The Benefits Of Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is extracted from...wait for it….green tea! Okay, okay... I’ll stop pointing out the obvious.
But did you know green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis? This is the same plant that also gives us black, white and oolong tea.
After water, tea is the world’s most popular beverage. Think about that for a second. It’s mind blowing!
Green tea has been said to have health benefits for centuries. In 1191, a Zen priest described green tea as having a positive effect on ‘five vital organs’. But how does it measure up against modern science?
Green Tea Vs Other Teas
So if green tea comes from the same plant as the other teas mentioned, how is it different?
The answer lies in the processing. Unlike black tea, green tea leaves have not undergone oxidation and therefore contain "non-oxidized phenolic compounds", such as catechins.
Most health benefits of green tea are credited to its polyphenolic content. These are compounds such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate, epicatechins and flavanols, which act as powerful antioxidants.
These antioxidants are the reason we included green tea extract in Athletic Greens.
Why Are The Antioxidants In Green Tea Extract So Beneficial?
Antioxidants have been shown in laboratory tests to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals.
We hear a lot about free radicals, but what are they exactly?
To put it simply, free radicals are highly unstable molecules that are produced when your body breaks down certain foods into energy. You can also be exposed to them through pollution in your surrounding environment.
Free radicals can cause cell damage within your body, exacerbating many disease processes and speeding up the ageing process. They are also known to cause damage to the DNA within cells.
All this hasn’t gone unnoticed by scientists. The high antioxidant content in green tea has been linked to:
Green tea may decrease the risk and spread of cancer via a number of mechanisms that involve DNA, inflammatory pathways and by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis).
Research in this area has focused on benefits for breast, prostate and colon cancer. Though results are promising, more human studies are required.
This may be due to dilation and relaxation of the blood vessels, which in turn, has the effect of lowering blood pressure.
As blood travels through the arteries, plaque deposits can be left behind, gradually narrowing the arteries over the course of many years.
This is known as furring up of the arteries. Very descriptive, I know.
As the antioxidants in green tea extract can counteract the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, they may help prevent furring up of the arteries and vessel lining damage, both of which lead to heart disease.
Top that off with the effect of lowered cholesterol, thought to be a result of the high catechin content in green tea, and we could be on to a winner!
Some studies suggest the catechins and caffeine found in green tea may help burn more calories by increasing your basal metabolic rate.
Others indicate that green tea could assist weight loss via fat oxidation, insulin sensitivity and reduced carbohydrate absorption.
So Why Take Green Tea Extract Instead Of Drinking Green Tea?
Well first, there’s the taste. Most tea drinkers in the western world are accustomed to the taste of black tea, which is stronger and sweeter.
So as a drink, this just might not be your cup of tea, so to speak.
And even if you do drink green tea, it is typically not organic.
By taking green tea extract as part of Athletic Greens, you are optimizing the benefit of the plant whilst reducing the risk of getting some not-so-nice contaminants, such as pesticides and metals.
Green tea extract also works well together with other potent antioxidants like cocoa bean polyphenol extract, which, of course, is also found in Athletic Greens.
On top of that, we’ve added Alpha Lipoic Acid as an antioxidant “recycler”, and vitamin C, vitamin A (as beta-carotene) and co-enzyme Q-10 to maximize the antioxidant benefits.
What You Don’t Know About Green Tea Extract
Well this article wouldn’t be complete without some trivia to get the brain whirring and some answers for the curious mind!
Does green tea extract contain caffeine?
The answer is yes, but the content is much lower than that of coffee or black tea.
Typically a cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine and a cup of green tea contains about 20 mg. Black tea sits somewhere between the two. It’s worth bearing in mind this is all brand-dependent.
This means the caffeine effect in green tea extract is low. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine you should note it still has the potential to stimulate and keep you awake!
FYI, the dose in Athletic Greens is low enough that it should not be significant.
Should I drink green tea with food?
The catechins in green tea extract have increased bioavailability when combined with quercetin and fish oil. So consuming green tea (or an extract) alongside a meal containing the two is a very good idea!
For example, quercetin can be found in red kidney beans and capers. And fish oils are abundant in fish such as salmon and mackerel.
Is is better to take an isolated extract of EGCG or a whole-leaf green tea extract
All four catechins found in whole-leaf green tea extract appear to work synergistically.
Isolated extracts of EGCG, which can be found elsewhere on the market, do not have this benefit. And as you know, at Athletic Greens we’re all about synergy and optimising the benefits.
Is there such a thing as too much green tea?
You may be asking yourself this exact question as you guzzle your third cup for the day.
The good news is, there are currently no reports of clinical toxicity and no adverse reactions associated with taking green tea extract in reasonable doses (aside from individual sensitivities to caffeine - but I covered that earlier).
Some people have pursued mega dosing in a bid to try and lose weight and have ended up with liver damage…but I’m talking MEGA dosing here and like anything, the poison is in the dosage.
To help you out with this, here are some dosing guidelines for green tea extract:
For cancer prevention - lower, more frequent doses are recommended, such as 200 mg, 3 or more times per day.
For fat burning - the benefits are dose dependant and start at 300 mg - especially when taken after meals.
For general well being - individual doses of 800 mg and up to 1200 mg of green tea extract are considered safe. However, nausea can occur at higher ends of this dosage scale.
So In Essence…Green Tea Extract Is A Good Thing
Green tea has a long and trusted history in many cultures, spanning centuries. So it’s good to see science providing some insight into this potent herb.
As part of Athletic Greens, green tea extract works alongside the other ingredients to increase longevity, health and general well being.
And all this without even having to put the kettle on!