Flavonoids and Caffeine
Green tea contains flavonoids, which are a type of antioxidant, as well as caffeine. Several studies have also suggested that the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can help elevate metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation and some studies suggest it may improve the efficiency of our insulin metabolism. Just like black coffee, green tea can become part of a weight-loss regimen, especially when taken without sugar.
Green tea also contains a relatively high concentration of polyphenols called catechins, which have been associated with protection of our cardiovascular systems – including through lowering fat absorption by our intestines. Catechins are also associated with anti-inflammatory effects.
You Don’t Have to Bathe In It
The value of green tea to a weight-loss regimen is highly individual, but the maximal benefits of the catechins and caffeine can be gained by drinking around 3 cups a day.
Doctors estimate that unsweetened green tea can help you burn up as much as 100 calories a day, though note that the concentrations of the chemicals in the tea will vary with the preparation method.
Here too, moderation is king: other effects aside, as in the case of coffee, a heavy green-tea caffeine habit may not help you slim down. Sustained slimming effects were only observed in low-level consumers.
The Best Time to Drink Green Tea
Green tea can impair the absorption of iron in your body, so the tea is best consumed around two hours before or after meals. Leave at least two hours between your last cup of tea and bedtime, otherwise the caffeine and other chemicals may keep you awake. Also, being a diuretic, tea may also disrupt your sleep.
Also, experts warn that drinking green tea first thing in the morning may not be a good idea because of potential liver damage.
For weight loss, drink the green tea before you exercise.
When brewing green tea, take a little extra care, as boiling water is bad for the catechins which are the tea’s healthy chemicals. Do bring your water to a boil, but let it rest for a few minutes. Then, pour the water over the tea and brew for about one minute or more before serving.
The bottom line is that like coffee, green tea is best drunk in moderation, and can help you take off pounds, but only if used as part of a weight-loss regime, and consumed sensibly – in reasonable amounts and not as your first drink of the day, or in the two hours before bed.