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General tea knowledge, Health

Tea for weight loss: which tea helps you slim down?

I often get this question: Can drinking tea help you lose weight? The short answer is yes, but as a tea sommelier and health expert, I prefer to provide a more nuanced answer. This way, I hope to encourage you to use tea not only to optimize your health but also to manage your weight. Tea has SO MUCH to offer.

Why a nuanced answer? The truth is, as always, more complex than a simple yes or no. The internet is full of various claims, making it difficult to distinguish between truth and nonsense. The over-commercialization of tea for weight loss—those products that are given a sort of ‘miracle’ status and often cost a fortune—often makes me skeptical. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the potential of tea either. That’s why I thought I would provide a very detailed and comprehensive story in this blog post, with references to scientific research. Additionally, you will learn how to properly incorporate tea into your life to lose weight.

Can drinking tea help you lose weight?

To begin with, I want to state clearly: tea is healthy. Period. There is absolutely no doubt about that. Many beverages we consume are unhealthy. In fact, almost all beverages we consume, aside from water, are unhealthy, with the exception of tea (one could make a case for red wine and coffee, but that’s a topic for other blogs). So, if you are drinking soda, juices, flavored water, or anything else, replacing them with tea is always a good idea! This even applies to light or zero-calorie products. Don’t be misled; zero calories do not necessarily mean it contributes to weight loss and sometimes it can have the opposite effect – the sweet experience can make you crave food and sweets, something tea does not do. Tea – from the Camellia Sinensis plant – does the opposite and can give a feeling of satiety. So, whatever tea you use to replace your existing drinks, you are making a good choice.

Which tea helps with weight loss?

In the tea world, there is one very important distinction to make. On one hand, we have real tea. This is tea from the tea plant (Camellia Sinensis). On the other hand, we have infusions. Think of fruit tea, chamomile tea, lavender tea, verbena, nettle tea, and so on. These are infusions that do not involve real tea leaves. Additionally, there are blends that contain both, for example, green tea with lemon peel (Lemon Sencha) or black tea with added fruits (Forest Walk). All of them can contribute to weight loss, but they do so in their own way.

Let’s first examine real tea. A lot of research has been done on this. You can find the scientific references at the end of this blog article

CAMELLIA SINENSIS

Green Tea

Green tea is known for its potential beneficial effect in contributing to weight loss. This is due to the presence of bioactive compounds, particularly catechins, in green tea. These compounds have various physiological effects, including boosting metabolism and promoting fat burning. An important aspect of green tea is its ability to support the body in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, which is ultimately what you want to achieve.

Boosts metabolism:

Green tea contains caffeine and antioxidants, such as EGCG, which can stimulate metabolism. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract increased fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise.

Increases fat burning:

Research shows that the catechins in green tea can help with fat burning. A study in The Journal of Nutrition demonstrated that participants who drank green tea and exercised regularly lost more abdominal fat than those who did not.

Suppresses appetite:

Green tea can help suppress appetite, leading to reduced calorie intake. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that participants who drank green tea felt less hungry and consumed fewer calories than the placebo group.

Increases fat burning during exercise:

Some studies suggest that green tea can help burn more fat during exercise. A study in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed that green tea extract increased fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise.

While green tea offers benefits on its own, combining it with exercise appears to enhance the effects. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract combined with exercise further increased fat oxidation.

Conclusion: green tea as a support for a healthy lifestyle

In conclusion, green tea, supported by scientific research, offers significant benefits for weight loss. The catechins in green tea have proven effects on metabolism, fat burning, and appetite reduction. Additionally, it appears to promote the reduction of abdominal fat, which is beneficial for overall health. However, it is important for individuals to have realistic expectations and consider green tea as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise.

Matcha Teanippon ceremoniele matcha

Matcha is a special form of green tea that has gained popularity in recent years due to its purported health benefits, including weight loss. Unlike regular green tea, matcha is made by grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder, meaning you consume the entire leaf and retain all its nutrients.

How can matcha help with weight loss? Here are some scientifically supported reasons:

Increases fat burning:

Matcha contains a high level of catechins, especially EGCG, which can stimulate fat burning. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that matcha increased thermogenesis (the process by which the body burns calories to generate heat) and promoted fat oxidation in healthy young men.

Boosts metabolism:

The combination of caffeine and EGCG in matcha can increase metabolism, helping to burn more calories. Research has shown that drinking matcha can lead to an increase in resting metabolic rate, as reported in a study in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology.

