If you’re not drinking Matcha green tea yet, and you’re seriously interested in your health and looking good, then I’m sorry you’re behind the times! Matcha green tea has been making headlines for the last few years as a health elixir, and no wonder as it has been used by Zen masters for achieving calm enlightenment and by Samurai warriors for its energizing, strength-enhancing powers for over a thousand years.
For more information about Matcha and its health benefits please refer to my previous postings here.
A little-known fact though is the use of Matcha tea for weight loss. The Japanese inhabitants of Okinawa are well known for their longevity and it could well be due in part to their consumption of Matcha green tea. Although they are mostly associated with their long lives, they are also generally very lean and fit – could it be that Matcha green tea plays a large part in this?
The Science of Matcha for Weight Loss:
The evidence for weight loss with Matcha tea is based on a number of scientifically backed studies within human subjects and also with animal-based testing. The following is a compilation of the definite science I have discovered.
1) Fat Burning:
A 1999 study featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition documented that green tea extract, rich in catechins, has thermogenic properties (the body’s rate of burning calories) and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by the tea’s caffeine content alone.
The research seems to point to a synergistic effect between caffeine and catechin polyphenols which lengthens the time over which thermogenesis (the body’s rate of burning fat) takes place. One study found that drinking green tea increased thermogenesis from 8-10% to 35-43% of daily energy expenditure.
Furthermore, this coactive effect increases metabolism over a 24 hour period as opposed to the immediate period after consumption as is the case with caffeine alone.
A further synergistic effect has been noted between caffeine and exercise so getting active will help you to lose even more weight when drinking Matcha. Matcha is a rich source of caffeine but when combined with Theanine which is also present, it doesn’t give you that jittery caffeine energy dump.
Another study demonstrated that exercising immediately after drinking Matcha green tea resulted in 25% more fat burning during exercise.
Both studies propound that Matcha green tea can boost both resting metabolic rate and fat burning – Wow can I lie on the sofa and get slim?!
2) Reduces amount of fat stored in the body:
Green tea catechins have been demonstrated to dramatically inhibit the process of fat digestion in humans, reducing the amount of energy being stored as fat in the body. Recent studies suggest that green tea is especially effective in the reduction of abdominal fat.
Of particular interest is a 2009 meta-analysis (assembling the data from all studies) of 11 studies on the effects of consuming catechins – it showed that subjects consuming between 270 to 1200 mg green tea catechins/day (i.e. 1 – 4 tsp of matcha powder per day) lost an average of 1.31 kg (~ 3 lbs) over 12 weeks [Hursel].
Significantly, however, the total amount of abdominal fat decreased 25 times more with green tea catechin consumers than a control group not drinking it. Additionally, the total amount of subcutaneous abdominal fat (the fat just below the skin of the abdomen) decreased almost 8 times more with green tea catechin consumption than without it.
3) Appetite Reduction:
Matcha regulates insulin and glucose levels and can thus help diabetics. So unlike coffee, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, Matcha can smooth out your insulin and glucose levels which pave the way to diminishing your food cravings.
The best practice for consuming Matcha seems to be generally 30 mins – 1hr before a meal or 2 hours after a meal. This allows the catechins to be absorbed by the gut more effectively.
Matcha’s slow release of energy can last for anything up to a whole day for some people and at least up to six hours after drinking. I have personally found this to be effective at keeping me off sweet things, and I have a very sweet tooth. The theanine in Matcha also gives a feeling of calm and can curb psychological cravings – especially beneficial for those trying to quit smoking and those who feel the urge to comfort snack.
4) Improves Exercise Performance
Another fascinating aspect of Matcha green tea is that clinical tests suggest it can help speed recovery in athletes whose focus is high-intensity workouts. It’s also been shown to counter cellular damage caused by oxidative-nitrosative stress. Oxidative-nitrosative stress is just a fancy name for the internal imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. Because Matcha is the richest source of antioxidants in the plant kingdom this imbalance which ultimately destroys cells, prevents their repair and causes disease, is effectively reversed.
Being able to train harder and longer is obviously a good way of addressing weight issues and may help people who have been unable to exercise to turn their health regimes around.
5) Matcha reduces inflammation:
Called as “The Silent Killer” by Time magazine, inflammation has reached epidemic proportions in the United States and throughout the developed world. There is a direct correlation between inflammation and obesity, and Matcha green tea, which is abundant in polyphenols, reduces inflammation. EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), one of the strongest anti-inflammatory polyphenols found in nature, is highly abundant in Matcha green tea. One gram of a high-quality Matcha contains approximately 66mg of EGCG and 30mg of epigallocatechin.
Reducing Inflammation can seriously improve our health and significantly impact our weight.
I want to take a leaf out of the Japanese, Chinese and particularly the Okinawan people’s health book, whereby drinking a health elixir called Matcha green tea, eating a healthy whole food diet and enjoying a social outdoor life leads to a fulfilled and healthy old age.
As well as this, when weather allows, clip your cycle shoes on, reach for your joggers and Lycra and strut your stuff. I am officially designated a MAMIL (middle aged men in Lycra) these days but at least I am burning my subcutaneous off faster with my morning Matcha.
If you want to join me please go to my website here for more info on the best Matchas to buy.
If anybody wishes for any further information or wants to leave any comments regarding the material here, please leave a comment below.