Green tea might be the one health drink that lives up to its hype, or at least lives up to a lot of its hype. Made from the steeped leaves of camellia sinensis, it allegedly benefits almost every organ system in the body. It may be cardioprotective, liver protective, artery clearing, cancer fighting, anti-diabetic, and even fat burning.
It contains modest amounts of caffeine, but it also contains chemicals like theobromine, which reduces blood pressure, and theophylline, which relaxes the airways and stimulates the heart just a bit. The end result is a nice little buzz that's different and less pronounced than that offered by caffeine. Even though it's stimulatory, it also has mild anxiety-reducing effects, which seems like the perfect pairing of sensations.
What Was That About Fat Burning?
Green tea may be carb blocking, which, when combined with its fat-burning, metabolism raising effects, is why it's long been touted as a modestly effective fat burner. Unfortunately, some of the fat-burning effects might be mitigated if you already ingest a lot of caffeine (i.e., you're not caffeine naéve).
The fat burning chemical is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, or EGCG. One cup of green tea contains about 50 mg., but you need about 400 to 500 mg. to experience any fat-burning effects. Don't care to drink that much tea? Use a supplement like Biotest Superfood which is packed with EGCG (95% total polyphenols, 65% total catechins.)
And to strengthen the fat-burning response, drink your tea with some fish oil.