Regulates blood sugar levels:

Matcha can help keep blood sugar levels stable, which in turn can help prevent overeating and reduce body fat storage. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that EGCG in matcha improved insulin sensitivity in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Suppresses appetite:

The combination of caffeine and EGCG can also help suppress appetite, leading to reduced calorie intake. A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that matcha increased feelings of satiety and reduced the urge to eat in healthy women.

White Tea

Like green tea and matcha, white tea is known for its potential to support weight loss. However, white tea also has unique properties that can contribute to this goal. Let’s look at some scientifically supported aspects of how white tea can help with weight loss:

Inhibits fat storage:

White tea contains compounds that can inhibit lipogenesis, the process of fat storage in the body. A study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism found that white tea extracts reduced the formation of new fat cells and promoted the breakdown of fats in mice.

Silver Needle White TeaImproves insulin sensitivity:

Insulin resistance can contribute to weight gain and obesity. Research suggests that white tea can improve insulin sensitivity, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent excessive fat storage. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that white tea extract improved insulin sensitivity in mice fed a high-fat diet.

Promotes thermogenesis:

Thermogenesis is the process by which the body burns calories to produce heat. White tea can increase thermogenesis, leading to more calories being burned. Research in the International Journal of Obesity showed that drinking white tea increased thermogenesis in healthy volunteers, which can contribute to weight loss.

Suppresses fat tissue formation:

In addition to inhibiting fat storage, white tea can also reduce the formation of fat tissue. A study in the journal Food & Function found that white tea extract decreased the expression of genes involved in fat cell formation, which can lead to less fat accumulation.

White tea offers unique benefits that can aid in weight loss, in addition to the well-known effects of green tea and matcha.

Conclusion: Camellia Sinensis has a positive impact on weight loss

In the research on the effect of tea on weight loss, white and green tea were by far the most studied. However, these conclusions can be extended to all true teas or Camellia Sinensis – including black tea, oolong, and puerh, for example. The explanation for the many mechanisms by which tea affects your metabolism lies in the compounds it contains. These are substances such as antioxidants, catechins, caffeine, EGCG, and L-theanine, for instance. Since all true teas (white, green, oolong, black, and puerh) come from the same plant, the tea plant or Camellia Sinensis, they all contain these substances.

The production process differs for these various teas, hence there are differences. For example, white tea has more EGCG, but black tea has much more L-theanine. Alternating between different types of tea is therefore a good idea. It is important to choose pure tea. Iced teas usually have added sugar, and some blends may also contain added sugars.

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HERBAL TEA

Herbal teas also have several good candidates to support your mission to lose weight. Below, I will discuss two that are supported by a lot of scientific research: rooibos and ginger tea.

Rooibos Tea

Regulates blood sugar levels:Rooibosthee

One of the key aspects of weight management is maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Rooibos tea has been shown to be effective in regulating blood sugar levels, preventing spikes and crashes. This can help reduce cravings for sugary snacks and prevent overeating.

Improves fat metabolism:

Research has indicated that rooibos tea can improve fat metabolism. A study published in Phytomedicine found that rooibos extract increased the activity of certain enzymes involved in fat metabolism, allowing the body to burn fat more efficiently.

Suppresses appetite:

Rooibos tea can also help suppress appetite, making it easier to eat less and reduce calorie intake. An experiment with rats conducted at Stellenbosch University showed that the group given rooibos extract ate significantly less food than the control group.

Promotes healthy digestion:

Rooibos tea is known for its soothing effects on the digestive system. It can help alleviate stomach cramps, indigestion, and other digestive issues, making you feel more comfortable after meals and less likely to overeat.

Ginger Tea

Boosts metabolism:

Ginger contains active compounds, such as gingerol and shogaol, which can increase metabolism. A higher metabolism means your body burns more calories, even at rest. By regularly drinking ginger tea, you can boost your metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.

Suppresses appetite:

Ginger also has appetite-suppressing properties, making it easier to eat less and reduce calorie intake. A study published in the journal Metabolism showed that ginger consumption can increase feelings of satiety, reducing the need for snacks and large meals.

Improves digestion:

Healthy digestion is essential for weight loss, and ginger can help with this. Ginger stimulates digestion by promoting the production of digestive enzymes and speeding up the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. This can help reduce bloating, gas, and constipation, making you feel lighter and more energetic.

