Sunday Supplement

Today on Sunday Supplement, I want to talk about a lesser known, or lesser used supplement - green tea extract. 

I have never been a lover of hot drinks, and I'm still not, and that's where green tea extract comes in. Green tea has been bounced around the fitness world for a long time now, and it comes in three forms - tea bags, powder and capsules. But what is it?

Green tea is is made from a special plant in Asia, using only the leaves. It is hardly processed and the method of converting plain leaves into a drink or powder, ensures that the majority of its nutrients is preserved. Green tea is nowadays known as an antioxidant and scientists have strongly suggested that it plays an important role in helping to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and some other conditions. It can also help with fitness goals.

Green tea is said to help stimulate fat oxidation, raise resting metabolism levels and kick start your fat burning process. Many people are 'hot drink lovers' and a lot of people drink high calorie hot drinks. If you make a simple swap to a calorie free green tea, you will cut a fair chunk of calories everyday, that in itself will lose some body fat. I want to make this point very, very clear - green tea is NOT a 'fat loss pill'. If you are a sedentary person, eating a poor diet, popping a green tea capsule of drinking a cup of green tea is not going to shrink your waste line - it can AID fat loss, not magically do it by itself.

Green tea can also help strengthen your immune system and help with stress levels. One study that I stumbled across stated that in a 5 day extreme physical test, 45% of placebo takers reported illness's, whereas just 5% of green tea takers reported illness's.

Many trainers/nutritionists out there recommend you take green tea pre-workout, as it can kick start your fat burning system, and it also contains caffeine which can give you an added boost. As it is caffeinated, exercise with caution! too much caffeine is NOT good. I actually use Hench Nutrition's green tea extract, which I have about 250mg each time (and usually 1-2 servings per day). As with any supplement, always consult your GP if you have any queries or worries.

I think green tea can really help you, with fat burning and general health. You have to use it alongside a healthy, balanced diet though - as stated above, on its own, it will do nothing.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

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