Can green tea extract be used as a fat burner?

Among the many supplements out there claiming that they can help you achieve a healthier and sexier body, there is green tea extract. 

In fact, many weight loss or fat-burning supplements have nearly the same common ingredient: green tea extract. There are scientifically-based solid claims that these amazing green tea plants can help you lose weight. 

Additionally, green tea extracts provide positive health benefits aside from aiding in removing excess fats. Some of these are lowering your risk of developing heart disease and suffering from any type of cancer. Green tea extracts are really a must-have on your daily diet, and you will know further why below. 

What are green tea extracts?

Green tea is considered as one of the most popular teas and the most consumed beverage globally, basically next to water [1]. This tea is produced from unoxidized leaves of Camellia sinensis – the leaves are quickly heated through pan frying or steaming right after harvesting; then, they will be dried to prevent too much oxidation.

This is a different method compared with other types of tea, like oolong teas and black teas, where these undergo withering and oxidation processes. With green tea’s unique approach, it is considered the least processed type of tea and contains the most antioxidants.

Green tea extracts are formulated and produced as supplements from green tea plants. It contains beneficial body ingredients, such as antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids of green tea and other vitamins.

You can get the same amount of active ingredients in a cup of green tea in just one capsule. Moreover, green tea extracts can be made from the leaf wastes left from processing green tea; this usually happens in more prominent manufacturers. 

Photograph: Deenida/Shutterstock

How can green tea extracts burn your fat?

Drinking green tea, in general, can raise your body’s metabolic rate; hence, you burn more calories just by having it in your system. Additionally, experts further explained that this is because of its natural ingredients, particularly (1) caffeine and (2) catechins. These two are common antioxidants that you can also find in fruits, coffee, dark chocolates and red wine. 

  • Caffeine ingredients in green tea extracts can aid fat burning. 

Green tea extracts have caffeine as one of their active ingredients. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that promotes fat burning in your body and even helps improve your exercise performance. An average cup of green tea typically has around 24 to 40 mg of caffeine, which is enough to help burn fat.

  • EGCG ingredients in green tea extracts can boost your metabolism. 

There are numerous antioxidants in green tea extracts, such as catechins and epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which refers to a substance that can help boost your metabolism. 

In order to burn fats, your body should break the fats first and move these into your bloodstream. Research suggests that the active compounds found in green tea can aid this procedure through boosting the effects of some fat-burning hormones. EGCG can help in producing an enzyme that breaks down fats.

Basically, green tea extracts can increase your hormonal levels, telling your fat cells to break down your excess fats. Consequently, the broken-down fats go to your bloodstream and can be used as energy [2]. 

Furthermore, green tea extracts can increase fat burning, especially during exercise or workouts. This type of supplement can increase the burning of fats during physical activities. In fact, there are several studies which concluded men who actually took a green tea extract before working out burned 17 percent more fat than men who did not take it. 

Taking green tea extracts can also reduce your regular appetite. You can easily lose weight with this because your intake of calories will be decreased than usual. 

Is it safe to take green tea extracts every day?

Taking green tea extracts is not the same as drinking cups of green tea. Although both have similar roots, their production process, active ingredient contents and effects on your body may vary. 

In drinking green tea, you must drink around eight (8) cups every day, as this is considered a moderate and safest amount to consume. Consuming more than eight cups of green tea may cause several negative side effects, such as mild to moderate headaches and irregular heartbeat. Over time, drinking excessive amounts of green tea may lead to liver injury. 

On the other hand, green tea extracts can be consumed in different forms, such as in capsules, liquid or powder. It is safe to take about 250 to 500 mg on a daily basis. This is suggested to be taken with food in your stomach. Taking more than this recommended amount may be toxic for you. 

Positive effects of taking green tea extracts 

Regular taking of one or two green tea extract supplements can give you a wide range of health benefits besides helping you burn your fats.

  • Fights cancer – One of green tea extract’s ingredients is catechins that are linked to fighting potential cancer cells. Catechins are an antioxidant that can block free radicals that affect your healthy cells and eventually lead to cancer. Taking green tea extracts can significantly reduce your risk of developing various types of cancer in the breast, colon, oral cavity, pancreas and prostate.
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease –  Regular taking of green tea extracts can decrease your possibility of having heart problems, including heart attack, chest pains or stroke. Green tea extracts can reduce your high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. 
  • Can improve your brain function – Significantly, green tea extracts can help improve your brain function. This includes your mood, vigilance, time responses and memory.

Negative effects of taking too many green tea extracts

The idea of green tea extracts as a fast fat-burning supplement and an effective booster to lose weight may excite you that much and take more than the recommended doses. Keep in mind that too much of anything is bad for you. You will be at risk if you consume too many green tea extracts. 

  • Short-term adverse effects –  Some short-term negative effects of taking too many green tea extracts are anxiety, tremors, irritability and sleeping problems. This is much more intense for those highly sensitive to caffeine [3].
  • Liver problems and other body organs are at risk – One major negative effect of taking too many green tea extracts is developing a liver problem, such as hepatitis or, worse, liver failure. Other organs of your body may be negatively impacted as well. Taking above 1000 mg of green tea extracts can indirectly affect your lymph nodes and spleen. 
  • Block certain medications – In addition, green tea extracts may have high doses of vitamin K that can make your medication on blood thinning, like warfarin and aspirin, ineffective; this is a good note for those with diabetes. Moreover, you may experience a severe increase in blood pressure if you take green tea extracts with Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs). Hence, it is recommended to consult your doctor before regularly taking supplements like green tea extracts. 
  • Risk of developing iron deficiency – Another thing to check before taking a green tea extract is its polyphenols content. Polyphenol is an antioxidant that can be good for you, but when taken in a high dose, this can give you health problems. Too much polyphenol can cause iron deficiency, most especially if you are borderline anaemic.
  • Lowers testosterone levels – Plus, taking a lot of green tea extracts can also make your testosterone levels decrease. This can further cause infertility issues for some men. 

Bottom line: Taking green tea extracts is an effective way to burn fats as they turn fats into usable energy in your body. Remember, though, that consuming green tea extracts moderately and sticking to the recommended doses should be followed at all times. 

Resources: 

[1] https://consumerreports.org/dieting-weight-loss/truth-about-green-tea-for-weight-loss/ 
[2] ​​https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/green-tea-and-weight-loss[3] https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content 

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