We can’t imagine our lives without coffee. It’s probably what gives us the “esprit de corps” to get through the day. And while we’re not suggesting you give up coffee entirely, there’s no question that its effects can be amplified by caffeine-free alternatives.
Caffeine, the chemical in coffee that gives it its distinct aroma and flavor, has been shown in studies to amp up the metabolism and activity of liver cells. And while we’re not suggesting that you replace coffee altogether, green tea is a healthier option than standard cupcakes and offers several advantages.
First, green tea contains fewer calories than standard coffee. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, a cup of green tea contains just 60 calories. Compare that to a cup of joe, which has 100 calories. Second, green tea has been found to improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps regulate glucose levels in the body. Third, consuming green tea has been shown to help prevent weight gain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
The Health Benefits of Green Tea
While its effects on the metabolism and liver are relatively well-established, green tea’s effects on the human body are still under study. But the evidence to date suggests that green tea has some pretty cool health benefits.
In a study published in the journal Nutrition & Diabetes, researchers investigated the effects of chronic (regular) consumption of green tea on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in overweight or obese adults. The researchers determined that while everyone’s insulin sensitivity varies, those who consumed two to three cups of green tea per day had insulin sensitivities that were equivalent to people who were not overweight or obese. They also found that overweight and obese adults who consumed two to three cups of green tea per day lost an average of 4.4 pounds over the course of a year, while those who didn’t drink green tea gained an average of 1.8 pounds during the same period. The researchers concluded, “These findings suggest that consuming green tea may improve glycemic control and weight loss in adults with type 2 diabetes.”
How Does It Help With Weight Loss?
Caffeine has been shown in studies to increase the metabolism and activity of liver cells. And since the liver is the largest organ in the body, it follows that caffeine could have significant ramifications for overall health.
Aside from its effects on the metabolism, caffeine is known to interfere with the function of adenosine receptors. These are cell surface receptors that act as an interface for caffeine between cells and the outside world. When exposed to caffeine, adenosine receptors become less active, leading to disrupted communication and a boost in the body’s energy levels. So while caffeine doesn’t help with weight loss directly, it certainly plays a role in providing the body with energy and stimulating activity levels.
Is It Safe To Drink?
The short answer is yes, as long as you’re not allergic to tea. Green tea is considered to be safe for most people to drink, as long as you’re not hypertensive (have high blood pressure). The general rule of thumb is: avoid caffeine, fatty foods, and alcohol, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. For more information, consult your doctor or local health food store expert.