Does Green Tea Really Work as A Fat Burner?

green-tea-ecgc-fat-lossGreen Tea is one of the most commonly mentioned natural nutrients in the health industry when it comes to burning fat. We drink it, we wash with it, we supplement it, and plenty more.

But how does Green Tea actually work as a fat burner?

As we’ve said, one of the more common uses of green tea is its inclusion in supplements, but whether or not it’s worth your time is another story.

In this article we cover all the bases on what you need to know regarding green tea regarding fat loss, you’ll find out:

  • What is Green Tea?
  • What is it claimed to do?
  • How does it work?
  • What do the studies say?
  • The extra benefits of Green Tea
  • How can I get more Green Tea?

What is Green Tea?

Before Green Tea was used as a fat burner, it had several other uses. 

It was a daily drink in China in as early as the 3rd century, but evidence has even been found of the drink being prescribed as medicine all the way back two thousand years before that.

Green Tea is extracted from the Camellia Sinensis plant – which is more typically grown in China. This is the same plant that we also get everyday black tea from.

That’s right, contrary to popular belief, Green Tea and Black Tea are actually the same herb. The only difference is Green Tea is a lot less fermented that its darker counterpart.

With less fermenting comes a lot more benefits, more anti-oxidants remain in the tea and are still available for us to absorb – and it also packs a lot less caffeine, making it the better option when it comes to blood pressure and general cardiovascular health.


Summing Up: Green Tea is a leaf extracted from the Camellia Sinensis plant and is a less fermented version of black tea. It is associated with numerous health benefits and filled with plenty of antioxidants.

What is Green Tea claimed to do?

In the modern day, Green Tea is marketed as a fat burner – and that’s what we’re looking at in this article.

This all boils down to the antioxidants in the herb – this is what separates it from regular black tea, and it’s all about the catechins.

Green Tea catechins are four molecules that make up the structure of the antioxidant – Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). The name isn’t important, what is important is how it can affect your body.

Putting it bluntly, it’s one of the best natural fat burners available – and the science is there to prove it.


How does Green Tea work?

Let’s say you pour yourself a boiling hot cup of green tea; it starts to cool, you drink it down and then the magic starts to happen.

Shortly after being absorbed by your body, the EGCG from the Green Tea starts to get to work. In your body, the hormone that is responsible for fat burning is norepinephrine – the more of this you have circulating in your system the more fat you will burn naturally.

It essentially signals to your body that more fat cells needs to be broken down for energy. Which is a win-win.

When you drink, supplement or eat something that contains Green Tea, these catechins inhibit the enzyme which suppresses and limits the norepineprhine in your body. [1]

This allows more of the fat burning hormone to be available in your body and increases your body’s natural level of fat burning. [2]

Summing Up: Green Tea is marketed as one of the best natural fat burners on the market – and rightly so. The EGCG antioxidant in this leaf inhibits the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine – your body’s fat-burning hormone.

What the Studies say about Green Tea:

As it’s a well established nutrient, there’s a lot of clinical studies out there on Green Tea – and a lot agree that its dynamite for burning fat.

Here are a few good examples:

  • Study #1: Hursel et al. – Meta-Analysis: Fat Loss from one cup of Green Tea [3]

Hursel’s study wanted to research just how effective Green Tea Catechins actually are. After doing the math and crunching the numbers, they compared multiple academic articles which examined catechin-caffeine (Green Tea) supplementation vs caffeine supplementation.

By working out the difference in energy levels, fat oxidation and thermogenesis, they were able to establish mathematically just how effective the average cup of green tea is for fat loss.

The results were fascinating, with one cup of Green Tea, being able to burn 5.7g of fat on average – a big plus for Green Tea.

  • Study #2: Hursel et al. – Meta-Analysis: Fat Loss from 90 days supplementation of Green Tea [4]

Hursel’s meta-analysis studies of Green Tea are great for getting universal figures on the herbs effectiveness. In this report, Hursel and the team compiled 11 studies of Green Tea consumption that all spanned over a 12 week period and found the average fat loss you can expect in that time.

Subjects who changed absolutely nothing in their diet over the 3 month period on average noticed a significant 1.31kg drop in weight – purely from drinking green tea.

It’s definitely one of the more potent fat burning nutrients you’ll find.

  • Study #3: Wang H – Weight Loss and waist size from 90 days supplementation of Green Tea [5]

In this 90 day study from Wang, 182 subjects were split into numerous groups each supplementing different strengths of Green Tea.

On average every subject noticed a drop in weight loss, and in their waist size, but the most successful results came from the high strength Green Tea which had the most amount of catechins.

The high-catechin group, without changing anything to their diet or exercise, noticed a loss of 1.2kg in body weight in a period of just 90 days. Just another study to add to the long list of this thermogenic herb’s effectiveness.


Summing Up: There are numerous studies that all show Green Tea works for both weight and fat loss – the key is the catechins. The more of these you have per day, the better fat loss results you will have.

Extra Benefits of Green Tea

  • Helps Prevent Heart Disease
  • Helps Prevent Cancer
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Clears Up Skin
  • Fights Depression
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Regulates Blood Sugar

How can I get more Green Tea in my Diet?

Normally in this section we’d list various types of food that contains the nutrient, and good meals that contain it – but with Green Tea it couldn’t be easier.

All you need to do is drink more Green Tea. Ideally making sure that it’s a caffineated brand, as caffeine and catechins work well together. You can have it in teabags or loose leaf depending on your preference.

For the best results aim for at least 2 cups of green tea a day. Failing that there are numerous fat burning supplements on the market that contain the caffeinated herb.


Does Green Tea really work as a Fat Burner? – Summary


Green tea is a great fat burner. Studies have show the catechins in green tea suppress the enzyme which breaks down the fat burning hormone norepinephrine. This gives your body that added thermogenic advantage to burn more fat naturally throughout the day. It also contains a small amount of caffeine which will give you an energy boost.

Want to learn more about which nutrients support fat loss? We’ve compiled a list of the best natural fat burning nutrients being used in the health and fitness industry at the moment.

Check them out in the link below:

Best Fat Burning Nutrients


[1] Lu H, Meng X, Yang CS., Enzymology of methylation of tea catechins and inhibition of catechol-O-methyltransferase by (-)-epigallocatechin gallate., Drug Metab Dispos. 2003 May;31(5):572-9.

[2] Westerterp-Plantenga MS., Green tea catechins, caffeine and body-weight regulation., Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 26;100(1):42-6. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.02.005. Epub 2010 Feb 13.

[3] Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Dulloo AG, Tremblay A, Tappy L, Rumpler W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS., The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: a meta-analysis., Obes Rev. 2011 Jul;12(7):e573-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00862.x. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

[4] Hursel R1, Viechtbauer W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS., The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis., Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Sep;33(9):956-61. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.135. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

[5] Wang H, Wen Y, Du Y, Yan X, Guo H, Rycroft JA, Boon N, Kovacs EM, Mela DJ., Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition., Obesity (Silver Spring). 2010 Apr;18(4):773-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2009.256. Epub 2009 Aug 13.

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