Green tea and green tea extracts have been used for years to support detoxification and weight loss, as well as being encouraged as a vital part of a healthy diet. Although the idea of using green tea for weight loss may not be new, or may spark a recollection of headlines in news articles in the past decade, fewer individuals fully understand the health benefits of green tea, and understand how green tea plays a role in healthy weight loss and effective detoxification.
How exactly has green tea come to be listed among the most healthy beverages out there? A significant source of the hype comes from this drink's ability to aid detoxification pathways and promote a healthy weight.
What Is Green Tea Detox and Weight Loss?
Green tea detox and weight loss products have surged to the top of popular health trends currently catching the attention of Americans and people all over the world. The combination of green tea and other natural ingredients is most frequently used to promote the idea of simultaneously targeting detox and weight loss.
What is important to understand is that detoxification is not relegated to detox diets and short-term regimens to purge the body, but can (and should!) come as a result of day-to-day habits and practices. Just as weight loss efforts are not a one-time attempt, that can be maintained without any attention or effort in perpetuity, detoxification of the body requires continual investment of time and energy, even if that time and energy is as simple or basic as including green tea in your weight management regimen and as part of your ideal balanced diet and consuming plenty of water.
What Does It Involve?
While it may sound complicated, detoxification and weight loss efforts do not have to involve complicated supplement regimens or even a dedicated detox tea or product. Instead, it can involve consuming 3-6 cups of green tea each day, whether hot or cold. This particular type of "detox tea" (i.e. green tea itself) is one of the simplest items to include into your daily habits, because it does not require removing certain foods or lowering your calorie intake; instead, it merely requires a healthy and nourishing diet and regular activity or movement.
Benefits of Green Tea for Detox and Weight Loss
Green tea is useful for many different things, in part due to the caffeine intake necessarily indulged in when consuming the tea, and in part due to the many healthy components found in tea leaves. These components have been linked to countless health benefits when included as part of your daily diet, including:
- Fat loss
- Weight loss and maintenance
- Detoxification and liver/kidney support
- Cancer prevention
- Heart disease prevention
- Cognitive function improvement
- Alzheimer's protection and treatment
- Decreased insulin resistance
- Dermatitis prevention and treatment
Beneficial Chemical Components Found in Green Tea
The beneficial components found in green tea can be linked to improvement in energy levels, immune function, fat storage, and even cholesterol levels. These components include all of the following:
- Antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful components found in green tea, because they are able to reduce the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Free radicals have been linked to cancer cells in the lungs, liver, and prostate, as well as autoimmune disorders, and advanced aging.
- Catechins. Catechins are phytochemicals with strong ties to reduced inflammation in the body, especially in relation to IBS and many of the harmful toxins the body endures as a result of high levels of inflammation. Through their mechanisms of action, catechins may help people lose weight.
- Polyphenols. Like catechins, polyphenols reduce inflammation in the body. Potential benefits of increased polyphenol intake include protection against cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more.
- L-Theanine. L-theanine showed powerful anti-anxiety effects in one study, going so far as to improve cognitive function and reduce overall symptoms of anxiety, including both the mental and physical experiences associated with anxiety and stress.
How Can Green Tea Help with Detox and Weight Loss, According to Science?
While fad diets are not usually supported by scientific evidence, green tea has long been recognized as a useful part of an overall nutritious diet, with plenty of potential benefits. Two of the ways that scientific inquiry has investigated and encouraged the use of green tea are use as a weight loss support and use as a detoxification pathway support. There is far more evidence to suggest that green tea is useful in helping lose weight than there is evidence to support the notion of green tea being used as a detox and cleanse system (in large part because the body possesses a natural, built-in detox system by way of the liver and kidneys). Nevertheless, one study published in the Journal of Nutritional biochemistry did determine that green tea "exhibits protective effects against these toxins and toxicants".
If that is not enough to encourage the use of green tea as a means to detox and cleanse your body, there are numerous resources demonstrating the value of using green tea as a support for losing weight. These include:
- Green tea (brews and extracts) may support healthy weight maintenance and increase HDL cholesterol levels.
