You might know of Green Tea as the drink of choice by zen-sipping yogis. While in spite of its caffeine content, Green Tea does contain the amino acid L-Theanine (source), known for its calming effect on the nervous system, Green Tea can be a beneficial tool in increasing metabolism and burning fat in an effort to lose weight and increase leanness.
Green Tea and Metabolism
Green tea has been shown to improve metabolism. One study showed a 4% increase in energy expenditure with those participants that supplemented with green tea extract. While green tea does contain some caffeine (about 1/3 the amount of coffee), the thermogenic affect that green tea has is attributed to its high amounts of catechins and polyphenols. This thermogenic affect has been shown to promote fat oxidation, the process, which breaks down stored fat in the body into smaller particles and fatty acids, which can be used as a form of energy.
Green Tea and Recovery from Exercise
The catechins and polyphenols found in green tea have been described by PubMed as,
“Effective scavengers of reactive oxygen species in vitro and may also function indirectly as antioxidants through their effects on transcription factors and enzyme activities.”
Basically, these compounds find waste and toxins and expedite their elimination within body tissue and cells. Catechins in particular have been shown to increase the antioxidant function of green tea (Source) and scientific studies have shown that drinking green tea improves biomarkers associated with oxidative stress. (Source, Source).
Green Tea Antioxidant Profile (source):
- 7 times that of Dark Chocolate
- 6.2 times that of Goji Berries
- 17 times that of Wild Blueberries
- 60.5 times that of Spinach
While drinking green tea throughout the day has its benefits (and if you’re someone with adrenal issues or chronically elevated cortisol, swapping the coffee for green tea is a good option), studies show that the absorption of polyphenols was enhanced when they were given to healthy individuals as a green tea extract supplement in capsule form (source). This can be in a capsule or powder form. Capsules are convenient, especially when traveling, but powders can be added to smoothies, juices and meals throughout the day. Try the recipes below and let us know your favorite ways to include green tea in your day.
Green Tea Blueberry Protein Antioxidant Smoothie
- 1.5 cups unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 scoop Vanilla whey protein powder
- ½ cup blueberries (another powerful antioxidant)
- 1/8 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 scoop Green Tea Extract
- Bonus: Include a scoop of Green Superfood for extra antioxidants