When I began my research on green tea extract, I expected to find the vast majority of research saying it’s crap. But, as it appears, the research I have done shows promising results.
I have been pleasantly surprised.
Green tea extract is not a miracle fat loss pill that will cause you to lose 24.3 pounds in 10 minutes. However, some research supports it can aid in weight loss. Nothing extremely significant, and it also appears to highly depend on caffeine tolerance. But, it does have studies that show it in favor of weight loss.
The benefits of green tea come from the catechins that reside within it. Catechins are called flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds found largely in plants and seem to have numerous benefits, from anti-oxidant support to weight management, to a plethora of other benefits. There are thousands of flavonoids, with the vast majority having very little in-depth information on them. I will go into more detail on flavonoids in a future article.
There are multiple catechins in Green tea, but here are the main ones: Catechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate and the main catechin with the most potent benefits, EGCG, which stands for Epigallocatechin Gallate.
From now on, when I speak about the benefits of green tea extract, I will be referring to EGCG. EGCG also appears to have numerous other benefits, but in this post, I will only go over the fat burning benefits.
It doesn’t directly increase your metabolism, but it can aid in fat loss by inhibiting a certain enzyme (Remember, enzymes are needed to speed certain processes) called COMT, which is the abbreviated form of its long sciency name. This enzyme is necessary for preventing the build-up of several molecules, such as Dopamine, Epinephrine (Adrenaline), and Norepinephrine (Noradrenaline).
Norepinephrine is one of our “fight or flight” hormones. Unlike Adrenaline, it’s constantly circulating in our systems, but in small amounts. This hormone has a variety of functions within our bodies, but one of the functions is to begin the breakdown of stored energy (fats) and make it into a form more usable by the body.
What EGCG can do, when supplemented, is it can help keep Norepinephrine circulating a bit longer within the body.
It does this by keeping Norepinephrine from breaking down as quickly. EGCG will actually act on COMT and prevent COMT from acting further (The info is in section 2.1)
What this means, is EGCG can enhance and prolong the fat burning effects provided by supplements that increase Norepinephrine, namely, caffeine.
How effective EGCG is for fat burning, seems to entirely depend on the user’s caffeine tolerance. Those who can inject 2.5 liters of liquid caffeine into their veins and then fall asleep will not get as much out of it as, say, someone who breathes on a coffee bean and begins vibrating at such a high frequency they phase out of existence.
This would make sense because as the users’ tolerance increases, the effects that caffeine has on the individual decreases. So the only benefit that is provided, is that of staving off sleep.
This actually seems like a supplement worth taking! Now, like I mentioned before, it’s no magical weight loss pill. But it can definitely aid in combination with a great diet and exercise routine.
Now, how do you take it? Like I mentioned before, it’s best in combination with caffeine. Those who do not destroy themselves with caffeine regularly will receive more benefit, whereas those who do will receive less benefit. According to examine.com, 400-500 mg of EGCG seems to be a good dosage to shoot for. Examine.com also specifies that fish oil and quercetin in combination with EGCG can, basically, increase the absorption of EGCG.
So those who keep the caffeine content low, bump it up for a while and slam your face into a pile of EGCG. Once you develop a tolerance, you could cycle off for a few weeks, and then bump it back up. Make sure you chow down on some fatty fish or take a fish oil supplement high in EPA and DHA. The fish oil supplement would be a bit easier and you wouldn’t have to eat a bunch of fish whenever you take EGCG, though it’s still a good idea to get some fish in your diet. You could also take some quercetin as well if you feel the need.
Whatever floats your boat!
I’m considering doing more posts on EGCG in the future, but with more of a focus on the other benefits associated with taking EGCG.
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