Sip up to slim down: The right way to drink green tea for weight loss

Yes, green tea makes you lose weight. No, having it in the form of ice cream or noodles does not count. Neither does wearing green tea perfume. Or dropping green tea scented bath bombs in your ‘tub. That’s because the weight-loss benefits are in the epigallocatechin gallate (a.k.a. EGCG, a health-boosting antioxidant) found in green tea. Not the green tea flavour.

A fact that makes you wonder what other myths surround this potent superfood? Like whether green tea extract is effective? Or whether temperature affect its potency? Time to round up the health and wellness experts to spill the real scoop.

green-tea-1Green tea vs black tea: Why does it matter?

To begin with, all kinds of tea – black and green – are picked from a leafy green shrub in the same family as Camellia plants (Camellia sinensis). However, to make black tea, the new leaves are fermented and cured. This breaks down most of its active compounds. Green tea, on the other hand, is prepared by lightly steaming the leaves after picking. This not only preserves the active compounds, it also destroys the enzymes that would break them down rapidly.

Why go green?

Green tea has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to facilitate digestion, help heal wounds, promote heart health, stabilise blood sugar, improve digestion and boost mental function. Now, this ancient tradition also has a strong scientific grounding with thousands of studies proving that green tea contains antioxidants (that are up to eight times more powerful than vitamin C) and other substances that help lower cholesterol and protect against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, gum disease, and bacterial and viral infections. It also helps calm the nervous system by reducing levels of the stress hormones Cortisol and epinephrine, while countering the toxic effects of smoking.

What about weight loss? Is there any science behind this claim?

Yes. Several actually: green tea has been shown to inhibit lipolysis, the process by which dietary fats (triglycerides) are broken down in the body. Inhibition of the breakdown of triglycerides prevents absorption of the fat, thereby ensuring you don’t gain much weight. Besides this, the catechins in green tea inhibit an important enzyme – catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) – that speeds up the metabolism, thereby stepping up the calorie burn.

green-tea-3Do you get the same benefits with flavoured green teas?

The addition of flavours like pomegranate, apple, cranberry etc do not reduce the benefits of green tea. However, if the flavouring includes sugar, the additional calories will certainly cancel out the green tea’s weight loss potential.

What about iced green tea?

Chemically speaking, there is no difference between hot green tea and its iced version. However, keep in mind that iced teas are usually over-diluted with water, which impacts their effectiveness.

Does the brand or variety of green tea matter?

Absolutely! There can be a difference in the quality of tea leaves and the number of additional, unnecessary ingredients that may mess up your green tea’s powers. To reap the maximum benefits, look for brands that use all-natural ingredients and have no artificial preservatives. Also, try and opt for these 2 varieties of green tea whenever possible: 

  • Matcha: The green tea leaves are ground into a fine powder, which you can whisk into water for tea. Since you consume the actual leaves, you get more antioxidants than from other green teas.
  • Hojicha: Made from green tea leaves that are roasted until they’re dark brown. Because it’s picked at the end of the season and roasted at a higher heat than other teas, hojicha contains lower levels of caffeine.

Can green tea go bad?

It won’t really spoil but the fresher the better. Loose tea and tea bags usually hold their antioxidant potency for up to 6 months.

What’s the best way to brew a cup of green tea?

Ideally, skip the tea bag and opt for fresh leaves. That’s because, with green tea, you want to pour hot water directly over the leaves to extract their essence. Using a tea bag reduces the potency of the chemical reaction. If bagged tea is the only option, cut open the bag and pour water over the contents directly. As for the brewing bit itself, don’t let the water come to a full boil. Instead, pour the water over the tea right before it boils and then let the tea steep for 3-4 minutes.

How much green tea should I have every day?

According to scientists, the optimal “dosage” is 3-5 cups of green tea daily.

If I’m not in a “tea mood,” will a green tea extract do the trick?

