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How green tea can be used for weight loss

Tips and Advice

Green tea……..  You either like it or hate it Marmite style.

BUT…….  Just how effective is it for weight loss?

Most magazines and the general media big it up as a miracle weight loss drink but I asked assistant coach and sports scientist Alex Dowson to delve into the science behind it and find out just how effective it can be or is it at all…..


Green Tea Extract (GTE) is a herbal extract tea from the camellia sinesis plant originating in China, it has been a previous topic of healthy lifestyle promoters, being advertised as a fat burner, calorie burner, even a source for reduction in cancer risk. But is this backed in published scientific research and established theory?, rather than magazine articles.

GTE’s main effect in the body is increasing the activity of a physiological cycle called; adaptive thermogenesis in surface (subcutaneous) and deep (visceral) fat stores. This process describes how excess heat energy is released due to chemical reactions in our body’s metabolism of nutrients, rather than exercise induced calorie burning, this effectively increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR) this occurs due to actions of natural chemicals known as catechins and polyphenols that cause this effect. An average serving of green tea (250ml) contains between 50-100ml of catechins and up to 30ml of caffeine. Catechins & polyphenols have been found to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory type properties.

Benefits for Exercise


Benefits for Health
Post Exercise Fat Oxidation Disease Risk Factor Prevention
Post Exercise Calorie Burning Decreased Cell damage in Obesity
Increased Metabolic Rate at Rest Body Fat Loss
Stimulates Fat Transportation Weight Loss


Short Term Supplementation of GTE Extract

In time frames of 24hrs to 3 days, the consumption of -1000mg of daily GTE has some evidence to suggest an increase in non-exercising energy expenditure (EE) amongst active individuals. However amounts above 1000mg have not shown any significant advantages. Remember that 1 standard cup of Green Tea will be approximately 250ml, so in short term anything from 1-3 cups could help increase EE.

Long Term Supplementation of GTE Extract

In both sedentary and active individuals long term benefits of GTE can be seen at above 8 weeks, consuming between 1-4 cups of GTE per day. However, greater decreases in weight loss and total fat mass are more prominently found in obese populations, with dosages between 250mg-1000mg GTE per day, both with and without exercise. Active populations were found to have more consistent evidence of their physiology utilising fat stores more efficiently both during and after exercise, with dosages between 250mg-500mg GTE per day.


No Weight Loss Effects in GTE Extract

Some research shows that higher average amounts of GTE consumed per day (500mg +), in both active males and sedentary females to not be effective in the short or long term. But a key difference is that no exercise interventions were applied alongside the GTE supplementation, which may explain these differences in research findings especially in active participants.


Positive Health Benefits

  • Protecting DNA structure
  • Killing off cancer cells
  • Stopping cancer cell growth
  • Maintaining enzyme functioning
  • Improved Psychological Wellbeing


Reported Negative Health Effects

  • Gum Disease
  • Acute Liver Failure


Conclusion – Summary of Findings

Overall this research the controlled intake of GTE has been shown to be beneficial for enhancing fat loss and metabolic fat usage at rest and post exercise in the short term. Showing good statistical sources of data to support GTE’s use in fat loss and body fat reduction. From analysing the trend of supplementation protocols from the research, the optimal length of time is above 6 weeks, with these intake ranges (not exceeding 1000mg per day):


  • Sedentary lifestyle (Non-active) – 300mg-750mg GTE per day
  • Sedentary lifestyle (With exercise) – 250mg-500mg GTE per day
  • Active Lifestyle – 500mg-900mg GTE per day

So a little bit of science to understand but the conclusion is clear.

Thanks to Alex for his time in researching this subject. 

If you don’t want to have to drink 3-4 cups of green tea a day to lose bodyfat but you do need to lose it, then contact Mark 07930 753784 to discuss how we can help you to achieve your fitness and health goals.