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Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

You’re not the only one who enjoys tea. Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world, consumed in over 80% of American households, after water. There are many less-proven claims made about this beverage, despite the fact that it has some confirmed health benefits.

Among these is the assertion that tea directly affects weight loss.

Even though everyone enjoys a fast fix, you should always follow the science when it comes to claims. Continue reading to find out more about the advantages of various teas and whether or not they might help you lose weight.

The Chinese emperor Shen Nung is credited with discovering tea in 2737 B.C.E. when leaves fell into his boiling water, according to legend, according to Sharon Palmer, an Ojai, California registered dietitian and author of The Plant-Powered Plan to Beat Diabetes.

Palmer points out that polyphenols, which are found in tea, are substances that have been related to health. Antioxidant qualities found in polyphenols aid in shielding the body from the harm free radicals do to cells.

Tea consumption has been linked to the following possible advantages:

Improved cardiovascular health as a result of polyphenols’ capacity to raise blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
lower incidence of type 2 diabetes.

decreased chance of developing some cancers, including prostate, lung, and breast cancers.
lower chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
enhanced defense against neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease. 

Tea Varieties That Could Aid in Losing Weight

According to certain research, some tea varieties may speed up metabolism and aid in weight loss, says Dallas-based registered dietitian and health and wellness consultant Kylie Churnetski.

Churnetski says that drinking tea is a healthy habit when compared to soda and energy drinks. Studies reveal a connection between the regular intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight increase as well as chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Nevertheless, these medical disorders are not directly brought on by an excessive sugar intake.

Furthermore, only because tea is a healthy option does not guarantee that consuming it will result in weight loss. Similar to most alleged “diet foods,” the science is a little more nuanced.

These are a few of the teas that are most frequently linked to weight loss, along with possible physiological effects.

Green Tea

Green tea

Palmer states that “green tea is derived from the same plant as white, oolong, and black tea: Camellia sinensis.” The process involves drying and steaming or pan-frying the tea leaves. Epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol found in high concentrations in green tea, may lower the risk of heart disease and several types of cancer. Churnetski reports that there is evidence linking drinking green tea to increased thermogenesis (energy expended after eating) and stimulation of fat burning because of EGCG and other catechins.

In fact, a 2018 analysis of the effects of tea polyphenols on weight reduction discovers that the interaction between green tea’s catechins and caffeine appears to have a small but positive effect on weight loss and maintenance.

According to Churnetski, taking green tea extract supplements may also aid in weight loss. Green tea extract has been demonstrated in a 2018 randomized controlled trial published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine to raise leptin levels and lower LDL cholesterol in obese and overweight women. Leptin is a hormone that controls hunger and energy balance; abnormalities in leptin levels have been related to a number of diseases, including obesity. Nevertheless, as this experiment was a short-term investigation, definitive findings cannot be made in the long run.

Furthermore, studies on the benefits of green tea in obese people suggest that ingesting green tea in the form of a beverage or capsules may reduce waist circumference and body mass index (BMI) and enhance inflammatory biomarkers.

A small 2017 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism suggests that drinking matcha tea, which is prepared from powdered green tea leaves, may also aid in fat burning when exercising. Researchers warn against exaggerating the consequences, though.

Though studies on the relationship between green tea and weight reduction look promising, no specific amount of consumption of the tea has been proven to directly promote weight loss to date. This is because different studies employ varying amounts and forms of the tea.

White Tea

White Tea

White tea is made exclusively from the young leaves or growth buds of the tea leaf. White tea, like green tea, hasn’t undergone oxidation from prolonged exposure to air and humidity because it hasn’t undergone fermentation. With the exception of herbal teas, white tea often contains more polyphenols, such as catechins, than the other main varieties of tea. It also typically has less caffeine.

According to a 2022 Scientific Chronicles narrative review, white tea’s high catechin content and other polyphenol content may be responsible for some of its health advantages, including the possibility that it could aid in weight loss. Furthermore, a small number of research that are cited in this review indicate that drinking white tea along with exercise may significantly lower LDL cholesterol, triglyceride, and BMI levels while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.

The review also mentions that consuming white tea an hour before working out may aid in boosting fat burning in obese people. But researchers come to the conclusion that further research is needed to fully understand the connection between consuming white tea and its many health advantages.

Oolong Tea

White Tea

Tea leaves are wilted, bruised, and partially oxidized, or semi-fermented, to create oolong tea. Because of this, it is situated halfway between fully-oxidized black tea and minimally-oxidized green and white teas.

Studies on the impact of oolong tea consumption on weight maintenance are scarcer than those on green tea. Churnetski notes that these research do demonstrate certain positive outcomes. In a previous research, which involved 102 obese and overweight adults over a six-week period, consuming oolong tea every day led to modest weight loss for most of the subjects.

More recently, a two-week randomized controlled trial published in Nutrients raises the possibility that oolong tea consumption could boost fat burning. The two-week trial, according to the researchers, is not long enough to assess how the intervention affects weight, and more investigation is required.

Black tea

White Tea

The tea leaves must be wilted, bruised, rolled, and allowed to fully oxidize in order to produce black tea. “Some of the ingredients in black tea, like the naturally occurring caffeine that speeds up metabolism, may help with weight loss,” says Churnetski.

A single short study examined how 111 individuals’ body composition was affected by black tea. Regular black tea consumption was found to reduce waist circumference and prevent weight gain during a three-month period.

Another 2016 study highlights the potential advantages of black tea, citing the polyphenols in particular as having the ability to prevent fat from being absorbed or digested and to stop the process of obesity by lowering oxidative stress. To further understand the processes of black tea polyphenols, further focused research is necessary, as the study’s authors emphasize.

A Remark Regarding "Weight Loss Teas" and "Detox"

Churnetski notes that while consuming various teas might aid in weight management (particularly when paired with a good diet and exercise regimen), consumers should exercise caution when consuming “teas that claim to help with weight loss and detox.” Palmer concurs, pointing out that “some companies have been sued for making false advertisements about the effectiveness of their products, and there are some overly enthusiastic claims made about tea and tea products.”

Churnetski points out that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not control supplements in the same manner that it regulates drugs, thus teas that are marketed with such claims may be classified as supplements. Some of these teas that claim to aid in detoxifying and weight loss have additional substances like laxatives, according to Palmer, in contrast to traditional teas, which just contain tea leaves and flavorings. She advises, “It’s important to look at the ingredients list.”

Palmer advises people to “consider tea drinking as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, not a magic fix.” “And keep in mind that adding cream or sugar to your tea can counteract the health benefits of tea.”

Churnetski advises working toward a balanced diet and regular exercise as well as seeking the assistance of experts like dietitians or trainers who can support your long-term health goals in order to accomplish sustained weight loss.

Finally, take a wise sip. If you’ve been told to reduce your caffeine intake because of a medical problem, pay attention to how much you consume. 

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