Green Tea Extract: Uses, Side Effects & Health Benefits for Weight Loss

Green tea has been enjoyed across the planet for thousands of years. There’s even an ancient saying that goes: “better three days without food than tea”.

Green tea extract is exactly the same as the bitter drink, but comes in a more concentrated powder form. It has identical active ingredients, but they’re condensed into a tiny powder.


So you don’t have to brew a bag or stir any leaves to enjoy all the health benefits green tea has to offer. All the antioxidants and potent weight-loss powers are all available in a handy, convenient capsule.


If you’ve ever come across green tea extract, chances are it was at the supplement store. It’s also a really popular addition to weight loss aids, thanks to its natural ability to burn fat.


The health benefits of the wonder plant don’t just end there, though. Green tea has shown it can help keep your heart and liver healthy, look after your skin, boost brain health, and even protect against certain cancers (1).


Green tea really is nature’s tiny powerhouse when it comes to weight loss and wellbeing.


Keep reading to find out more.


How does green tea help you lose weight?

Green tea extract can provide great, natural support for your weight loss journey. Studies have shown it to be beneficial time and time again, lending a hand in not one, but two unique ways.


Inside every leaf of green tea are a handful of ingredients that provide its weight loss effects (2)(3)(4). It’s rich in catechins, which are potent antioxidizing compounds, and has ample caffeine too.


Thermogenesis

Interestingly, catechins and caffeine can both boost thermogenesis. This is a process where your body raises its temperature slightly, which also increases your metabolism.


Put plainly, thermogenesis is when your body burns calories to digest food and produces heat as a side effect.


Just by nourishing your body with green tea, you can accelerate your natural calorie burn (5). You don’t even have to exercise more – the boost in calorie burn happens regardless.


One 12-week study on 115 obese women saw a daily dose of 856 mg of green tea extract cause 2.4 lb. of weight loss (6). Another showed that 10 healthy men who took a green tea extract (50 mg caffeine / 90 mg ECGC) boosted their calorie burn by 4% the following day (7).


In a more long-term study, scientists studied 60 obese people for three months to see how green tea extract changed their weight loss progress. By the end of the study, those who took the green tea extract lost a whole 7.3 lb. more than the ones who didn’t (8).




Better fat burning

Believe it or not, green tea can actually make you better at unlocking fat to burn.


Experts believe that certain compounds in green tea have the ability to amplify the effects of fat burning hormones like noradrenaline. EGCG, for example, can help restrict enzymes that inhibit this hormone (9).


By restricting this enzyme, noradrenaline levels increase, which can then boost lipolysis. Lipolysis is the process of breaking down fats into useable fatty acids.


Green tea’s caffeine content also contributes in the same way. Much like EGCG, caffeine also triggers your nervous system to increase blood levels of a hormone (epinephrine) that enhances lipolysis (10).


In short, green tea can help you unlock fat from fat tissue.


Could suppress appetite

It’s impossible to say outright that green tea suppresses appetite as the evidence isn’t conclusive enough to confirm it. However, some studies suggest green tea could be most effective as part of a group of ingredients (11)(12).


Is it safe?

As a drink, green tea is enjoyed by people of all ages across the globe. When drunk responsibly, it’s one of the healthiest and safest drinks there is.


Drinking green tea is considered safe if you’re not going over eight cups a day. Go over that amount and the caffeine content could start to give you side effects.


But what about green tea extract? After all, it’s much more potent in this more concentrated form.


According to the National Institute of Health, you shouldn’t take any more than 500 mg of catechins a day (13). Because although they’re antioxidants, too much can stop the mitochondria in your cells from helping your body turn food into energy.


Overconsuming green tea extract can also contribute to liver damage and failure according to a 2017 review (14). The researchers who wrote the paper also suggest an upper limit of 300 mg EGCG be put in place to keep yourself safe and healthy.


Unfortunately, some supplement companies overfill their capsules with green tea extract and higher amounts of EGCG. This is not only dangerous but irresponsible.


We have added a sensible, but potent 500 mg of green tea extract to our Hourglass Fit formula. Within that 500 mg, 45% is the health promoting antioxidant EGCG.


Bottom line – green tea extract should be safe when taken responsibly. That’s why we’ve provided an amount that’s potent enough to give you all the benefits without risking your health.


Health benefits of green tea extract

So far, we’ve only really delved into the weight loss perks of green tea. But what about all through the health benefits of this unique, bitter brew?


Here are some of the ways it could give your wellbeing a lift.


Could reduce the risk of cancer

Yes – that’s right. Besides helping you lose weight and live better, green tea could also reduce your risk of cancer.


Remember when we mentioned green tea was full of antioxidants? It turns out they’re great at helping to keep cells functional and cancer free – especially EGCG (15)(16).


Cancer forms when there’s an imbalance between old cells dying and new cells being grown. Instead of stem cells creating new functional cells, they create dysfunctional ones that grow uncontrollably.


One meta-analysis showed that women who drank green tea reduced their likelihood of developing breast cancer by 20-30% (17). Given that breast cancer is the most common kind among women, that could be seen as a staggering amount.


Another analysis of 29 studies saw that drinking green tea could also reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer by 42% (18). While further research suggests it can lower the chances of developing bladder cancer too (19).


May protect against fatty liver disease

Unlike green tea’s anti-cancer benefits, there’s only a handful studies to suggest this.


According to one team of researchers, green tea helped to reduce the symptoms of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in patients (20). The experts behind it believed this was most likely due to the antioxidant powers of EGCG.


