Tea is essentially an infusion of vegetable leaves that contain some of the most potent natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant substances known on earth. Regular drinking of tea, green or black, is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and a lowered risk of several types of cancer, thanks to tea's high content of a catechin polymer called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.
Antioxidants are substances found in tea (and many other foods) that can prevent and slow the oxidative stress on the body which occurs naturally, but can be increased by things like exercise and a poor diet. There are many studies done on why antioxidants, especially those found in tea, are so beneficial for the body. But what most people really want to know is, can tea really help me lose weight? And the answer researchers keep finding is YES!
Studies comparing the fat burning properties of caffeine alone vs caffeine combine with EGCG show that the latter combination results in a 12% higher rate of fat burning, even when no exercise or other caloric restriction is present! That means that drinking tea even while sitting on the couch will burn more fat! One study concluded tea's "thermogenic properties could reside primarily in an interaction between its high content in catechin-polyphenols and caffeine." This flies directly in the face of the "Calories in-calories out" model where fat burning can be increased only by increasing physical activity, which is why people have such a hard time accepting that tea can actually help you lose weight.
This synergistic fat-burning result between caffeine and EGCG explains why tea has a greater effect on weight loss than taking either caffeine or EGCGs alone, along with the other great benefits tea has on preventing inflammation and weight gain (see my next blog!), tea truly can be called a super fat-burning beverage!
So drink up!