Yes. In fact, depending on the concentration of the formula, 1 ml of green tea extract can equal the benefits of drinking 8-10 cups of antioxidant-rich green tea.

Also read: The right way to drink red wine for weight loss

Are you a green tea drinker? Which variety do you prefer?


      1. I like to buy it from amazon. Just make sure the matcha is from Japan and not China. Chinese matcha tend to have high lead content. Also, make sure to buy ceremonial grade and not culinary grade or else it will be really bitter to drink.

        This is the brand that I’m currently using:

        1. Thank you for the tip, I looked it up and ordered it. I can’t wait to try it. I read everything about this brand and seems like a really good high end quality brand and all the reviews were 5 star perfect helpful reviews.. I am actually interested in trying this to help me in weight loss.. Do you drink this for weight loss purpose or just for the natural nutrient properties? I have been searching for a really good organic green tea but looks like I got lucky in finding your comment on here and got something even better than what I was looking for. Thanks again for sharing….;)))

  1. I don’t really like green tea, but I can see that it has numerous benefits. What do you mean by Green Tea extract. Where would I get it, and how do you imbibe it?

  2. Hi Anubha!
    I have to agree with you. Green tea really is great, not jut for weight loss.

    I already know most of what you have written (because I wrote a post myself a few days ago), but I didn’t know about Hojicha and Matcha. Thanks for sharing!

      1. Thanks for the product referral but a bit too expensive for my budget. However, I do have a question….What is the difference between matcha tea and regular green tea? Isn’t it the same thing but in different form?

    1. Can I get the correct way to drink green Yea for weight loss. I used a little sugar with lemon juice. Is this the correct way

      1. No, Sugar will have fat in it. If you want to lose weight try using honey[be careful and watch-out for added sugar] or just plain tea.

        1. Sugar is a carb, So no fat at all in sugar, But carbs are 4 calories per gram.

          Honey isn’t great for weight loss, it’s very on par with sugar (there are 6 grams of sugar per teaspoon honey), I’d try an artificial sweetner if you need to take the edge off! 🙂

          1. My first comment was in error that isn’t what I meant to say in reference to ” no fat in sugar”? That is incorrect, sugar is a carb and of course both sugar and carb turns into fat. However, there are also such thing as a good fat but if you’re talking about sugar, that is bad fat. Sugar and carbs both do turn into bad fat.

  3. Thanks for sharing some easy tips to help me in losing my weight. As doctor suggested me to lose my weight because i am having some health issues due to my weight and after reading your post i am happy to know that by green tea will help me more in losing my weight. So from now onward i will start drinking 3 cups in a day.

    Thanks once again and keep posting.

  4. This blog is very nice. You shared very informative story about green tea.
    Really, green tea helps for weight loss.
    Those want a losing their weight, your story helps them.

  5. I’ve been drinking three cups of green tea daily. What I do is dilute one cup of green tea with a half gallon of water … well 8oz of green tea (Bigelow) into a 59oz container (almost half gallon) and fill the rest with filtered water.

    I also add one teaspoon of sugar, not artificial sweeteners.

    Anyway, this has been my way to make drinking a gallon+ of water a day more palatable.

    Not sure if anyone else has done this, but the tea doesn’t loose much flavor at all, and I get the benefit of drinking a lot of water. What do you think? Good idea, pros, cons?

    Great article, I will try brewing without the teabags next.

  6. i want to whether teabags have same benefits or not as i have started using Lipton Mint green tea bags.? please let me know that will help in reducing weight or not?


  7. Thanks for the information. Wanted check if husband does is right or not.
    I make green tea in the morning he consumes half of it in morning and other half, once he is back from work in the evening.

    Any harm in this behavior?

