Everything That You Need to Know About Black Tea for Weight Loss
You may have heard that black tea and weight loss go hand in hand. However, how many of these claims are actually true? After all, plenty of foods are said to help you burn fat and lose pounds.
If you want to know if you should use black tea as a part of your weight loss strategy, then you have come to the right place. Here, you can find out whether this is the drink for you and if so, how to use it in an effective manner.
Does Black Tea Help with Weight Loss?
The short answer is: yes, black tea does help you to lose weight. In one study, individuals who drank three cups of black tea each day experienced weight loss. At the same time, they also noticed a drop in waist size and a reduction in their waist-to-hip ratio.
As you can imagine, though, there is quite a bit more to uncover about this matter…
Understanding the Black Tea Benefits for Weight Loss
EGCG Promote Fat Loss
Like most true teas, black tea contains EGCG, which plays a role in fat loss. It was discovered that this element increases markers for thermogenesis. As a result, the body more readily releases fats into your bloodstream to be used as energy.
At the same time, ECGC was also shown to boost the markers for differentiation in adipose. This too can have an impact on how fat is stored in the body, making it easier for your body to burn off fat in the short term.
Polyphenols Reduce Visceral Fat and Inflammation
All true teas also have varying levels of different polyphenols. And, another study showed that these polyphenols were involved in the weight loss process. In particular, though, the phenols targeted visceral fat. This is a kind of body fat that can build up around your stomach and even spread to your arteries.
As such, the black tea doesn’t just make it easier to lose weight, it can also help to prevent the buildup of fat that can compromise your health.
In addition, polyphenols produced an anti-inflammatory effect as well. This is important because inflammation can mess with your metabolism, hunger mechanisms, and insulin resistance. All of this can cause you to gain weight. Inflammation can also make it more difficult for you to burn fat as well.
Theaflavins and Fat Metabolism
One of the polyphenols that black tea contains is called theaflavins. Theaflavins has a rather interesting reaction – this is shown to have an anti-obesity effect. This is because this component increases the fat metabolism capabilities of the body.
In turn, you will find it easier to lose weight, particularly when you are doing so on purpose. At the same time, drinking black tea on a regular basis can potentially reduce your body’s tendency to hold onto and store fat.
The Impact of Black Tea on Gut Microbiota
There is some evidence to show that black tea can have an impact on the bacteria found in the digestive system. In particular, drinking black tea can help to increase the diversity and the structures of these microbes. So, how is this important for weight loss?
Well, the more diverse the gut microbes are, the greater the chance for weight loss. In particular, these microbes improve your chances for long-term weight loss. Their impact is heightened for those following a low fat or a low carb diet.
As you might be aware, black tea tends to have a higher caffeine content than most other true teas. This is a good thing because, to a certain extent, caffeine can aid your weight loss efforts.
Caffeine can help to boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories that you burn during exercise. In this way, you may find it a little easier to reach your weight loss goals sooner.
Is a Low Calorie Substitute
Ever wondered how many calories are in black tea? Well, you will be pleased to learn than an 8 ounce serving of plain black tea contains 0 to 2 calories! This means that it is an excellent substitute for sugar laden sodas, juices, and other drinks that are filled with calories. Black tea can be an excellent alternative for a snack as well.
Black Tea vs. Green Tea for Weight Loss: Which is Better?
Since black tea and green tea are both sourced from camellia sinensis, they have plenty of similarities. Green tea is known to have several potent weight loss abilities as well. However, when they are compared, which tea comes out on top in this fight?
Well, this can be difficult to test. This is because each individual will have an independent reaction to the consumption of black or green tea. And then there are those who will have virtually no weight loss experience with either teas.
In terms of health benefits as well, you are unlikely to see too many differences. Due to this, you can just pick the tea that you like the best and incorporate it into your daily diet. If you aren't seeing any noticeable results, you can always just switch over and give the other tea a try.
The only thing to be mindful of is the fact that black tea does contain more caffeine than green tea. Thus, if you are sensitive to caffeine, then you may want to give green tea a try with your weight loss efforts.
Does All Black Tea Help You Lose Weight?
Now, it is clear that for black tea to have weight loss boosting qualities, it must be rich in certain nutrients. In particular, the tea has to contain a higher number of polyphenols. So, based on this, does this mean that all kinds of tea can have the same weight loss impact?
Well, this may not be the case. When commercial teas sold in the market were tested, there was a discrepancy found in the polyphenol content. This isn't too surprising considering that most brands offer cheap, CTC tea leaves that have been over-processed.
Due to this, you do need to make certain that you are buying the best black tea to help you shed those pounds. For this purpose, pay attention to the following guidelines:
Look for Reputable Brands
The easiest way to buy good quality tea is to consider the brand. Look for ones that are known for well-sourced tea. Consider brands that take care to process their tea leaves carefully and to preserve both the flavors as well as the nutrients. Yes, such brands can often cost a bit more, but it can be worth the investment.
Choose Loose Leaf Tea Over Tea Bags
More often than not, loose leaf tea is better sourced and better processed. In many cases, the taste is superior as well. Thus, you may want to begin selecting loose leaf tea over tea bags in the future. Bear in mind, though, quality and brand still matter.
If you aren't ready to give up your tea bags just yet, simply look for more exclusive brands. There are those that use better quality leaves and don’t cut them as much either. These should be a good alternative.
Pay Attention to the Features
Most people don’t take the time to truly examine their tea leaves. However, the appearance and aroma of the leaves can be a proper indicator for quality and freshness. So, look for tea leaves that are long and whole and don’t crumble.
The tea leaves should also have a notable aroma, ensuring that they are fresh. Tea leaves with some weight to them also indicate freshness and quality.
How Much Black Tea Should You Drink?
Most of the black tea weight loss experiments required people to drink around three cups of tea a day. Apart from this, however, there isn't much of a guide regarding how much black tea you should consume to experience any positive weight loss effects.
Thus, consuming 2 or 3 cups a day is a good idea. It is best not to drink more than this, though. A mentioned, black tea can contain quite a bit of caffeine. And too much caffeine can result in poor sleep, irritability, and the jitters.
To ensure that you don’t experience any changes to your sleep cycle, make sure to drink your tea several hours before your bed time.
How to Make Black Tea for Weight Loss
Black tea can’t help you to lose weight in any form – you have to make it in a particular manner. The most important thing to remember here is that you have to drink black tea plain. Adding milk and sugar may make the brew tastier, but they also add calories.
You can add artificial, zero-calorie sweetener to your tea if you like. However, some of these sweeteners aren't good for you at all. As such, they may offset the healthy components of the black tea. If possible, it is best to steer clear of these.
If you feel like your black tea does need some flavor, though, lemon is an excellent option. It is tasty, low in calories, and is a wonderful accompaniment to black tea. So, squeeze some fresh lemon juice or add a slice of lemon to your cup.
This is what you need to know about black tea and weight loss. As you can see, there is plenty to understand. Nonetheless, adding black tea to your diet can certainly help to shed excess pounds.
Dr. Dheena Sadik
Consultant Nutritionist and Dietician
Dr. Dheena Sadik is a consultant Nutritionist and Dietician. She has over a decade of experience in the health and fitness industry. However, her love for tea began long before she understood the health benefits of tea. Growing up in Sri Lanka, Dheena had the privilege of being surrounded by the world-famous Ceylon tea. This is what got her started on her exploration of the various types of tea. She has now extensively tasted and examined teas from all over the world.