Green Tea for Weight Loss (how effective is it?)

One of the core tenants of weight loss is not to drink your calories; this means you cut out juices, sugary sodas, and things like creamers that you used to put into your coffee which now doesn’t taste quite as good.

Diet sodas are an option, but the threat of artificial sweeteners and the effects they have on weight loss may be concerning.

So if you’re not interested in drinking plain water or feel like teas are a healthy way to get nutrients, then green tea may be an option for you.

Can Green Tea Help You Lose Weight?

Green tea can assist with your weight loss through several actions, including the 29 mg of caffeine provided that will boost your energy levels for working out, suppress your appetite, and boost your metabolic rate by 3-11%, which helps you burn more calories.

One of the other factors that green tea can help with is replacing the sodas that you have previously consumed that contain calories. Often people don’t like to switch from soda to water, so green tea provides a better taste to keep you on your weight loss track.

Green Tea StatsGreen tea (1 oz)Daily % Needed
Calories20%
Fat0 g0%
Total Carbs0 g0%
Fiber0 g0%
Sugar0 g
Protein0 g0%
Manganese450 mcg25%
Vitamin B2140 mcg14%
Magnesium7.1 mg3%
Folate11.9μg3%
Caffeine29 mg

Outside of the caffeine provided by green tea, it doesn’t contain enough of any one vitamin or mineral to be highly effective for your weight loss, and the caffeine levels would restrict how many cups you should have per day. 

If you do consume multiple cups a day, you will get a reasonable boost in a large number of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds with almost 0 calories, so it’s beneficial to drink green tea to top those up for general health.

Green Tea Caffeine Effect on Weight Loss

The caffeine in green tea is the biggest benefit to your weight loss. It’s a highly effective energy booster that allows you to work out longer and harder at the gym or other weight loss activities.

While the caffeine content in green tea is lower (29 mg) than a cup of black coffee (95 mg), the caffeine you get from green tea will be released slower, so you have less of a drop off in your energy levels, this is true for most teas vs. coffee.

Caffeine is also a highly effective appetite suppressant, so your cravings and hunger pangs will be lessened throughout the day as you drink your green tea.

One of the other major benefits of caffeine is that it can boost your metabolic rate by 3% – 11% while it’s active in your system, which could help you burn 100 – 200 calories extra per day.

Green Tea vs. Other Weight Loss Foods And Drinks

For many foods, one of the biggest benefits you get in weight loss is low calories and fiber, which helps you feel fuller. Green tea has almost 0 calories, and while it doesn’t have fiber, it has slow-release caffeine that suppresses your appetite.

The nutritional benefits of green tea are limited, but at 0 calories, the other benefits may make it one of the better options to include in your weight loss regime. You can reap the benefits of plain caffeinated teas as part of a healthy diet that includes a variety of things like mango, kiwi, and even dark chocolate.

FoodWeightCaloriesSugarCaffeineEffectiveness
Dark Chocolate1 oz1707 g25 mgGood
Green Tea1 cup20 g29 mgGood
Oolong Tea1 cup20 g38 mgGood
Black Tea1 cup20 g47 mgGreat
Black Coffee1 cup20 g95 mgBest
Diet Coke1 can00 g46 mgGood
Diet Monster1 can100 g160 mgPoor

If you want similar benefits to green tea but more caffeine, then black tea or coffee are the best options, and you won’t need to drink as much liquid throughout the day. Coffee is often an acquired taste for people so black tea is a much easier and more tasty option if you can’t handle the coffee taste.

If you start looking at alternative drinks like diet coke you fall into the issue of artificial sweeteners which some research suggests aren’t healthy for you and increases your sugar cravings. Monster energy drinks on the other hand have a huge amount of caffeine but also have other ingredients which can be harmful to your harm and cause anxiety or jitters, so it’s best to stick with natural teas for your caffeine when drinking.

How Much Green Tea To Drink A Day For Weight Loss

It’s safe, healthy, and beneficial to consume 400 mg of caffeine per day, any more than that, and you risk negative side effects, so with roughly 29 mg of caffeine per cup of green tea, you could drink 13 cups of green tea per day.

You do need to factor in that other foods like dark chocolate contain caffeine, so having a food and drink tracking program or spreadsheet that includes your caffeine intake per day would be useful, so you don’t take too much.

The longer you take caffeine, the more resistant your body becomes to it, and the more you need to get the same benefits. Cycling off green tea for a few days to a week or limiting your intake is the best option.

When To Drink Green Tea For Weight Loss

You can drink green tea for weight loss throughout the day, and starting early in the morning with your breakfast is a good way to keep your appetite under control before you can even think about all the food you want to eat that day.

The other benefit of green tea is that with almost 0 calories, it won’t break your fast if you’re utilizing fasting as a weight loss method.

One warning is that the caffeine in green tea can limit your iron absorption, so if you’re low in iron or plan to eat a high iron meal, don’t drink green tea for two hours before or after that meal.

Do All Types Of Green Tea Offer Similar Weight Loss Results?

The best method to consume green tea for weight loss is to drink it plain; if you add sugar or milk, then you increase the calories and can slow the absorption of caffeine which reduces the benefit.

Type Of Green TeaBeneficial For Weight LossPro Or Con
Green TeaEasy to transport
Green Tea with SugarAdded sugar
Green Tea with MilkExtra protein
Green Tea with Cashew MilkLimited calories
Green Tea Ice CreamIncreased calories
Green Tea PillsLimited effects

If you find the flavor of green tea unappealing but still want the benefits, then you could add milk or products like oat milk or, preferably cashew milk. You’ll get taste improvements with either added protein from milk or limited calories from things like cashew milk.

Adding sugar or incorporating green tea into things like ice cream will almost completely remove the primary benefits and will only increase your calories.

Taking green tea pills will have limited benefits as green tea is water-soluble and requires the actual steeping (hot water) process to get the real benefits of using green tea.

Easiest Options To Include Green Tea In Your Diet

It’s not advisable to incorporate green tea with other components or into your cooking for weight loss or to improve your diet. Green tea should be taken straight and plain to get the most benefit.

If you want to make the process easier, you can make a large amount of green tea and store it in the fridge to drink throughout the day or over a couple of days; keeping it cool after making the tea is not a problem, and maybe a refreshing zero-calorie drink throughout the summer.

Where To Get Green Tea

The best place to get green tea is by buying green tea bags from supermarkets like Walmart and Kroger, then storing them at home. You can purchase travel mugs to keep your tea hot or cold as you wish.

Almost all stores like Walmart and Kroger will also sell premade green tea; however, almost all of these will have calories and lower caffeine levels. For diet green tea that’s premade, you’ll find the caffeine level is also low and has artificial sweeteners, so you may as well drink diet coke.

Starbucks and similar coffee shops will make you a green tea exactly as you would make yourself at home, zero calories with standard caffeine levels, so that would be the best option while you’re outside or just don’t want to make your own.