Connect
To Top


Green Tea to Get Lean

In a recent study a group of researchers managed to separate the normal fat-burning effects produced by exercise and compare them to what happens when green tea is drunk before the exercise.


In a recent study a group of researchers managed to separate the normal fat-burning effects produced by exercise and compare them to what happens when green tea is drunk before the exercise.1

The two-part study featured 12 young men, average age 26. In the first part they took a capsule containing ingredients equivalent to 3 1/2 cups of green tea three times a day, the last one hour before exercise. Other subjects got a placebo containing corn flour. The exercise consisted of 30 minutes of cycling at an intensity equal to 60 percent of maximum heart rate—low-intensity exercise that past studies have shown is optimal for fat oxidation. In the second part of the study 11 of the men took an oral glucose-tolerance test before and after taking green tea capsules.

Those who took the green tea capsules had a 17 percent greater contribution of fat to energy expenditure during exercise than those who took the placebo. That scale of fat oxidation was over and above what usually occurs during exercise, pointing to a definite green tea effect. The second part of the study showed that green tea increased insulin sensitivity by 13 percent, which reduces the insulin response to a glucose load by 15 percent.

Green tea is known to modulate glucose metabolism. It boosts the activity of GLUT4, the primary carrier of glucose into muscle, which itself would increase insulin sensitivity. It also mimics the effects of insulin cell receptor binding, thus boosting glucose uptake into cells. Through encouraging the oxidation rather than the storage of fat, green tea reduces intramuscular fat increase. That’s significant because that kind of fat can also produce insulin resistance—although not in those who work out regularly.

As for fat oxidation, one mechanism involves the inhibition of an enzyme that breaks down catecholamines, such as norepinephrine, which are involved in fat oxidation. Prolonging the activity of catecholamines results in greater fat oxidation. Green tea also elevates the amount of various proteins involved in fat transport and oxidation, especially if used for longer periods. Green tea is known to reduce the content of malonyl coenzyme-A, the substance produced by carbohydrates that blocks fat oxidation during exercise. The effect would be to increase the potency of carnitine transport of fat into the mitochondria for fat oxidation, a.k.a. beta oxidation.

Another study, this time involving isolated fat cells, found that green tea can inhibit the development of new fat cells.2 The mechanism involved an inhibition of GPDH, an enzyme, along with the inhibition of PPAR-gamma, a protein that boosts bodyfat. Green tea acts as an oxidant in fat cells—but that’s good because it activates AMPK, a protein that stimulates fat oxidation in muscle during exercise.

Green tea is not a miracle fat burner, and taking green tea supplements is not a license to eat whatever you want. It’s a dietary aid that enhances fat oxidation. Unlike many other touted “fat burners,” green tea at least has significant research backing up the claim. IM

References

1 Venables, M.C., et al. (2008). Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 87:778-784.

2 Seuk-Moon, H., et al. (2007). Inhibitory effect of epigallocatechin-3-gallate on lipid accumulation of 3T3-L1 cells. Obesity. 15:2571-2582.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Burn Fat

  • 9 Reasons To Take Branched-Chain Amino Acids

    If you are serious about your physique, you'll seriously want to give this supplement a look. By Sarah Butcher   BCAA:...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 16, 2017
  • The Lean Bulking Problem

    A new approach to eating for size can help you keep the muscle you gain.   By Vince Del Monte  ...

    Sharon OrtigasAugust 31, 2017
  • Nature’s PEDs 

    These eight overlooked herbs can help you build your best physique ever.    By George L. Redmon, PhD, ND   “Many...

    Sharon OrtigasJune 20, 2017
  • Protein Trends

    The latest anabolic innovations to your favorite supplement. By Adam M. Gonzalez, PhD, CSCS, CISSN   Protein powder continues to be...

    Sharon OrtigasJune 13, 2017
  • Score One For Steady-State Cardio

    For the last several years steady-state cardio has been the redheaded stepchild of the fitness community, with most people rallying around...

    Sharon OrtigasMay 22, 2017
  • The Danger Of NFL Sundays

    Scientists are discovering that short bouts of intense laziness are almost as bad for you as some sessions of HIIT are...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 24, 2017
  • The Mechanical Advantage

    This relatively painful intensity technique can lead to rapid gains in size. By Vince Del Monte This month I want to...

    Sharon OrtigasApril 14, 2017
  • THE LION ROARS

    Expert advice to your questions about training, nutrition, recovery, and living the fitness lifestyle. Chris: Is there an ideal length/method for...

    Sharon OrtigasJanuary 31, 2017
  • Treadmill Of Terror

    Every workout program could use a dose of intense cardio. By Eddie Avakoff, owner of Metroflex LBC   Treadmills are criminally...

    Sharon OrtigasJanuary 30, 2017