You lead a healthy life. You try to eat well and get some exercise every week. But there’s still one more thing that you can add to your routine that will give your health a boost like no other substance on earth: green tea extract. This miraculous extract is responsible for helping people around the world maintain good health and is constantly the subject of research studies to gain a better understanding of its impressive properties. If you’re interested in improving your health, losing weight and feeling great, then consider adding green tea extract to your diet.

Ready to learn more? This article was written with you in mind. In the following paragraphs, you’ll learn all about what green tea extract is, what benefits it offers, how you can take it and more. Read on to revolutionize your health with this powerful extract.

What is Green Tea Extract?

Green tea extract is a concentrated form of green tea leaves. Green tea leaves come from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis. In fact, many common teas come from this plant including white tea, black tea, oolong teas, among others. The difference between the teas is how they are prepared. Green tea is among the least processed of the teas, and as such, preserves more of the beneficial substances attributed to this kind of tea.

The tea plant originated in Asia, and the process for making green tea is from China. However, today, the tea is grown and processed around the world in tropical and subtropical regions (1). Drinking green tea is an ancient tradition in countries like China and Japan where tea plays an important role in the culture. The Japanese tea ceremony, which features powdered green tea, allows participants to practice Zen and continues to be an essential part of life there. Now, drinking green tea has been popularized around the world and can even be purchased in tea sachets just like black tea or any other herbal tea.  It owes its popularity to the many health benefits it offers in the way of powerful antioxidants. It has even made its way into herbal supplements and well-known diet teas such as SkinnyMint. But, just because green tea has become popular, does that mean you should drink it? If so, why? We’ll explore that in the upcoming sections.

First, let’s take a look at the different kinds of green tea extract you can take and the differences between them. Green tea extract, as stated, is a very concentrated form of the tea, often sold in the form of pills. However, you can also enjoy the benefits of the components in green tea extract by simply brewing the tea leaves. It’s not as concentrated as in a green tea extract pill or supplement, but it is a form of the extract and if you drink several cups, it can add up and equal what may be in a pill. It’s up to you to decide what type of green tea extract you’ll take. To help you understand the differences between them, we’ve outlined what you need to know about both green tea leaves and green tea pills.

Green Tea Leaves

Green tea leaves can be purchased loose-leaf or in tea bags. When you purchase your green tea leaves, make sure you check the ingredients to see that only green tea is present. That’s all you need. The more ingredients there are, the more watered down your green tea. You’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the purest version of green tea possible. It’s also best if you can find organic green tea. Since you’ll be steeping the leaves in water to create your extract, you don’t want any residual pesticides or herbicides in the mix that can damage your health rather than enhancing it.

How should you make your green tea extract beverage?

  • Don’t use boiling water. Water at this temperature is too hot for the components of the green tea, such as the essential catechins. The water should be between 160-170 degrees Fahrenheit. (7) If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you can simply boil the water and then allow it to cool in a separate glass (such as a Pyrex measuring cup) for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the tea leaves or tea bag to your hot water and allow to steep. Allow your tea to steep as long as you’d like. The longer it steeps, the more active compounds will be released into the water. However, steeping your tea for a long time can also make a very strong flavor, and depending on your tastes, you may prefer a weaker tea.
  • Strain the tea into your teacup if using tea leaves.
  • If you want to add something to your tea, choose lemon, which helps the body absorb catechins. (7)
  • Avoid adding lots of sugar and milk if your goal is weight loss. Sugary additives will add unnecessary calories. If you must add something sweet, opt for honey, which has its own weight loss and health benefits.

How much tea should you use?

If you’re using loose-leaf tea, it can be hard to estimate exactly how much to use. Assuming you use about 3 grams of dry tea leaves per cup, studies show that about 202.5 g of catechins are obtained. (8)

How much tea should you drink in a day?

There are numerous suggestions about how much tea you should drink in a day. While some of the studies used in this article reference amounts as much as 4 or 5 cups a day, others reference lesser amounts.

The best part about taking green tea as a beverage is that it is very easy to purchase and make. So, grab a pot of water and heat it up for a perfect cup of green tea full of benefits.

Green Tea Pills

Green tea extract pills or supplements are another great way to consume the antioxidants found in green tea. Green tea leaves are processed to create an extract, typically in powder form, that is placed inside capsules. Different companies have their own ways of processing and some go as far to isolate certain polyphenols such as EGCG and report these amounts on their labels. (8)

However, bear in mind that you’ll have to do your research. While it’s fairly easy to tell what kind of green tea leaves or tea bag you’re getting, because the ingredients list is clear, with supplements, it’s a bit trickier. Independent analysts such as Lab Door have found that manufacturers of green tea extract have less than exact labeling. For example, the analyst reports that one manufacturer claimed a certain amount of caffeine on the label, but when tested, the product contained only 42% of the amount listed. On the opposite end of the spectrum, another manufacturer’s product contained 131% or much more than the caffeine listed on the label. The same is true for catechin claims. (8)

So, be sure you check that you’re obtaining your green tea extract from a reputable supplier, just as you would with any other dietary supplements.