Another, smaller study on 17 NAFLD patients also saw positive interactions.


They had their test subjects take a minimum of one gram of catechins every day for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the scientists saw significant reductions in liver fat content, alongside decreased inflammation and oxidative stress (21).


Helps heart health

We all want to keep our hearts happy and healthy. It just so happens that green tea can help us here too.


The catechins inside green tea show several signs for looking after your heart (22). They’re anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-hypertensive – the latter being something that can keep blood pressure down.


It’s not just the regular antioxidizing effects we’ve talked about that benefit your heart’s wellbeing. Experts say that catechins can directly influence heart cells in a positive way (22).


Remember how green tea can increase your body’s ability to use fat? By doing so, these tiny leaves could also reduce the risk of hypertension and improve cardiac health (23)




Can be good for your skin and hair

Green tea seems to help keep skin healthy and treat a number of dermatological conditions (24). The good news is it seems to be effective as both a drink and supplement.


Skin problems including warts, rosacea, and dermatitis all seem to benefit from the bitter leaf. Acne, skin elasticity, and skin aging can all be helped too when green tea supplements are taken (25)(26)(27).


Heading out on vacation soon? One study showed that applying a green tea extract cream to your skin can reduce skin damage caused by the sun exposure (28). Another suggests it could even prevent premature aging from UV rays (29).


But what about your hair?


One very tiny study suggests that green tea could be a safe way to keep your hair fresh and free from grease. But, like we said, this was a very small study of only 20 people (30).


Can improve brain power

Ever drank a caffeinated drink and found your ability to focus move up a notch? Maybe you’re keen on a cup of coffee to get your brain through a Wednesday afternoon slump.


If that’s you, it could be time to give green tea a try. Either that or green tea extract, and here’s why.


Green tea contains caffeine, which when consumed in low to moderate doses can block adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter. By doing this, caffeine also helps to increase levels of other neurotransmitters and allows certain neurons to fire faster (30).


Naturally, this can alter how your brain operates.


One large review of 41 human studies says that caffeine can boost both your mood and cognitive function (32). And as green tea contains caffeine, it also has mood- and brain-boosting properties.


The benefits don’t just stop there, though. Green tea also contains L-theanine – a brain-barrier-crossing amino acid.


Research has shown that L-theanine can boost the activity of the anti-anxiety neurotransmitter GABA, as well as dopamine and alpha brain waves (33)(34). Together these help to smooth out the edgy buzz caffeine can sometimes cause.


Experts in brain boosting began to call this combination Smart Caffeine. Because according to their studies, mixing caffeine with L-theanine has a unique way of perking up your brain’s performance (35)(36)(37).


Bottom line – green tea extract can provide a calmer, less intense buzz compared to coffee. The smart caffeine combination could help you focus better during the day.


Side effects

Most people enjoy green tea extract without experiencing side effects.


However, taking too much does come with risks, as outlined above. Some supplement companies disregard the safety of their customers, so make sure you don’t use a product with more than a single 500 mg EGCG serving.


Green tea is also caffeinated. Even though it contains a small amount, it could cause side effects. Because green tea extract is concentrated, it may contain more caffeine – which is something to think about if you’re sensitive to stimulants.


So, if you’re caffeine sensitive, be careful when using green tea extract. Try not take it close to when you want to go to sleep or it could disrupt your rest.


It’s also a good idea that all people who take green tea extract lower their general caffeine intake. That means cutting back on how many cups of coffee you drink at work and keeping an eye on teas too.


What does the science say?

The science behind green tea extract’s weight-loss benefits is conclusive. Unlike some other supplements out there, it’s been proven time and time again to work.


We’ve referenced countless studies so far in this article. However, one scientific factor we’ve not touched on yet is that you need to control calories to lose weight healthily.


You can’t lose body fat without eating fewer calories than you burn – that’s a fact (38). You don’t need to eat much less either – just a small 10% reduction is enough for healthy, gradual weight loss.


Green tea extract can allow your body to unlock and use fats better, while also increasing your daily calorie burn. This can give you the little extra push you need to achieve even better results after all your hard work.


Green tea extract isn’t a magic potion. Experts all agree that healthy weight loss comes from positive lifestyle changes and having a good relationship with food. Supplements like green tea extract are just there to offer support.


The Final Word

Green tea really is one of nature’s most beneficial beverages. It can help you live longer, boost your brain power, and even keep your hair and skin looking their best.


For thousands of years, people across the globe have been drinking green tea. All the while the tiny, crushed up leaves have been helping people live healthier, happier lives. And its two-pronged approach to weight loss plays a big role in that.


Green tea extract is simply a concentrated form of this wonder plant. It’s added to supplements so users can get all the amazing benefits of green tea, but in much more manageable amounts. Instead of drinking several cups, you can just take a capsule.


Countless studies show how green tea extract can support your weight-loss progress. Not only does it speed up your metabolism, but also changes how your body unlocks fats for the better.


Green tea extract has a high safety score too when taken in the right amounts. That’s why we’ve opted for a generous, but sensible 500 mg, which should effective without risking your wellbeing.


One thing to always remember about green tea extract is that it contains caffeine. Even though it’s only small compared to a cup of coffee, it’s still in there. If you’re sensitive to stimulants, we always recommend being careful by testing a small dose first.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Results in the Testimonials may not be typical and your results may vary. Not all people will obtain the same results. These products are intended to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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**Glucomannan has been recognised by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in relation to weight loss.

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