Regulates blood sugar levels:

Ginger can also help stabilize blood sugar levels, which is important for weight management. By preventing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, ginger tea can help reduce cravings for sweet and calorie-dense foods, making it easier to maintain healthy eating habits.

Increases fat burning:

Research suggests that ginger can help increase fat burning. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that consuming ginger powder can lead to increased fat oxidation and a reduction in body fat mass in overweight individuals.

Other Important Factors

Infusions improve sleep quality:

A good night’s sleep is essential for healthy weight loss. Herbal teas contain no caffeine and often have a relaxing effect, making them an ideal choice for an evening drink to help promote good sleep. Adequate sleep can support hormonal balance and regulate appetite.

Tea hydrates the body:

Proper hydration is important for a healthy metabolism and weight loss. Tea is an excellent hydrating drink option without added sugars or calories, making it a healthy alternative to sugary beverages.

Stress relief:

Chronic stress can lead to weight gain due to the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which can increase appetite and promote fat storage. Rooibos tea contains antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce stress, having a calming effect on the body and potentially reducing stress-related weight gain.

Conclusion: herbal tea has a positive impact on weight loss

Herbs are very pure and are known in the kitchen for their versatile health benefits. It is no surprise that they also have a lot to contribute to weight loss through various mechanisms such as reducing stress, improving sleep, activating metabolism, and more.

Are there teas you should avoid if you want to lose weight? If you aim to lose weight, it is best to focus on very pure teas or herbal blends. You should avoid very sweet teas with ingredients like candied fruit. Additionally, prioritize Camellia Sinensis and pure herbs over fruit teas. The latter do not contain much sugar—almost none since they are infusions. However, pure herbs and real tea have more compounds to offer that can contribute to your weight loss journey.

Sources

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Venables, M. C., Hulston, C. J., Cox, H. R., & Jeukendrup, A. E. (2008). Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 87(3), 778–784.

Diepvens, K., Westerterp, K. R., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2007). Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 292(1), R77–R85.

Kao, Y. H., Hiipakka, R. A., & Liao, S. (2000). Modulation of endocrine systems and food intake by green tea epigallocatechin gallate. Endocrinology, 141(3), 980–987.

Dombrowski, S. U., Knittle, K., Avenell, A., Araújo-Soares, V., & Sniehotta, F. F. (2014). Long term maintenance of weight loss with non-surgical interventions in obese adults: systematic review and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials. BMJ, 348, g2646.

“Green Tea and Weight Loss: What You Need to Know” door Rachael Link, MS, RD op Healthline.com

“Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults” – Maki KC, Reeves MS, Farmer M, et al. (2009) – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

“Effects of epigallocatechin gallate on thermogenesis and fat oxidation in obese men: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study” – Dulloo AG, Duret C, Rohrer D, et al. (1999) – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

“Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans” – Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE (2008) – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

“Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans” – Venables MC, Hulston CJ, Cox HR, Jeukendrup AE (2008) – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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“Comparison of catechin metabolism in human subjects consuming whole tea leaves and extracted green tea” – Unno T, Takeuchi N, Ishii A, et al. (2018) – Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology

“Epigallocatechin gallate attenuates diet-induced obesity in mice by decreasing energy absorption and increasing fat oxidation” – Klaus S, Pültz S, Thöne-Reineke C, et al. (2005) – Journal of Medicinal Food

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“Inhibitory effect of white tea on adipocyte differentiation by modulation of AMP-activated protein kinase” – Komatsu T, Nakamori M, Komatsu K, et al. (2016) – Food & Function

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Mazibuko-Mbeje SE, Dludla PV, Roux C, et al. “The Effect of Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos) Extract on Adipogenesis.” Phytomedicine, vol. 64, 2019, 153074.

Muller CJF, Joubert E, Gabuza K, et al. “The effects of the aqueous extract of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) and its phenolic compounds on glucose uptake and utilisation by muscle cells.” Phytomedicine, vol. 21, no. 5, 2014, pp. 546-553.

Mansour MS, Ni Y-M, Roberts AL, et al. “Ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of satiety without affecting metabolic and hormonal parameters in overweight men: A pilot study.” Metabolism, vol. 61, no. 10, 2012, pp. 1347-1352.

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The products featured in this blog post

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    At Thee.be, we are very pleased to introduce this Korean green tea. We've been fans from the very start. After tasting the first batch, we quickly became convinced that this is a green tea that our community must try. When one thinks of green tea,...

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