  8. I hsve been sourcing my green tea leaves from a supplier in Pakistan its s lovely loose leaf tea ..and have been drinking it rekegiously for over a tear now..together with watching my diet snd lits if exercise I have lost almost 100lbs.. I swesr my thd overall health brnefits of Green Tea btw I turn 50 this year and so far no illnesses…Thsnk You God

  9. Green Tea is not the yummiest of drinks but I made a variation out of it.

    Added Cranberry Spitzer version to it and I am drinking it almost everyday now. Here is what I used:
    Green Tea Bags- 4
    Cranberry juice- ½ cup
    Seltzer (Chilled)- 3 cups
    Sugar- 1/3 cup
    Water- 1/3 cup

    I would love to know if you liked it too!

    1. I used Lipton tea bag with half lemon and half teaspoon of honey and I take it with empty stomach. Is it good to add Honey and lemon?. Plz suggest.

      1. Hello,

        i am beginner for green tea… i want to know what is the right time to drink green tea , i googled green tea can drink 3 times in a day….but what time before breakfast or after break fast, before lunch or after lunch before dinner or at sleeping time ….i am totally confused please suggest me what is right to have green tea i want to use for weight loose. which green tea is best

        1. Hi prachi, as mine opinion if you looking weight loose though out , green tea we have to drink 3 time it’s correct,, after meals , make sure after dinner drink before 2 hour off to bed , coz might it’s effect your sleeping time !!

  10. I’m INTRESTED in trying Matcha
    My question looking to loose a few pounds how much do I have to drink daily which products do I need and how long before I would see results??

  11. Like you all know green is not the tastiest of teas, I enjoy drinking Mint Green tea. If you have not tried it please do, its like a match made in heaven, the mint takes off the edge of harsh tasting green tea and also provides you with extra benefits. I’m hoping to drink up to 4 cups a day to see if i can lose some inches around the waist LOL (please work please work)

  12. I have minimum 5 cups of green tea, everyday for the last 3 months and have lost kg thus far. I read in order to maintain your ideal goal weight, kne should have 3 cups daily. I use the Lipton green tea brand, the one with lemon. I don’t havd sugar or milk. Your taste bhds takes 17 days to sdjust, so hang in there if it tastes yucky at first.

      1. Hi Jen

        We have something in common. I also drink Lipton green tea and I just discovered this morning that I had lost 7kg in 5 months. so we must be doing something right.

    1. Hii….
      Can you please tell me what is the right time to take green tea
      it should take after meal or before meal

  13. I have never tried taking green tea, although it’s always been on my mind as something that I should add in the stack to help with anxiety and depression. Time to stop procrastination and take massive action.

  14. I love green tea =) It’s packed with immune boosters and antioxidants. It’s weight loss effects is even greater when paired with proper exercise.

  15. I have not tried green tea yet……what flavour i have use for glowing skin…..pls can anybody telll

  16. When do i drink green tea for weight loss?before breakfast or after breakfast?before meal or after meal?thank u to those who can help me answering in my question

  17. It is good for healthy @glowing skin.also helps about weight reduce.☺sorry to say,i am not totally release from my heavy weight.

    1. Tea with lemon is good for healthy glowing skin. Avoid sugar and honey. Or mix a bit of sugar, instead of honey in a large thermos or bottle of water to make iced tea. Ice dilutes the strength of the green tea.

      Lipton and other name brands are ok, but cut the bag open and filter the hot water on top of it for more potency.

      I drink a black tea with honey and lemon at 4:30 for a pick me up drink. No snacks. Avoid snacking all together, as it looses the need to loose weight. Good luck to all. Plain green tea with lemon is tolerable. Plain green tea is slightly bitter.

    1. No dear if you will add milk then it will resuce the effectiveness of green tea to much extent it won’t be called gree tea then but just tea.

  18. I’m just starting to use green tea and I guess I can really feel my weight loss is lost my dimples because of being fat but I finally got them back thanks to green tea.

  19. Thanks for the tips! I was curious about having green tea but didn’t knew whether it is really that much helpful or not especially the cold tea. But, you made me get rid of this confusion.


  20. I get super confused with green tea brands. I have like 3 types of green tea leaves gifted by my friends and all taste a little different. All are authentic yet so different.

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