Green tea has steadily been growing from a fitness fad to a respected part of a healthy lifestyle. Its high level of antioxidants have fans claiming it has anti-ageing properties and even that it helps to prevent the cancerous cells forming.
But can drinking green tea help you lose weight and hit your fitness goals?
How does green tea make you lose weight?
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that help the body break down fat. This fat is then absorbed into your blood and can be easily used by the body as energy. So in drinking green tea, you’ll be maximising your exercise potential for fat burning.
When should you drink green tea if you are working out?
Drinking green tea around an hour before a workout will give your body enough time to get the beneficial effects prepped. As well as breaking down fat for more energy, green tea will give you a dose of caffeine to give you a boost throughout your workout. Green tea is popular because it is much lower in caffeine than many alternatives. So for those wanting a more natural push with little risk of a slump when the caffeine wears off, this is a good choice.
Another difference in the green tea caffeine effect compared to other caffeinated drinks like coffee is the lower risk of anxiousness. If you find that high caffeine drinks leave you feeling almost too alert and a little uncomfortable, green tea could be a good alternative. Green tea contains amino acids that affect the brain. They help the body to release dopamine and increase GABA neurotransmissions. In short, they have a calming and stabilising effect on your mood and anxiety levels.
So, not only will you have more fat broken down and primed to be burned and turned into lean muscle, you’ll also have more caffeine to do more fat burning exercises.
Should you drink green tea if you are mass gaining?
You can still consume green tea and feel the benefits even if you are not looking to lose weight. The natural caffeine levels can be used pre-workout to power through your weights workout. As long as you are giving your muscles the exercises and protein to grow, that is where the broken down fat cells will be used.
Should you drink green tea or just take extracts?
It’s a totally personal choice. You will get a benefit from both options. If you don’t like the taste, for example, extracts will be the obvious choice. Extracts also have the added benefit of being easily portable and easy to consume on the go.
If you are the type who craves a snack when you are bored rather than hungry, then drinking green tea will provide the extra benefit of distraction. Plus, the water content will help to ward off any thirst/hunger mixed signals.
Alternatively, you could mix the benefits of green tea with other specially selected products. Look for green tea content next time you are choosing a pre-workout mix or replenishing your supplements stock.