How much green tea extract should you take?

There is a wide range of advice out there about how much to take. Because of the variety of products available, it’s best you look at the individual product you’re considering and follow the recommendations. A certain number of milligrams of one green tea extract product is not the same as what’s in another due to the unique ingredients and percentages of polyphenols in each one.

If you need another opinion, it’s best if you check with your doctor, who will be able to direct you further.

Adding Green Tea Extract to Your Diet

In order to make the most of what green tea has to offer, you have to make it a regular part of your life. The best way to do that? Make it a habit. While each individual is different, the average person makes a habit in 66 days. So, if your goal is to take green tea every day without forgetting, do it religiously for about two months and it will become your routine.  However, to make it a habit, it’s best if you take the green tea at the same time each day. This will help reinforce the habit as your body gets used to doing the same thing at the same time. Whether that means you take a mug of green tea with you on your commute, pop the supplement with breakfast or have a cup of tea before bed is up for you to decide. The important part is to do it each day at the same time.

Why Is Green Tea Extract Good for You?

Green tea extract is known for its many health benefits due to the powerful compounds found in the tea. These specially prepared tea leaves are known for their high levels of antioxidants that are called polyphenols. Among the polyphenols in green tea you’ll find: catechins, tannins, phenolic acids and flavanols. Furthermore, green tea extract also contains caffeine, vitamin C and B vitamins, essential oils, amino acids (L-theanine), and some micro elements. The catechins are of particular interest to researchers, especially one called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is the most powerful antioxidant in green tea and has been associated with the tea’s anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties (2).

As you can see, green tea extract is chock full of compounds of interest for those who seek to lead a healthy lifestyle. Researchers have been studying these compounds and how they affect humans in numerous investigations and studies. Let’s take a look at some of green tea’s scientifically proven benefits:

Green Tea Benefits

The benefits of green tea extract cover all parts of the body from head to toe. After you’ve read through the list, you’ll be ready to make green tea extract a part of your life right away!

Here are Just 9 Benefits of Green Tea:
  1. Heart Health

High blood pressure is a common health problem that can affect your heart. One study showed that subjects were able to lower their blood pressure by taking green tea extract daily for several months. It seems that the antioxidants in green tea lower inflammation of the arteries, alleviating high blood pressure.

There’s more good news for your heart. Taking green tea may also help you reduce cholesterol levels as long as you also maintain a healthy diet. Those are some great reasons to incorporate green tea into your diet.

  1. Brain Boost

Oxidative stress in your body’s cells can cause many conditions and has been linked to disease like dementia. But the EGCG antioxidant in green tea extract may help prevent cognitive decline and the onset of these debilitating diseases, some studies say.

What’s more is green tea contains a small amount of caffeine. It’s less than what you’d find in coffee, but it’s enough to have an effect. If coffee gives you the jitters, green tea is milder and may be an effective alternative that wakes you up without the negative side effects of coffee. Caffeine can help you stay alert and perform well. If you want to keep your brain sharp as a tack, consider adding green tea to your routine.

  1. Weight Loss

Losing weight is often a challenge, so a little help is often welcome. While not a miracle drug for weight loss, green tea extract can help give you a push. Drinking green tea or taking the extract has been linked to burning more calories than if taking a placebo. In addition, another study linked taking high amounts of green tea extract with reduced ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone, so inhibiting this hormone can reduce hunger pangs that make weight loss difficult. Researchers chalk this up to the presence of caffeine and other compounds such as EGCG in green tea. Based on this evidence, you should definitely consider adding green tea to any diet plan you’re already following. It might just give you the extra boost you need to see results.

  1. Liver Function

For those who suffer from liver disease, green tea extract may provide an alternative way to reduce inflammation. There have been several studies that show green tea extract can be effective in improving liver function in patients who struggle with this problem. (3,4) If you’re interested in testing it out, make sure you speak with your doctor about the dose, as green tea can also be problematic in high amounts for people with liver-related diseases.

  1. Anti-Carcinogenic

Green tea extract can prevent cancer, some studies suggest. In one study, the likelihood for developing cancer for those who took green tea extract was as low as 3% while for the control group there was a 30% chance of developing cancer. That’s quite the difference! Drinking green tea or taking green tea extract regularly is the best way to gain this benefit.

  1. Skin Health

Green tea etract can be very beneficial to your skin’s health on several levels. For example, it has been shown to reduce the effects of acne over time. Other research shows that taking green tea extract, particularly EGCG, may help reduce sun damage and even prevent skin cancer. Whether you have spent too much time in the sun or suffer from acne, green tea could be the missing link in your treatment plan for healthy, beautiful skin.

