If you’re a tea drinker, you probably already know your cup is salubrious. “Tea has medicinal properties, and it is the second-most-consumed beverage in the world,” says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, the Chicago-based host of the podcast Nourishing Notes.
A study by A.A. has shown that drinking two to three cups per day can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, early death, and type 2 diabetes. review published in June 2019 in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. On the other hand, the evidence for tea’s effects on weight loss hasn’t always been clear.
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Here’s what scientists know — and don’t know — about the effect of tea on body weight.
How drinking tea may help with weight loss
Swapping in tea for high-calorie beverages can help you lose weight. You can easily save hundreds of calories by swapping a sugary mocha for a zero-calorie cup of tea at the coffee shop. Sarah Koszyk, RDN, the San Francisco–based author of 365 Snacks for Every Day of the Year.
Research suggests that tea may be a key ingredient in weight loss. “Teas contain catechins, which can increase metabolism by stimulating the body to break fats down more quickly and burn more calories,” Koszyk says.
Catechins, a type plant compound with powerful antioxidant capabilities, are one example. according to past research. Tea is particularly rich in four catechins: epigallocatechin EGC, epigallocatechin EGC, epicatechin gallate EGG, epigallocatechin gallate EGCG. EGCG is the most common of these four catechins and is believed to be the key to many of the health benefits associated with tea. according to a past review.
There are many varieties of tea, and several of the traditional types — green, black, white, and oolong — are harvested from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensisPlant according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Different processing methods, geographic locations, and plant varieties are responsible for their unique flavors and properties. These differences also affect the nutritional content of each tea, which can mean that certain types are better suited for weight reduction than others.
We are lacking solid research on tea and weight-loss.
However, many studies examine the effects of tea in capsules and tablets. These forms of tea may offer study participants a concentrated dose of plant compounds, such as EGCG, than a regular bag of tea. Other studies don’t use humans, and if they do, the population sizes are on the smaller side. These are major limitations. Therefore, scientists need to conduct more large studies in humans using brewed tee.
Experts agree that plain, unsweetened tea is generally healthy. Go ahead and prepare that cup — and as you sip, check out this list of the top teas for weight loss, in order from strongest evidence to weakest.