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How to improve weight loss with green tea extract

by Trevor Hiltbrand | Reviwed by Advisory Board

How to improve weight loss with green tea extract

The beverage green tea and concentrated supplemental forms of Camellia sinensis alike are widely used for weight loss, metal clarity and general wellbeing.

Unlike other herbal trends, green tea has several specific scientifically backed benefits [1, 2] that validate its prior anecdotal use dating back centuries [3].

Studying and testing the validity of these claims ultimately lead us to add highly concentrated EGCG rich green tea extract to our critically acclaimed FAT BURNER as one of nine clinically dosed ingredients.

Here, we’re going to condense our months of research into one easy to read synopsis explaining how green tea can be used as a fat burner for weight loss, and how you can maximize this effect.

This article is peer reviewed and backed up by clinical studies.

Green Tea Supports Weight Loss in these 3 Ways:

#1 Green Tea increases metabolic rate as a natural thermogenic

Under the right conditions, green tea has proven itself to be rather effective at improving weight loss in both humans and animals [4].

This thermogenic effect of green tea has mostly been attributed to its caffeine, l-theanine, and epigallocatechin gallate contents [10], which, interestingly prolong both norepinephrine and cAMP [5, 6, 7].

Meaning: Green tea increases calories burnt, often from fat, due to prolonging the lifespan of natural pro-metabolic agents norepinephrine and cAMP in the body.

But what does that look like?

Clinically, the following results have been observed in humans:

  • Japanese men and women lost on average 10% body fat mass in comparison to 2.2% in the placebo group over 12 weeks [8].
  • In an open study, moderately obese patients lost 4.6% bodyweight over a 3 month period [9].
  • In two studies, participants taking a mixture of caffeine and green tea EGCGs increased their 24 hour energy expenditure (calories burnt) by roughly 3.5% [11, 12].

Clearly, under the right conditions green tea and more specifically green tea extract can improve weight loss.

However, conditions are not always right:

  • Green tea extract may not improve weight loss alongside extreme calorie restriction without exercise [13].
  • Green tea extract is more effective at weight loss in low-caffeine lifestyles as opposed to highly-caffeinated lifestyles [14].

Basically, dieting too aggressively with extreme caloric restriction may negate green tea’s thermogenic effects due to bodily stress.

Bottom Line: Green tea or more specifically green tea extract can increase resting metabolic rate alongside a well-balanced minimal caloric deficit and improve weight loss.

#2 Green Tea helps you get up and go [exercise harder and longer]

In competitive sports, everyone is looking for an edge [15]. Green tea can help improve exercise performance, but spoiler alert - it’s not going to be anywhere in the ballpark of creatine’s effect.

Instead, ergogenics appear to be much more-mild with improvements being seen in clinical trials most of the time.

The most applicable study has got to be a 2009 evaluation of the effects of green tea and caffeine on male cyclist performance [16]. In it, researchers determined that green tea’s primary benefit originates solely from its natural caffeine content.

However more recent clinical studies suggest that the EGCG content within green tea does deserve credit:

  • A 2011 double-blind placebo study concluded that EGCG extract from green tea increases VO2 Max during endurance exercise [17].
  • A 2015 double-bind study observed a 10.9% distance improvement in humans receiving decaffeinated green tea extract capsules [18].

The complete picture suggests to us that the caffeine content of green tea improves sympathetic energy response while the EGCG’s contribute to a less noticeable improvement in fat metabolism and energy efficiency.

Interestingly, while the following studies evaluated exercise performance – significant notes were taken on the fat burning effects witnessed.

 Bottom Line: Green tea increases performance, however the most predominant improvement is due to caffeine content which is not unique to green tea alone. Lesser benefits are due to improved fatty-acid metabolism sparing glycogen and prolonging reserves.

#3 Green Tea Improves Health by reducing visceral (belly fat) and inflammation

Excessive fat… Belly fat in particular, happens to be as detrimental to overall health and lifespan as it is unpleasant to tote around [19]. For women, abdominal fat is a sign for increased health concern [20], while in men abdominal fat threatens ones testosterone-fueled manliness [21].

Several of the studies cited above display significant reductions in belly fat, for both men and women [8, 9, 11, 12].