  1. Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a major health problem that affects many people. Green tea extract may help both diabetics and people who are insulin resistant or at risk for diabetes. How? The extract can enhance insulin sensitivity, which can help lower blood sugar levels. Diabetes levels are lower in populations of people who consume green tea. This is epidemiological evidence that researchers are seeking to confirm through additional studies (5). This area may also be linked to the weight loss benefits. Many individuals who have insulin resistance struggle to lose weight. Controlling blood sugar can help individuals shed pounds since they’re less likely to experience fluctuating blood sugar that can cause cravings and crashes. This is the logic behind many popular diets such as the GOLO diet which helps people control blood sugar.

  1. Anti-Bacterial

Green tea extract may also have anti-bacterial properties that are beneficial when facing a number of harmful bacteria. Researchers believe the catechins in green tea may be able to kill bacteria like streptococcus mutans, which is responsible for tooth decay and cavities. So, grab a mug of tea before bed for a healthy mouthful of teeth.

  1. Longer Life

Overall, all of these benefits add up to one thing: a longer life! Avid tea drinkers (5 cups a day or more) in a large Japanese study were much less likely to die for any reason than those who drank less. When it came to heart disease and stroke, heavy tea drinkers were up to 42% less likely to die than those who didn’t drink as much tea. (6) Although we all have to die at some point, it’s safe to say that most of us would like to prolong it as much as possible. It seems clear that drinking green tea regularly is one way to work towards a goal of a long life.

Green Tea Extract: Weight Loss Tips

Green tea extract can certainly help you on your road to weight loss as mentioned in the above benefits. However, the green tea won’t do the work on its own. For best results, you should take additional measures in addition to taking green tea extract.

But, before you begin, make sure that you have a weight loss goal in mind. This will help you tailor your plan so that you can achieve results. You have to know, if you’re overweight, and if so, how much, to be able to proceed. Once you know how much weight you need to lose, plan on losing a pound or two a week until you reach your goal weight. Mark the date on your calendar that you expect to reach your weight loss goal and work towards making it happen!

Then, figure out what green tea product you’ll use. Based on studies, for successful weight loss you should seek a green tea extract product that contains EGCG and caffeine. The suggested dose is 270 mg EGCG and 150 mg of caffeine daily. If you go the green tea beverage route, drink several cups a day, using the recommended 3 grams of dried tea leaves per cup.

Then, fine tune your weight loss plan. As discussed, the best way to lose weight is slowly over time. This will help ensure you get the weight off and keep it off. Go for a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins that will help you lose weight a bit at a time. For example, if you’re currently eating 2500 calories, try to reduce it to 2000 calories. There are plenty of diets and advice out there to help you find your way if you’re looking for more specific advice. From Rachel Ray’s healthy diet advice, to dropping 20 pounds in 2 weeks, there are a million options. Find a plan that will help you reach your goals and use it alongside your green tea regime.

In addition, you’ll need to add some exercise to your routine. You can target your muffin top or other problem areas through exercise so that you are satisfied with your results.

The final key to your success? Don’t stop taking green tea extract! This tea has been associated with successful weight maintenance after weight loss. By keeping green tea in your routine, you’ll make sure you won’t backtrack on your hard work.

Green Tea Side Effects

One of the best things about green tea extract is that there are very few negative side effects. However, as with any supplement, there are some side effects that you should be aware of before starting off on a new regime. What are they?

Green Tea Side Effects and Who Must Avoid It:

Caffeine Effects: Although the amount of caffeine in green tea is very small, especially when compared to coffee, it does indeed still have this compound. If using a supplement, check this very carefully as concentrated extract may have higher amounts of caffeine than what you’d find in teas. On the other hand, there are decaffeinated green tea products and supplements available, so if you’re concerned you can always choose these. Caffeine can help you stay alert, but in large amounts it’s dangerous and can cause irregular heartbeat, diarrhea, the jitters, and osteoporosis.

Glaucoma Complications: Green tea extract can increase the pressure inside the eye. If you already have glaucoma, beware of this side effect.

Diabetes Interaction: Green tea extract can help you control your blood sugar. So, if you’re already diabetic and taking medication, make sure you consult with your doctor ahead of time before taking green tea. The combination of your medication and green tea may cause your blood sugar to drop too low.

Liver Complications: While in certain doses green tea has been shown to improve liver disease, in excess it can actually cause liver damage. Use of green tea extract in individuals with liver disease should be closely monitored by a doctor.

Green Tea Extract: Part of a Healthy Lifestyle

Green tea is a great addition to your healthy lifestyle. With benefits for everything from mental and cognitive performance to dental hygiene and heart health, green tea contributes to a happy, healthy body. What’s more is for people seeking to lose weight and keep it off, green tea offers many benefits that can help them reach this goal.

As with any supplement or health-enhancing product, it’s wise that you discuss your plans to include this beneficial tea into your routine with your doctor. Once you have the go-ahead, you can join the millions of people around the world who enjoy the many advantages this simple tea extract can offer.

Thanks to modern science, we are finally learning the details of how and why green tea extract makes a difference in our health, confirming what many ancient civilizations already knew. Are you ready to incorporate green tea into your diet? Or perhaps you have already added it to your healthy lifestyle. If so, tell us about your experience in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!