Sip Your Way Slower to Weight Gain: How Green Tea Keeps the Extra Pounds at Bay

It’s a sad but true reality: as we get older, our metabolism slows down, and we tend to gain more weight. But before you throw in the towel and surrender to the inevitability of age-related weight gain, there’s some exciting news. Researchers have found that consuming green tea, or more specifically, the extract from green tea, may help you combat weight gain as you age.

Green Tea: A Natural Weight Management Ally

Green tea has been celebrated for centuries for its numerous health benefits, ranging from a boosted immune system to cancer-fighting qualities. And although green tea is often praised for its weight loss benefits, new research reveals that it may also help slow down the weight gain associated with aging.

A team of scientists from Penn State conducted a study to explore the effects of green tea on weight gain. They used two groups of rodents, both of which were fed a high-fat diet. One group received the green tea compound EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) as a supplement, while the other group didn’t receive any EGCG supplementation.

The results were quite surprising. The rodents that were given the green tea extract experienced a 45% slower weight gain compared to the control group. Additionally, these rodents had a 30% increase in fat found in their feces, suggesting that the EGCG had an effect on fat absorption.

How Does EGCG Work?

Researcher Joshua Lambert explains, “There seems to be two prongs to this. First, EGCG reduces the ability to absorb fat, and second, it enhances the ability to use fat.” In other words, the green tea extract helps block fat absorption while increasing fat metabolism. This two-pronged approach makes it an effective natural weapon against age-related weight gain.

It’s important to note that the study didn’t indicate that green tea suppresses appetite. The rodents in both groups consumed the same amount of food during the trial period. So, while green tea extract won’t help you eat less, it may impact how your body processes and stores the food you do eat.

How to Incorporate Green Tea Extract into Your Diet

The easiest way to benefit from the weight management properties of green tea extract is simply to drink green tea. It’s recommended that you drink at least three cups a day to get an adequate dose of EGCG. You can also find green tea extract in supplement form, available in capsules or as a powder.

However, before incorporating green tea extract into your daily routine, consider that green tea and its extracts contain caffeine, which can affect people differently. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, it’s best to start with a smaller dose and gradually build up — or opt for a decaffeinated version.

Other Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. It has also been linked to a reduced risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as breast and ovarian cancer. Some research suggests that green tea can help improve brain function and may even protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Furthermore, green tea has been found to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood sugar levels. Studies have also shown that green tea can contribute to improved dental health, as it kills the bacteria responsible for plaque formation and bad breath.

The Takeaway

Although there’s no magic bullet for weight management, incorporating green tea extract into your diet can certainly provide a helping hand. While it won’t necessarily make you lose weight, its fat-blocking properties made possible by EGCG can slow down age-related weight gain and provide your body with additional health benefits attributed to the antioxidants in green tea.