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The Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

February 14, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

I must confess that I am an avid coffee drinker and have been for many years. In fact, I'd go as far to say I am completely obsessed with it; black and white, mocha, latte, cappuccino and americano.

Nonetheless, although I am hooked on coffee and require one without fail each morning to wake me up, I have also been converted to the wonders of green tea and it is now a staple part of my afternoon and evening drinking routine. Although decaffeinated coffee is an alternate option, having too many cups can still make you feel bloated, increase your blood pressure and increase cholesterol levels.

So why drink it?

If you're a man you might have a preconception that green tea, or any flavoured tea for that matter, is a 'girl's drink'. Well ignore that, read about the health benefits below, and try it for yourself.

Green tea has been used for centuries in Chinese medicine to treat medical problems and improve life expectancy. It is low in caffeine, low in calories and is full of antioxidents (200 times stronger than vitamin E) whilst studies have also shown that drinking green tea or taking green tea extract can lower total cholesterol and 'bad' cholesterol levels. Although it contains caffeine, because it also contains theanine, the effects of the caffeine are counteracted and therefore little, if any stimulation, actually occurs.

It is also a light, refreshing drink that, unlike coffee, does not make you feel bloated (a great benefit for office workers who spend a lot of time seated in front of a computer).

A recent study has been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where 14 trials were carried out with a total of 1,136 participants. The objectives of the study were to look at the effect of taking green tea on cholesterol levels. The findings showed that green tea was associated with significant reductions in both total and bad cholesterol levels for both healthy people and those with a high risk of heart disease in just 3 weeks.

Lose weight and increase energy levels

Both tea bags and powder are packed full of antioxidants called catechin polyphenols which are responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea, in particular 'epigallocatechin gallate' (EGCG) which increases your metabolism and leads to fat burning. EGCG stimulates your central nervous system and causes fat to be released into the blood stream which the body can then use as fuel (energy), a process called 'thermogenesis'.

Green Tea can also help you to exercise for longer periods of time which makes it popular for both dieters and athletes because of the thermogenesis properties. The catechin polyphenols stimulate the use of fatty acids by your liver and muscle cells which reduces the rate that carbohydrates are used, leading to greater endurance levels, longer exercise times and therefore more calories being burnt and weight being lost!

If you visit any sports supplement retailer, you will find that in many of the weight loss/fat burning supplements, green tea is included in the list of ingredients. Popular products include Thermobol and Diet Impact Whey which are bought for people looking to lose weight and gain lean muscle.

By Tom at Fitness Coupons

Source: EzineArticles
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