When it comes to losing fat, no magic pill or powder can replace consistent work in the gym and a clean diet. Your efforts will always trump anything a supplement can do. That said, there are a handful of ingredients that may help boost your metabolism and enhance your weight-loss efforts.
Two of those ingredients—green tea and green coffee—may already be part of your daily morning ritual, but they’re also sold in supplement form as green tea and green coffee extract. If fat loss is your goal, is one extract better than the other? It’s time to put these two green titans in a head-to-head battle for fat-loss supremacy!
Make Time For Tea
Green tea, which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, has been recommended as a healthful drink for centuries with potential health benefits ranging from improved antioxidant status to cardiovascular support. Although multiple parts of the plant can be used, it’s the extract from the leaves that seems to offer the most health benefits, especially when it comes to weight loss.
The two components primarily responsible for green tea extract’s (GTE) health benefits are catechins, which provide the majority of antioxidants benefits, and caffeine, which enhances thermogenesis and fat metabolism.
When compared to a placebo and caffeine alone, GTE has been shown to significantly increase 24-hour energy expenditure.[1,2] Over time, increasing the number of calories you burn both at rest and during exercise could lead to favorable changes in your body composition. Furthermore, there are multiple studies showing GTE’s ability to increase rates of fat oxidation (or fat burning) over a 24-hour period.
Long-term consumption of green tea extract has been shown to support modest weight loss, around 2-3 pounds, over a 12-week period.3 While GTE clearly won’t do all the work for you, research suggests that, when combined with exercise, it can support greater weight loss when compared to exercise alone.
Green Is The New Black
Green coffee extract (GCE), as the name implies, is extracted from unroasted green coffee beans. Its main active ingredients are compounds known as chlorogenic acids, which are thought to be responsible for its weight-loss effects.
While it’s not entirely clear how it works, chlorogenic acid may be able to promote fat loss by increasing the activity of PPARalpha—a gene involved in fatty-acid transport and oxidation—and reducing the creation of new fat cells through its antioxidant effects.
To date, there has been only one study to demonstrate a positive effect of GCE on weight loss in humans. A 2007 study published in the Journal of International Medical Research found that when GCE was added to coffee, participants lost (on average) almost 12 pounds over a 12-week period, when combined with diet and exercise. This compared to only 3 pounds lost in the coffee-only group.
While results from this study are promising, larger, better-controlled studies are needed to truly determine the effectiveness of GCE as a weight-loss tool.