Green Tea Extract Supports An Active Metabolism, Blood Sugar Balance & More*
As a nation, metabolic health isn’t our strong suit—only 12% of Americans are considered metabolically healthy. (Shocking, I know.)
If you’re a part of the majority, know that there are many ways you can improve your metabolic health: Regular physical activity, getting adequate sleep, and science-backed nutrition strategies like the power of green tea (or, even better, supplements with green tea extract).*
5 benefits of green tea extract.
Green tea extract delivers myriad health benefits that range from metabolic health support (e.g., promotes a healthy body composition, enhances insulin activity, helps balance blood sugar levels, bolsters cardiovascular function) to broader benefits, like antioxidant actions and promoting a healthy inflammatory response.*
"I think green tea extract is wonderful,” says integrative medicine doctor Amy Shah, M.D. “Studies show that it is actually quite effective at supporting a healthy inflammatory response, so it can be beneficial to overall health.”*
Here are some key benefits you can expect if you add a supplement with green tea extract to your regimen.
Promotes a healthy weight.
This super-concentrated version of green tea comes in powders, capsules, and liquids that you can take during or after a meal to help support a healthy, active metabolism.* And there's clinical evidence to back it up: In a randomized controlled trial (RCT) from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that fat oxidation rates were 17% higher1 in healthy young men that ingested green tea extract capsules during moderate-intensity exercise.*
Those findings echo the findings from a previous study on body composition from the Journal of Health Science, which found that healthy men that consumed a daily beverage with the compounds found in tea—including those native to green tea—called catechins (more on those in a bit) and exercised regularly (i.e., three times a week for 30 minutes) had higher rates of fat burn, both during exercise and at rest.*
In 2016, an RCT published in the journal Clinical Nutrition2 found that female participants saw a reduction in excess weight, body mass index, and waist circumference when they took a high dose (856.8 milligrams) of green tea extract daily for 12 weeks.*
The secret lies in green tea extract's high concentration of antioxidants called catechins, which have been correlated with3 a reduction in excess body fat.* While there are many catechins found in green tea extract, the most studied is epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.
The synergistic combination of caffeine and EGCG together (as they are found naturally in green tea) has been clinically shown to promote fat burning and oxidation, an active metabolism, and healthy body composition.*
One study from Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found participants that consumed caffeine in conjunction with a green tea supplement containing EGCG and caffeine lost more overall weight and body fat mass4 than those that were not habitual caffeine drinkers.*
“When the green tea extract goes into the body, the antioxidants and caffeine enter the cells and help the body burn calories and fat,” says Liana Werner-Gray, a health and nutrition coach who specializes in healthy weight maintenance. "Green tea extract is an effective, natural way to support a healthy body composition. We have so many studies to back it up."*
The science doesn’t lie—caffeine and catechins like EGCG in green tea extract work in harmony to promote healthy body composition and improve metabolic health markers.*
Scavenges free radicals.
While green tea includes quite a few famous antioxidant compounds (vitamins A, C, and E and mineral selenium, to name a few) its most potent antioxidant actions are credited to polyphenols called catechins5.*
These awesome phytonutrients neutralize reactive oxidative species (ROS) like it’s nobody’s business to help maintain oxidative balance and promote whole-body health.* In a 2015 Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine study, daily green tea extract supplementation was found to increase participants’ total antioxidant status6 in just two weeks.*
In another study from Nutrition Research, daily green tea supplementation was found to significantly increase blood levels of glutathione7—i.e., the body’s master antioxidant—and plasma antioxidant capacity in adults with metabolic health concerns.*
Supports heart health.
Evidence suggests that green tea extract also plays a role in heart health and function.*
According to a Current Medicinal Chemistry review, catechins from green tea demonstrate a number of vasculoprotective properties8—including the ability to promote redox balance, support healthy blood lipid levels, regulate vascular tone (i.e., in arteries and arteriole walls), bolster endothelial (blood vessel) function, and promote a healthy inflammatory response.*
Promotes healthy blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar balance is a critical component of metabolic health. According to a 2020 Nutrition & Metabolism meta-analysis, short-term green tea extract supplementation can significantly reduce fasting glucose levels9.*
Insulin sensitivity is also important for healthy metabolism, as it allows the body’s cells to use blood glucose more effectively and regulate energy balance. In an RCT published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea extract was found to increase insulin sensitivity by 13%1 (and improve glucose tolerance) in healthy men compared to the placebo.*
As you can see, green tea extract has demonstrated the ability to promote both of these critical functions.*
Enhances skin health.
Interestingly (but perhaps not surprisingly, if you’re familiar with the mechanisms behind skin care products), green tea extract has been found to support skin health when used both orally and topically.*
In a 2013 study from Dermatology Therapy, cosmetic formulations containing green tea extracts were found to enhance skin moisture and significantly improve skin elasticity10 after 30 days of application.
Pairing a topical green tea cream with oral green tea supplements was found to have a similar effect in a 2005 study11: Participants showed cellular improvement in elastic tissue content after eight weeks of application and supplementation.*
Potential side effects.
There are only a few mild side effects of green tea extract to watch out for (in fact, you might even see some as perks!).
The most common side effect you'll experience when you start taking green tea extract is a quick burst of energy, like you just had a shot of espresso. If you've ever had too much coffee, you know the icky experience of feeling jittery and unable to focus that sometimes follows this rush, so keep this in mind—especially if you're sensitive to caffeine. If you struggle to get deep, restful sleep, you might want to avoid taking green tea extract late in the day.
A few more things to consider: Just like a cup of most kinds of tea, green tea extract has natural diuretic properties. Make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to stay properly hydrated.
Like any other supplement, green tea extract gets filtered through the liver. "It’s safer than coffee, alcohol, and a lot of other things, but it can be taxing on the liver," says Werner-Gray. As such, those with hepatic or detoxification concerns should talk to their health care provider before adding a green tea supplement to their regimen.
Overall, research has yet to find serious green tea extract side effects in healthy people.
From blood sugar balance and promoting a healthy body composition to skin elasticity and cardiovascular support, green tea extract has many benefits you can take advantage of.* While drinking green tea also provides some of these perks, taking an efficacious dose of green tea extract is a much more effective way to take advantage of this powerful antioxidant.
mbg’s metabolism+ delivers 600 milligrams of green tea extract (with 270 milligrams of EGCG) and 150 milligrams of caffeine from green tea extract, plus other premium botanicals (i.e., cayenne pepper, veld grape, and grains of paradise) to help you optimize your metabolic rate, calorie and fat burn, energy balance, and neuroendocrine hormone balance.*
Whether you’re hoping to balance blood sugar levels or maintain a healthy body composition, green tea extract found in metabolism booster supplements like metabolism+ can give you the metabolic support you desire.*
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.