Ever since I started getting involved with the health and fitness industry, the health benefits of green tea were something I heard about endlessly. In fitness magazines, from other personal trainers and nutritionists as well as many athletes. So what is it about green tea? Firstly, it is packed full of antioxidants. Green tea is full of polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial for keeping the levels of free radicals caused by oxidation in the body low, and maintaining good health. Epigallocatechin Gallate (ECGC) is one of the most powerful antioxidants and is found in green tea. Various studies have shown the effects of ECGC have been up to 1000 times more beneficial than Vitamin E in fighting the harmful effects of free radicals in the body.
Drink or Supplement?
For me this was simple. After drinking green tea I quickly became hooked. It's natural and fresh taste is a great way to start the day and is great for staying hydrated. However, like any product, there are many green tea products that are far better than others. For example, head to your local supermarket and pick up the value brand of green tea, the chances are the quality of the ingredients involved won't reap the health benefits that others might. My personal favourite is from a company called teapigs. Teapigs offer a variety of different tea's and are passionate about inspiring the nation to drink real tea! Their tea is made in biodegradable tea temples and contains space to enable the tea leaves to infuse properly!
Teapigs Mao Feng Green Tea Temples have become an everyday essential for me! They contain fresh whole tea leaves instead to contain as much of the natural goodness possible! All you need is hot water and 3 minutes of infusion and you can enjoy the natural flavour of mao feng green tea! I highly recommend this product! To all green tea enthusiasts or to anyone who has never tried green tea before! I have tried many different types of green tea but so far this is my absolute favourite!
So what about supplements?
Some of you may be reading this, having previously heard about green tea benefits but just be thinking that it's really not for you. Maybe you tried it and weren't convinced with the taste, or maybe you just don't like drinking hot drinks. You want the health benefits of green tea but really don't want to drink green tea itself. Well there is an alternative. Green tea supplements contain all of the natural ingredients found in green tea and often contain them in higher quantities. I decided to put it to the test, and swapped my green tea drink for Mega Green Tea Extract supplements from My Protein. These supplements from My Protein contain 98% total Polyphenols and 50% ECGC, which can be as much as drinking 8-9 cups of green tea, all contained in one small supplement. The supplement also claims to be useful as a weight loss and fat burning supplement, due to the thermogenic effects of green tea.
My opinion? The supplement was a lot better than I expected it to be! Although I missed my daily fresh taste of a green tea drink, it still gave me the same natural feeling of energy I get from drinking green tea. It also seemed to be beneficial in aiding digestion as it claims to do on the website. However, I don't believe that these green tea supplements are enough to be labelled a fat burner. Although helping to feel fresh and energised, the green tea supplement is more of an antioxidant health additive than a fat burning supplement. If you don't like the taste of green tea, I would highly recommend these supplements as a way of encorporating the powerful antioxidants found in green tea into your diet. However, if you are looking to use this as a fat burner, you may wish to look elsewhere. Supplements aid fat burning, but the key to successful fat burning is much more likely to be found in the gym than in a pot of green tea extract supplements!
If you do one thing today, my advice would be to go green! I decided to and I have never looked back!
Teapigs Mao Feng Green Tea can be found at www.teapigs.co.uk
My Protein Mega Green Tea Extract can be found at www.myprotein.com