- Green tea may increase fat oxidation and increase energy.
- Green tea may help populations with MS reduce their BMI and waist circumference.
- Green tea may be used as a therapeutic agent to ward off high blood pressure, Parkinson's Disease, excess weight, esophageal disease, skin damage, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol, and Alzheimer's Disease.
Because the body has its own method of taking care of toxins, green tea is not scientifically recognized or recommended as a dedicated detoxification product, but is instead encouraged as part of a generally healthy source of fluid intake which can improve overall health, thereby improving the function of the body's natural detoxification pathways.
Potential Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Green Tea
Consumed in high quantities, green tea has been linked to anxiety, digestive upset, and difficulty sleeping. These side effects may be a result of the caffeine content found in tea, as ingesting high levels of caffeine can create feelings of unease and discomfort in the body, can cause laxative-like effects, and can act as an energizer. Typically, green tea studies limit the amount of cups consumed each day to 2-4 cups, and it is highly unlikely additional cups of caffeine per day will provide additional benefits. Making sure tea is brewed in appropriate amounts (meaning amounts that follow the recommendations regarding tea strength and brew duration) can also help mitigate these effects.
Tea also possesses the polyphenols EGCG and tannins, which can bind to vitamins and minerals and prevent them from being absorbed in the body. Additional studies show that taking in too much green tea, whether in the form of a tablet or supplement or a cuppa, can actually prove harmful to the body, if it means that the body cannot garner vitamins and minerals from the food being eaten.
Recommended Amounts of Green Tea for Detox and Weight Loss
A rigorous journal, the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: The Official Journal of Isfahan University, evaluated the effects of consuming this particular type of tea and its weight loss effect, and found that drinking four cups of tea per day led to a significant reduction in both weight and systolic blood pressure. Body weight reduction is more fully supported using green tea, though green tea is of course not intended to take the place of a healthy diet, regular movement, or generally healthy habits.
As mentioned earlier, there are few clinical studies that possess the same rigorous requirements that evaluate the ability of green tea's detoxifying effects. Consequently, there are not distinct consumption levels recommended for tea-induced detoxification. Instead, you can follow the basic guidelines provided by current studies, which hover between 2 and 6 cups per day, with many of them landing squarely on the number 4.
Popular Ways to Use Green Teas for Detox and Weight Loss
The most popular way to use tea to shed excess weight is a simple cup of brewed tea. Tea can be brewed hot or cold; neither one is recommended as having more substantial benefits. This is arguably the easiest and most accessible way to consume tea, as tea bags and loose-leaf tea are likely to be found anywhere you can purchase coffee, energy drinks, soda, and more. From grocery stores to gas stations, tea bags are not often hard to come by.
If tea bags and loose-leaf tea are not preferred, tea extracts can be used. It is important to note that different extracts are made using different types of green tea, all of which can taste different and have different components (though they all possess the same basic nutrients). Determining which extracts and supplements will best work for your goals will be the best way to determine if basic brewed tea or extracts and supplements are the best way to add green tea to your move toward a healthy lifestyle.
Combining the antioxidant properties of both green tea leaves and coffee can help promote improvements to metabolism rate and spur weight loss. We offer a green tea coffee that provides the essential nutrients found in both green tea and coffee, and has only to be paired with hot water in order to consume and begin your move toward integrating anti-inflammatory properties into your weight loss efforts.
Green tea is a wonderful addition to the arsenal of most people looking to improve blood sugar levels, lose weight, and support overall health and longevity. While there is not enough evidence to scientifically support the notion of using green tea as a detoxification agent, green tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation, improve health, and support the body's natural functions, all of which can reduce the burden of needing to eliminate undue numbers of toxins and harmful components within the body. Whether it is accomplished using cups of green tea, a green tea extract, or a more efficient system combining coffee and green tea, many people who implement green tea into their daily routine experience the health benefits of doing so, including weight loss and the maintenance of healthy metabolic processes.