Although water is the most consumed beverage in the United States, the number two slot goes to tea. In fact, surveys show that 23% of Americans drink tea daily, while another 24% drink tea multiple times a week. But when is the best time to drink green tea for weight loss?
Green tea comes from unoxidized leaves and is the least processed tea you can drink. For this reason, it also contains the most antioxidants and health benefits. Here is a look at when is the best time to drink green tea for weight loss.
Green tea has played an essential role in Chinese and Japanese medicine for thousands of years, aiding digestive issues, weight loss and headaches. It’s no wonder why it’s considered the rockstar of the tea family.
While scientific evidence cannot definitively prove the benefits of drinking green tea, here are five ways it’s believed to improve your health.
Green tea contains caffeine and catechins, an antioxidant believed to enhance metabolism, allowing the body to convert food into energy.
Although the effectiveness of green tea catechins on weight loss is unclear, research indicates the possibility of it reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome associated with obesity.
Additionally, the caffeine in green tea promotes thermogenesis, which is a process that suppresses appetite and burns calories faster.
Unlike steeping a tea bag in hot water, it’s important to note that studies typically use highly-concentrated green tea extracts. Whether or not green tea has significant weight loss benefits, its nutrients are still healthy for you.
Of course, the best method to achieve weight loss and optimal metabolic health is by regularly exercising and eating a balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
Another benefit of drinking green tea is greater cognitive performance. Although it contains less caffeine than coffee, green tea is still a stimulant that keeps you awake and more alert.
Research has proven time and again that caffeine boosts brain function, including mood, fatigue, work efficiency and psychomotor functioning.
However, green tea contains another compound, in addition to caffeine, that helps improve cognition. For example, L-theanine is an amino acid that increases dopamine levels in the brain and reduces anxiety.
One study also found that consuming tea daily improved mood and had a 50% chance of reducing Alzheimer’s in older adults.
Even if some areas of cognitive research require further analysis of green tea’s benefits, regularly drinking it can support brain function more effectively than other beverages.
Chronic inflammation or oxidative stress in the body can stimulate the development of some cancers. Green tea contains several cancer-fighting chemicals that can stunt the growth of harmful cells.
Green tea’s high levels of antioxidants can prevent oxidative damage. Medical investigations have been able to link green tea with a reduced risk of the following cancers:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 37 million Americans have diabetes, and 90% to 95% live with type 2 diabetes.
When you have type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance could lead to elevated blood sugar levels in the body. However, some analyses have indicated green tea’s ability to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce insulin sensitivity.
A recent study of Chinese individuals with diabetes found a 50% decrease in diabetes-related retinal disease when drinking green tea daily.
Although more research is needed, daily intake of green tea is seemingly associated with lower risks for type 2 diabetes.
In the United States, one person dies every 36 seconds from heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the nation.
Green tea catechins may improve the risk factors associated with heart disease, such as lowering triglycerides and total and bad cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure levels significantly.
Knowing the benefits of green tea, it’s not a surprise that daily consumption of green tea has a 20% reduction in a heart attack or stroke.
While the benefits of drinking green tea for weight loss are not entirely understood, you may be surprised to learn timing matters if you’re using it as a weight-loss aid.
A comprehensive review of green tea’s weight loss effects found that women who drank a few cups of green tea two hours before taking a brisk walk increased fat burning or the breakdown of fatty acids.
Additionally, the antioxidant properties found in green tea extracts reduce inflammation and muscle soreness following a workout.
Try drinking a couple of cups of green tea in the morning when you wake up. The caffeine will boost your alertness and metabolism, an excellent start for your fitness regimen.
Because green tea does contain caffeine — even if it isn’t as much as coffee — you may want to refrain from drinking it too late in the day or right before bed.
Studies have shown that drinking caffeinated beverages after a specific time of day can negatively impact sleep quality, sleep duration, how many times you wake up at night and time spent in a deep sleep.
Other research has indicated that drinking green tea during meals can reduce the body’s natural ability to process nutrients. For example, many teas, including green tea, contain tannins and oxalate that inhibit iron absorption found in many plant-based foods.
While it may seem best to drink green tea between meals, there’s no definitive evidence that certain times are better than others. In that case, you should drink green tea whenever you feel like it.
Preparing green tea is easy; however, boiling water and longer steeping times don’t necessarily increase the health benefits. When you let your green tea steep in boiling water, you may risk reducing the metabolic benefits significantly.
Instead, heat your water to about 175° Fahrenheit. Fresh ingredients are best when brewing green tea and research suggests that brewing for six to eight minutes extracts the most antioxidants. Anything over that leads to a 29% increase in caffeine in your cup.
For iced green tea, cold steeping is ideal in water that’s cold to room temperature. Remember that the colder the water, the longer you’ll need to let it sit, sometimes for up to 12 hours. By steeping green tea in room temperature water, you’ll preserve its antioxidant properties, and it’ll taste less bitter.
There’s not an exact science behind the preparation of green tea. Keep things simple and steep your tea the way you enjoy it the most.
Before you brew yourself another pot of coffee to get you through the day, consider swapping it out for a cup of green tea instead. It’ll deliver the bittersweet, nutty flavor and increased energy you enjoy so much, but with twice as many health benefits.