From Charles Poluquin
Green tea is a wonder nutrient that has been found to stimulate the development of muscle and burning of fat. Drinking it regularly can help you get lean and improve your health. In addition to aiding body composition, research shows green tea improves your immune system, regulates blood sugar, improves insulin sensitivity, and will even prevent the painful effects of alcohol.
Based off of previous evidence showing that athletes benefit from daily green tea supplementation because it decreases inflammation after a hard workout, researchers from Brazil tested how green tea can aid body composition goals in overweight women. The study had all the women go on a calorie-restricted diet for 4 weeks to jump start weight loss. Then for 8 weeks they were divided into four groups: a placebo group, a group that drank 10 grams of green tea powder twice a day, a placebo group that weight trained, and a green tea group that weight trained.
Results showed the following results at the end of the study:
• Green tea alone/no training: -4 kg of body fat, +1.1 kg lean mass, -4.7 percent body fat, about -13 percent in resting metabolic rate
• Placebo: + about 3 kg body fat, -2.3 kg lean mass, +2.1 percent body fat, about -20 percent in resting metabolic rate
• Green tea/Training: -9.7 kg body fat, +6.6 kg lean mass, -10.3 percent body fat, about +40 percent in resting metabolic rate (561 calories a day)
• Placebo/Training: -3.2 kg body fat, +3.5 kg lean mass, -4.4 percent body fat, about +36 percent in resting metabolic rate (503 calories a day)
In addition, the green tea/training group boosted their average strength by a much greater amount than the placebo/training group. The placebo/training group increased 1RM in the leg press by 60 kg, bench press by 4.8 kg, and 9 kg in the lat pull-down compared to the green tea-training group that gained 83.3 kg in the leg press, 5.5 kg in the bench press, and 12.6 kg in the lat pull-down.
Researchers are not entirely sure why green tea is such an amazing performance enhancer aside from how it eliminates oxidative stress and helps to get rid of waste products in the body. One thought is that it can enhance testosterone in the blood since the phenols (antioxidants) in green tea inhibit the enzymes that remove testosterone from the blood. Green tea may also improve the concentration of adrenaline in the blood, allowing for more intense training.
Other benefits of green tea for body composition are that it can improve blood sugar health and elevate metabolism, while decreasing hunger levels. For best results with green tea, researchers suggest it needs to be taken regularly, which you can do with a supplement or by brewing a high-quality tea.
Cardoso, G., et al. The Effects of Green Tea Consumption and Resistance Training on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Overweight and Obese Women. 2013. 16(2), 120-127.