The Risks and Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are numerous, and it has been shown in studies to help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, fight cancer, and reduce the risk of diabetes. But while most people think of green tea when it comes to their health, they may be wondering if drinking this hot beverage helps them lose weight as well.
In general, the short answer is yes. But before you grab a cup, there are a couple things you should know about the risks and benefits of drinking green tea. Let’s take a look.
How Does Green Tea Affect Your Weight?
First off, we need to establish some common ground. No, the health effects of green tea are not necessarily the same as the weight-loss effects of green tea. In fact, the two are generally separate issues. However, it is very likely that drinking green tea can help you lose weight, especially if you are overweight or obese.
When consumed, green tea contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Caffeine has been shown in studies to increase resting energy expenditure (the calories your body burns at rest) and thermogenesis (heat production). This means that when you drink green tea, your body is constantly creating heat, which could lead to weight loss. (Note: Caffeine can also be found in coffee, so this is one reason why you might experience weight loss when drinking green tea — it’s not just because it’s hot!)
Also, green tea is known for its antioxidant properties, and it’s been shown in studies that antioxidants can enhance thermogenesis and reduce fat storage. Furthermore, green tea has been shown in studies to increase insulin sensitivity, which is an important factor in the regulation of blood sugar levels. This means that, as far as your health is concerned, drinking green tea can lower your risks of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The Risk of Antioxidant Deficiency
On the other hand, there is some evidence that consuming large quantities of antioxidants, particularly in the form of vitamin C, may not be good for your health. For example, supplementing with antioxidants may increase the risk of developing kidney stones and kidney damage. Therefore, if you have a history of kidney problems or are at risk of developing them, you should avoid consuming large amounts of antioxidants.
Furthermore, excessive intake of antioxidants can also mask the presence of toxins in your body, making it difficult for your natural defense systems to fight off infection. So, while drinking green tea can be beneficial to your health for the most part, you need to be careful about how much of it you consume. The safest bet is to drink organic, unfiltered teas.
When Does Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Like any other food or beverage, the effects of green tea on your weight will depend on a variety of factors. First off, how much of it do you drink? Second, how hungry are you? And, finally, what type of lifestyle are you leading?
When it comes to the first factor, how much you drink, you should note that there is a difference between having a couple cups a day and drinking a gallon every day. Studies have shown that the more you drink, the more you lose, but this is certainly not always the case, and you should not assume that just because you drink green tea that you will automatically lose weight.
On the second factor, hunger, you should note that caffeine can increase the feelings of hunger, and subsequently eating, in those who consume it. So while drinking green tea can help keep you regular, it may in some cases cause you to eat more than you would if you were not drinking it. This is why it’s always a good idea to eat before you drink, especially caffeine-containing beverages, or the opposite, as the caffeine may still be energizing your body even when it’s in the form of a cup of cold coffee.
Finally, the type of lifestyle you lead will determine how much weight you will lose when drinking green tea. For example, if you lead a very inactive lifestyle, you will not lose much weight even if you are drinking the recommended eight cups of green tea every day. You will not experience any significant effects from drinking green tea, and, in fact, you may even gain a little weight because of all the vitamins and antioxidants it provides. However, if you lead a very active lifestyle and consumption of green tea is consistent with this, you are more likely to lose weight, and the changes you experience will be very noticeable. In general, the healthier your lifestyle, the more you will benefit from drinking green tea to help you reach your desired weight.
Even though there are significant risks and benefits to drinking green tea, and it’s very likely that it can help you lose weight, it’s still not necessarily a simple answer to the question of whether or not to drink it. There are various health issues you need to consider, as well as the amount of caffeine and antioxidants you are willing to consume.