Decaffeinated Green Tea For Weight Loss?
Green tea is aggressively marketed as a weight loss supplement for the simple reason that there is a solid evidence it displays numerous anti-obesity characteristics. For instance, it appears to raise the metabolism, lower cholesterol, inhibit the activity of the enzyme alpha-amylase (required for the digestion of carbohydrates)…
… and that’s just the beginning.
But what about decaffeinated green tea? Is it as effective for weight loss as the regular “caffeinated” stuff?
The short answer is…
To understand why, you need to understand to some extent why green tea works in the first place.
Most scientists agree that it is the combination of caffeine and the critical catechin/polyphenols in green tea (specifically EGCG, or “epigallocatechin gallate”) that make it effective. Studies have established that green tea’s thermogenic effect far exceeds that of its caffeine content. This study concluded…
“Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se.”
But additional clinical data suggests that without plenty of caffeine to accompany it, green tea doesn’t have the same punch. This study—performed on a decaffeinated green tea supplement (Teavigo™) standardized for EGCG concluded…
“Moderate consumption of EGCG can improve the health status of overweight individuals undergoing regular exercise by reducing HR and plasma glucose concentrations. Loss of body fat, however, may require a higher intake of EGCG, other catechins or addition of metabolic stimulants.”
In other words, taking a decaffeinated green tea supplement can help lower your heart rate and blood sugar levels, but it doesn’t seem to help with weight loss (the supplement did not outperform a placebo in this case).
The study clinicians wrap up their conclusions with a supposition—that it’s the combination of all the catechins in green tea, plus its caffeine content that make the difference.
Of course, they also indicate it is possible a much higher dosage of a EGCG-standardized green tea supplement may help, and it may.
So what to do?
Taking a quality decaffeinated green tea supplement certainly isn’t going to hurt you, and the above referenced study indicates you will receive some health benefits from doing so. But there’s no evidence to suggest you will lose weight with one.
If you’re OK with that, you can purchase a quality caffeine free green tea supplement from iHerb.com (use the coupon code FAT259 to get $5 off your first order).