute to the ageing process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. The polyphenols in green tea assist in neutralising these free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. These catechin polyphenols also provide mild anti-inflammatory effects which contribute to reducing inflammation, preventing heart conditions, reducing weight gain, aiding cancer treatment, and reducing pain caused by arthritis. It's ability to scavenge free radicals helps to slow down the inflammatory process as well. This can translate to improved workout recovery and less muscle soreness after training sessions.
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