Green Tea. It's been hailed for it's numerous health benefits for years now. Known for it's super high antioxidant content, skin and hair benefits, as a digestion aid, detoxifier, been linked to cholesterol reduction. Even as a possible aid to diabetes and cancer sufferers. But is green tea effective as a weight loss aid? And does Green tea's potent powdered form called matcha really help with weight loss?
Matcha: the shade grown form of green tea powder has become the latest health trend, appearing in numerous publications and media worldwide for it's health benefits and claimed by Dr Oz as a powerful way to boost weight loss. It's claims of 137 x the antioxidants of regular brewed green tea are a marketers dream, and has become one of the biggest health food trends of 2015. Looking past the hype - this article will attempt to answer the question of does matcha green tea help in weight reduction and does matcha promote fat loss?
P/s: You might have come across matcha at Starbucks or the local coffee shop in the form of a matcha latte. With more and more venues adding matcha to their menus - it's becoming very common. We're talking about matcha in it's pure form. As simple powdered green tea leaves, and whether matcha tea affects weight loss. Drinking a sugary green tea latte won't help you lose weight. So please don't run off to order a high calorie Green tea frappuccino after reading this article ;)
Take a look at our Matcha and Weight Loss infographic for a short summary - Larger version Here
First let's look at matcha's nutritional profile per 1 gram serving:
Matcha Green Tea is very low in kilojoules and calories, while at the same time being high in fibre and protein. Add in the mild dose of caffeine which is a powerful appetite suppressant, and you have a very useful fat loss aid.
You can also Click Here to download a full PDF copy of our matcha nutritional analysis.
Matcha is also extremely high in Catechin Polyphenols - especially EGCG's which help stabilise blood sugar levels and act as a natural detoxifier. It's also full of Flavonoids and Vitamins A, B-Complex, C, E and K. All these nutrients and Catechins make matcha an excellent anti-inflammatory aid. With inflammation a known cause of weight gain, matcha could be an excellent tool to contribute to your weight loss efforts.
How is matcha different compared to regular green tea! Matcha (抹茶) was unique to Japanese culture for a long time. For centuries, it has been used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Yet, it’s just become popular and made its way in the West very recently due to it's interesting flavour profile and nutrient density and rich antioxidant content. So what makes matcha so different and stand out from the regular green tea?
Unlike other regular green teas, matcha’s production is extremely special and unique.
It is grown in the shady hills of Japan. Due to the lack of sunlight, the tea leaves produce TONS of chlorophyll, amino acids, and antioxidants, more than those are found in regular tea leaves. The amount of antioxidants in matcha is:
Not only that, the way you drink matcha is also unique as well. One cup of matcha green tea has the equivalent amount of nutrients that you find in 10 cups of regular green tea.
Matcha the whole green tea leaves ground into fine a fine green tea powder. The whole-leaf powder is stirred in warm liquid for drinking instead of being brewed or steeped. Because you “eat” the whole leaves, you intake much more nutrients and antioxidants that are needed for weight loss, rather than just drinking the tea and discarding the leaves as you would with regular tea.
So, how about the green tea supplements? Do green tea weight loss supplements work? Are they effective as matcha powder?
There is research linking green tea extract pills and weight loss - However, there is also a potential risk of adverse effects if you consume too much, since the dietary supplements contains much more concentrated forms of the antioxidant's like EGCG.
Since green tea extract pills have only extracted some specific nutrients, there are many vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fibrr and naturally occurring antioxidants that are lost during the extraction process. Compared to natural green tea powder - where you are simply consuming the ENTIRE tea leaves, and getting ALL the potential health benefits.
There is a lot unknown about nutrition and supplementation - while they may be beneficial, Green tea supplements can't compare to ingesting the plant in it's natural form. Green tea works the best due to the combination and integration of different molecules. Therefore, drinking natural green tea powder is much better and more efficient than taking supplements.
EGCG stands for Epigallocatechin gallate. I will just go with EGCG. It is the SUPER antioxidant that plays significantly play a BIG role in weight loss and lipid metabolism.
EGCG is belonged to the class of polyphenols, named catechins. This is the natural antioxidant in green tea which greatly increases fat oxidation, the internal process that burning fat to create energy. Because of this amazing antioxidant, green tea has become widely used in therapeutic treatment and prevention of diabetes and obesity.
Many scientific studies and research have showed that the level of EGCG is 137 times higher than that in China Green Tips green tea and 3 times greater than the largest value for other green tea. Besides promoting weight reduction, this substance is known for helping treatment of:
From numerous of researches and studies, green tea actually increases fat burning by approximately 17%. Scientists have shown that EGCG plays a role in activation of hepatic lipid metabolism (fat metabolism by liver) which is the process of breaking down complex lipid. It is also known as a potent inhibitor that stops the intestinal absorption of fat compounds which can results to body fat accumulation.
