By Lauren Jacobsen
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
What Is It?
Green tea, also known as camellia sinensis, has been used for years in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to treat a range of health problems. More recently, however, it has been shown to have fat-burning and metabolism-boosting abilities. Unlike other teas, green tea does not undergo fermentation, giving it the highest concentration of polyphenols.
What Does It Do?
Although drinking tea can be somewhat useful, it is the extracted source of the green tea’s polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, that will give you the greatest benefit. Researchers believe that EGCG may prolong the effects of norepinephrine (NE), one of the body’s key stimulating chemicals. This results in greater production of NE, allowing it to stay active for longer periods, increasing your body’s chances of being able to burn calories and fat for longer.
Who Should Use It?
In addtion to green tea extract providing a concentrated dose of EGCG, it also provides a certain amount of caffeine. If you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, you may want to consider using a caffeine-free version of green tea extract. In addition to the weight-loss benefits, green tea’s polyphenols may also lower your cholesterol and discourage the growth of cancerous cells.
Where Can I Find It?
Green tea can be found at your local grocery store, and the extract in most health/nutrition stores. Studies support pairing it with caffeine, as participants who consumed 90 mg of EGCG alongside caffeine were found to burn an additional 80 calories per day, when at rest.
How Do I Take It?
As with most herbs and supplements, there is no go-to dosage, but the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends an extract with 100 to 750 mg of EGCG. As mentioned, research also suggests a green tea extract with at least 80 mg of caffeine for an increase in energy expenditure that will keep your body in fat-burning mode, even after you’ve left the gym.