More than merely a pick-me-up, your morning cup of tea or coffee may actually help your weight-loss efforts. But when it comes to fat reduction, which one of these greens reigns supreme?
With regards to losing fat, no magic pill or powder can replace consistent work in the gym and a clean diet. Your time and efforts will always trump anything a supplement can do. Nevertheless, there are a couple of substances that may help boost your metabolism and improve your weight-loss efforts.
Two of those ingredients-green tea and green coffee-may already be part of your everyday morning ritual, but they’re also sold in supplement form as green tea and green coffee extract. If fat loss is your goal, is one extract better than the other? It’s time to put these two green titans in a head-to-head battle for fat-loss supremacy.
Find Time for Tea
Green tea, which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, has been recommended as a healthful drink for centuries with potential health advantages ranging from improved antioxidant status to cardiovascular support (1). Although multiple parts of the plant can be used, it’s the extract from the leaves that seems to offer the most health advantages, specifically when it comes to weight reduction.
The two components primarily responsible for green tea extract’s (GTE) health advantages are catechins, which supply virtually all antioxidants benefits, and caffeine, which enhances thermogenesis and fat metabolism.
Compared to a placebo and caffeine alone, GTE has been shown to significantly increase 24-hour energy expenditure (1,2). With time, raising the number of calories you burn both at rest and during exercise could lead to favorable changes in your body composition. Furthermore, there are multiple studies showing GTE’s ability to increase rates of fat oxidation (or fat burning) over a 24-hour period.
Long-term intake of green tea extract has been proven to support modest fat loss, around 2-3 pounds, over a 12-week period (3). While GTE clearly won’t do all the work for you, research suggests that, when along with exercise, it can support greater weight loss when compared to exercise alone (4).
Green Is the New Black
Green coffee extract (GCE), as the name implies, is obtained from unroasted green coffee beans. Its main active ingredients are compounds referred to as chlorogenic acids, which are considered to be accountable for its weight-loss effects.
While it’s not entirely clear how it operates, chlorogenic acid may be able to promote weight loss by increasing the activity of PPARalpha-a gene involved in fatty-acid transport and oxidation-and lowering the creation of new fat cells through its antioxidant effects (5,6).
To date, there has been only one study to show a positive effect of GCE on weight loss in humans. A 2007 study published in the Journal of International Medical Research found that when GCE was added to coffee, participants lost (on average) almost 12 pounds over a 12-week period, when combined with diet and exercise. This compared to only 3 pounds lost in the coffee-only group (7).
While results from this research are promising, larger, better-controlled research is needed to truly determine the effectiveness of GCE as a weight-loss tool.
What to Watch Out For
The weight-loss benefits associated with green coffee and green tea extracts are greatly reduced when you mix the extracts with milk and sugar (8-9). Additionally, research suggests that protein consumption can have an inhibitory influence on their absorption (10). Therefore, advantages of GTE and GCE may be maximized when consumed with water 2-3 hours before or after a meal.
These two substances typically contain caffeine and as a consequence may cause potential adverse reactions related to caffeine consumption, for example increased heart rate and digestive upset, but as long as you don’t guzzle the stuff, you ought to be in pretty good shape. Begin with a low dose, see how your body handles it, and then make adjustments from there.
A Practical Approach for Use
GTE and GCE are most effective when caffeine resistance is minimized. If you’re already a coffee addict, the advantages of green tea extract and GCE supplements will likely be less effective.
While you may think you can get your daily dose of GTE just by sipping on some green tea, think again. An effective dose (about 600 milligrams) would require you to drink 8-10 cups of tea (1,4). Supplements can actually make things a little easier on you; just make sure you’re getting 30-60 percent EGCG-the active component in green tea accountable for its fat-burning effects-in each serving.
Green coffee supplements are typically sold containing 40-50 percent chlorogenic acid by weight. To receive the most effective dose of 120-300 milligrams of chlorogenic acid, you’ll want to look for a supplement containing 300-750 milligrams of green coffee extract.
Green-Fu’s proportions of Green Coffee Bean Extract (a.k.a Green Chlorogenic Acid/GCA/Svetol), Magical Plant Proteins, Vitamins, and Essential Minerals, makes this today’s most exciting Weight Loss and Fat Burning Solution.
1) Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., & Giménez, R. (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea-a review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25(2), 79-99.
2) Dulloo, A. G., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., … & Vandermander, J. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70(6), 1040-1045.
3) Wang, H., Wen, Y., Du, Y., Yan, X., Guo, H., Rycroft, J. A., … & Mela, D. J. (2010). Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition. Obesity, 18(4), 773-779.
4) Maki, K. C., Reeves, M. S., Farmer, M., Yasunaga, K., Matsuo, N., Katsuragi, Y., … & Blumberg, J. B. (2009). Green tea catechin consumption enhances exercise-induced abdominal fat loss in overweight and obese adults. The Journal of Nutrition, 139(2), 264-270.
5) Hsu, C. L., Huang, S. L., & Yen, G. C. (2006). Inhibitory effect of phenolic acids on the relation to their antioxidant activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 54(12), 4191-4197.
6) Cho, A. S., Jeon, S. M., Kim, M. J., Yeo, J., Seo, K. I., Choi, M. S., & Lee, M. K. (2010). Chlorogenic acid exhibits anti-obesity property and improves lipid metabolism in high-fat diet-induced-obese mice. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 48(3), 937-943.
7) Thom, E. (2007). The effect of chlorogenic acid enriched coffee on glucose absorption in healthy volunteers and its effect on body mass when used long-term in overweight and obese people. Journal of International Medical Research, 35(6), 900-908.
8) Onakpoya, I., Terry, R., & Ernst, E. (2010). The use of green coffee extract as a weight loss supplement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised clinical trials. Gastroenterology Research and Practice, 2011.
9) Anderson, R. A., & Polansky, M. M. (2002). Tea enhances insulin activity. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 50(24), 7182-7186.
10) Bohn, T. (2014). Dietary factors affecting polyphenol bioavailability. Nutrition Reviews, 72(7), 429-452.