Intermittent Fasting is a diet plan that cycles between a period of eating and fasting. When you are fasting, you are expected to eat and drink no calories. Plain green tea contains no calories whatsoever, therefore green tea will not break you fast. In fact, drinking it is actually beneficial to your fast!
When you are fasting, you can lower your insulin while also increasing human growth hormones. In addition, when you finish burning off all the food in your system, your body will adjust and start burning fat to keep your body working. Because plain green tea has no calories, it will not impact with the benefits you seek from fasting.
Green tea is one of the healthiest drink in the world. It is packed with antioxidants and it has been claimed that it can even help increase your fat burning and help with weight loss. An 8-oz (230ml) of green tea contains around 35mg of caffeine. Although it holds less caffeine than a cup of coffee, it is still enough to have a small effect.
What really stands out is that green tea contains a type of flavonoid called catechin. This is an antioxidant and when combined with caffeine, it can help speed up your metabolism. Plain green tea contains up to 30% more catechin than black tea. In addition, catechin can also help break down the excess fat you consume. The most important catechin in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), this is a substance that can boost your metabolism.
One study has noted that people who consumed around 2 cups of green tea a day were associated with a lower body fat and weight. EGCG combined with caffeine helps with increasing caloric burn and also helps the body utilise the stored fat for energy. This works well with intermittent fasting as those who fast for weight loss often choose intermittent fasting for the same benefit of being able to burn fat during their fasting hours.
Our bodies are always burning calories and when you are drinking green tea, you are able to burn a little bit more. Studies have shown that people were able to increase around 3% to 4% extra of their daily calories burn. For example, if you were to burn on average 1500 calories a day, you might be able to burn an extra 60 calories a day.
EGCG is also known to be able to hinder the enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. Research shows that higher levels of norepinephrine in your body will enhance the overall rate of fat loss. This is because norepinephrine stimulates the release of fatty acids from fat cells into your bloodstream to be burnt as fuel. With the enzyme hindered, the amount of norepinephrine is increased and thereby promoting more fat breakdown.
Another benefit of drinking green tea during your fast is that green tea has the ability to lower ghrelin, also known as your hunger hormone. Ghrelin is an important hormone that is involved in appetite regulation, it is produced in your gut and its main function is to increase your appetite. The higher your levels of ghrelin, the hungrier you will be.
Studies have shown that a high dose of green tea catechin can lower your ghrelin and therefore might be able to make you less hungry during your fast when you drink green tea. Unfortunately, the only drawback is that you will have to drink up to 5-10 cups of green tea a day to get the amount of green tea catechin that were used in the studies.
If drinking that many cups of tea sounds daunting, nowadays there are green tea supplements sold in your local supermarket. It is a green tea extract that contains a high dose of caffeine and catechins. Because of a few studies, you can usually see the green tea extract being marketed as a weight loss supplement. Do know, you should probably consult a doctor before considering taking green tea extract due to their high amounts of caffeine. Sometimes, it might be too strong for you and might actually be detrimental to you.
While green tea is generally safe to consume, there are some side effect that has to be mentioned. When you consume green tea in high amounts, there is a chance that there might be toxic like effects on you. This generally includes nausea, headaches, vomiting and an abnormal heart rate.
Although the benefits of drinking green tea on fasting is relatively small, I think it is still worth it to give it a try. Try it for a few days and see how you feel about drinking green tea. Every little bit adds up, and it will probably work even better when you combine it with your intermittent fasting plan for weight loss. Although the benefits of drinking green tea is not a lot, in the long run it might be worth it. If you plan on giving this a go, I would suggest you talk to a doctor or a nutritionist to help you set proper goals and ensure that you are able to consume that much green tea!