In the first study, 12 healthy men performed a 30-minute cycling exercise before and after taking green tea extract. In the second, 11 healthy men took an oral-glucose-tolerance test before and after taking green tea extract. In both cases, their results improved after consuming the tea.
On average, fat oxidation rates were 17 percent higher, and insulin sensitivity 13 percent higher, after participants drank green tea extract, compared with taking a placebo. This study is the first to show that green tea extract can increase the amount of fat burned during moderate-intensity exercise. The researchers observed a 17 percent greater fat contribution to total energy expenditure during exercise when the extract was taken, compared to taking a placebo.
Even though it’s known that fat breakdown and oxidation increases during exercise, this study found that green tea extract can boost your fat metabolism even more by increasing the availability of fat as a fuel.
Other than water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, and if you choose a high-quality variety, it can also be one of the healthiest. Perhaps because of all the recent positive press green tea has been getting, tea purchases increased for the 16th year in a row in 2007, and now bring in nearly $2 billion in supermarket sales, according to the Tea Association of the USA.
Green tea is still in the minority in the United States, as it made up just 17 percent of the tea consumed by Americans last year. Its “claim to fame” is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a catechin polyphenol that’s a powerful antioxidant.
Have You Heard About EGCG?
EGCG is really quite remarkable in the breadth of ailments it seems to benefit. The following is just a sampling of what’s been discovered so far:
- EGCG can block the ability of the AIDS virus to hijack and destroy immune-system cells.
- EGCG may protect your brain from Alzheimer's disease.
- EGCG may help treat diabetes better than the drug Avandia.
- EGCG inhibits cancer cell growth in laboratory models, and may help fight prostate cancer.
- EGCG may help to protect your bones and ease the inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
Is Your Green Tea Actually Brown?
Next to pure water, green tea from 100 percent, quality tea leaves is one of the most nutritious beverages you can consume. However, have you noticed how most green tea is not green at all, but actually is a muted brown?
This is likely a sign that the tea has been oxidized, and it may not be giving you the health benefits you seek. When I drink green tea, I drink matcha tea, and the color is a vibrant bright green.
If you’re not familiar with tea, you may have never heard of matcha tea. Rather than being steeped and strained like typical tea, matcha tea is made of tea leaves ground into a powder, and the powder gets added right into the water.
Because you are actually consuming the whole leaf, matcha tea is said to be one of the healthiest green teas out there.
High-quality teas should also be free of the potentially high levels of fluoride, lead, and aluminum that can be found in other, inferior green tea.
So please do keep pure water as your primary beverage, but feel free to indulge in some high-quality green tea as well. Just remember that, as with most things you put into your body, it’s important to be very picky about the tea you drink.