This isn’t only a benefit to appearance… But rather the targeting of belly fat is net positive to overall health [22].

Here are some new unique studies looking specifically at green teas effect on burning belly (visceral) fat:

  • A 12 week study published in 2012 observed a catechin-enriched green tea beverage significantly reduce visceral fat in humans [23].
  • Warning, Rat Study: Two recent studies demonstrated green tea to significantly reduce visceral fat in rats [24, 25]. Also noted was a decrease in chronic inflammation.
 Bottom Line: The thermogenic fat burning effects of green tea and its constituents is highly pronounced in visceral tissues (belly fat). This improves overall health through net-positive cascades sometimes indistinguishable between weight loss and green tea effect [26].

How to use Green Tea for weight loss and not self-sabotage

Yes, green tea works to increase weight loss – but the conditions have to be right.

The most notable successful clinical trials shared these commonalities:

  1. EGCG Rich Green Tea Extracts
  2. Moderate Caffeine Addition
  3. Slight Caloric Deficit
  4. Participants Were Active (not sedentary)

Green tea didn’t work as expected in studies that:

  1. Used aggressive caloric restriction
  2. Completely sedentary participants
  3. Over-caffeinated individuals

As you can see, there is no ‘magic bullet’ or ‘miracle pill’. Like with all things, you’re going to need to meet green tea in the middle by staying strict to your diet and exercise if you plan on having successful weight loss. Luckily, the end result is worth the challenge, and ingredients like green tea extract can help you get there faster.

What we recommend: PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner

Transparent Labs Fat BurnerOur expert formulated PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner contains 200 mg of EGCG rich green tea extract per serving, along with 8 other potent ingredients.

The effects of green tea on thermogenesis is greatly increased through added caffeine and forskolin extract which upregulate cAMP even higher while targeting belly fat.

Also included are potent thermogenics cayenne pepper and synephrine plus mood-enhancing l-tyrosine and l-theanine.

View our PhysiqueSeries Fat Burner Here and read supplement facts and real testimonials.

Common Questions

Q – Can I just drink more green tea to burn fat?

A – The most successful studies used concentrated green tea supplements high in EGCGs to burn fat. Taking a supplement like these would certainly be the easiest option, however, you can try drinking an extremely high quality green tea multiple times a day. This can be quite effective if you are using green tea as a soda/sugary beverage substitute.

Q - What exactly are EGCG’s in green tea?

A - EGCG stands for epigallocatechin gallate which is the primary active catechin in green tea.

Q How much caffeine is in green tea?

A - Caffeine content on average ranges from 15 mg to 50 mg depending on preparation with an average of 35 mg per cup [27]. This is considerably less than that found in coffee and guarana drinks.

Note: Even in high strength brews, green tea is less aggressively stimulating than coffee. This is due to the presence of l-theanine in green tea which calms anxiety-inducing and heart-rate-raising effects of caffeine [28].

Q - What else can I do to improve weight loss?

A - Diet moderation and increased exercise is key. Avoid ‘crash diets’ that restrict calories too aggressively. Also consider increasing lean protein intake as it preserves muscle mass, replaces calorie rich carbs, and makes you feel more satisfied. We explain what to look for in the ideal protein powder for weight loss here.

Q – How does green tea compare to matcha for weight loss?

A – There really aren’t any studies that use matcha specifically, so we can’t say for sure. Though, matcha is a great natural and organic pre workout option for increasing performance through caffeine.

Q – Is it ok to take green tea before bed?

A – Since green tea contains caffeine, it will likely impair your sleep. However decaffeinated green tea rich in l-theanine may aid sleep.

Q – Does green tea suppress appetite?

A – In large doses, the caffeine in green tea can suppress appetite temporarily. But overall, green tea on its own isn’t the best appetite suppressant.


Trevor Hiltbrand
Trevor Hiltbrand


Trevor Hiltbrand is one of the owners/co-founders of Transparent Labs and head of content creation. He got his start with supplement research back in 2013 when he began researching cognitive enhancement. With the help of the Transparent Labs Expert Panel and Advisory Board, we aim to bring our evidence based nutrition and exercise research to the world.

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