Furthermore, scientists have shown that EGCG can help inhibiting and stopping the growth of new fat cells . A long term of consuming green tea EGCG is known for reducing body fat accumulation, especially abdominal fat in humans.
In other study, catechins EGCG from green tea can also bring down the blood cholesterol level. It inhibits low density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation, the process that results to the risk of coronary artery diseases. High level of EGCG from matcha green tea definitely helps increasing fat oxidation, and reducing the level of blood cholesterol. This makes green tea’s EGCG the WONDERFUL antioxidant to prevent the risks of obesity, diabetes and coronary heart diseases.
Green tea matcha is also found to be a great factor that helps enhancing metabolism. From recent studies, the catechins and EGCG from green tea play roles in many processes of:
Matcha, with concentrated level of EGCG can boost the metabolic rate up to 40% which is a lot more than a cup of steeped tea can do (8% only).
Green tea catechins and EGCG, by integrating with different chemicals in the body, can influence and greatly enhance the thermogenesis, the internal process of generating heat from metabolism. The consumption of green tea’s catenchins can increase this thermogenesis up to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure.
Another way matcha helps boost your metabolic rate is green tea's excellent detox properties. The cleaner your internal body is, the faster your bodies rate of converting calories into energy is. Why is that? Well, the high accumulation of toxins in your body makes it work harder on the daily basis to eliminate those toxic materials. This obviously results in slowing down the metabolism of your body.
In additional to EGCG, green tea matcha is also a great source of another antioxidant, chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that concentrates on the plant's leaves, converting solar energy to cellular energy. As mentioned earlier, since matcha green tea leaves are grown in the shade, therefore the leaves produce the high levels of chlorophylls. Chlorophyll is the only substance that can deliver solar energy, which is life energy, from plants to human body. It is a blood cleanser which maintains pH balance, transports O2 and removes CO2.
Together, chlorophylls and EGCG from matcha are the super detoxifiers that help eliminating toxic radicals that are harmful to the body. By taking the whole tea leaves with all the content of chlorophylls and EGCG, matcha green tea, for sure, is the better choice of detoxifier than regular teas.
There are two grades of Kenko matcha green tea, Kenko Premium Matcha and Kenko Cooking Grade. They are both excellent choices for weight loss since you really can do anything with matcha! You can read the matcha guide here for further information of these two grades.
To get the most weight loss from matcha, the best way is to consume matcha on the daily basis. Many studies show that consecutive and long term catechin and EGCG consumption significantly reduce body fat accumulation and enhance fat oxidation.
However, keep in mind that exercise along with healthy diets are vital for any weight loss goal as well! What your body needs is a healthy lifestyle and healthy diet, and matcha is a great addition to achieve your weight loss goals.
How much matcha do you need to get the great health benefits including thermogenisis (fat burning) and increased metabolism? We recommend 2-3 servings a of matcha tea per day. This will keep you energised, supply you with all the nutrients needed to fuel your metabolism and not go overboard on caffeine. Keep in mind matcha contains caffeine at 35mg/g - so if you are sensitive to caffeine intake then adjust your servings accordingly.
For me, I usually have 1-2 cups of matcha. We all are different so it is best to work out what suits you personally!
As many people know, weight loss is a long and patient process. It is impossible to rely solely on drinking matcha for weight loss. Matcha can help you speed up the process, but it will not make you lose weight by itself. There are countless Skinny Tea's Slimming Tea's, Herbal Detox Tea's out there all claiming to make weight just disappear.
Beware of any products making such claims - matcha should be treated as a weight loss supplement - not the solution. Treat your body well, get nourishing healthy food (including matcha!), plenty of rest and regular exercise, that will provide the best long term results.
Keep in mind that exercises along with healthy diets are actually important in weight loss as well! What your body need is a healthy lifestyle and healthy diets, so drink matcha as part of a healthy lifestyle.
So how to prepare matcha? My personal preference is sipping a warm cup of matcha green tea, especially during the rainy season in Vietnam right now.
For the warm cup of matcha, you can just add a scoop of matcha green tea powder to hot water (not boiling as it will results in the loss of the nutrients). You can use Japanese traditional bamboo matcha whisk or the electrical one to whisk in a “M” or “W” motion until it reaches your preference of frothiness. More detailed guide is available here.
You can also find all the materials and different grades of Kenko matcha green tea on our store. We are happy to help you with any other questions. Now, go ahead and enjoy a cup of warm matcha green tea! And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below for more great news, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!