If you need a pick-me-up and want to consume a beverage with a few extra health benefits, try a cup of freshly brewed tea instead of grabbing another coffee. Besides being great for soothing a sore throat or being full of free radical-fighting antioxidants, tea is also known to impact weight loss. Keep reading to find out the best types of tea for weight loss so you can start sipping and burning those extra calories!
Besides being beneficial for a slimmer waistline, drinking tea daily might actually help to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than a quarter. A study led by the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China found that individuals in the study who drank dark teas also decreased their risk of developing pre-diabetes by 15 percent. Dark tea contains many compounds created during the fermentation process that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Even more evidence of the benefits of drinking tea has been found in another study examining how both green tea and red wine contain compounds that are linked to fighting toxic plaques in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s. Sticky beta amyloid plaques can disrupt neural pathways in the brain when they clump together, leading to symptoms like confusion and memory loss. Green tea contains green tea catechins and resveratrol, both compounds known to inhibit plaque production.
If you’re looking for a healthy drink to sip, why not try tea? StudyFinds researched the best teas for weight loss and compiled a list of our top finds. Which one will you try next? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Teas for Weight Loss, According to Experts
1. Green Tea
Green tea is a great place to start, as it is one of the most common types of tea. Matcha is another form of green tea you can easily find at most coffee shops to replace coffee. If you’re too sensitive to caffeine for darker teas, green tea contains a naturally occurring amino acid called L-theanine, which can help to calm caffeine related jitters. “Green tea is one of the most well-known types of tea, and is linked with many health benefits,” says Healthline. “It’s also one of the most effective teas for weight loss. There is substantial evidence linking green tea to decreases in both weight and body fat.”
Green tea contains catechins, naturally occurring compounds that are known to increase metabolism and fat burning capabilities. “Although all true teas contain some catechins, green tea has the highest levels by far,” writes EatingWell. “As previously mentioned, catechins are the active component in green tea that has been of interest to researchers. The most well-known and abundant catechin in green tea is called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).”
“One Clinical Nutrition study found green tea extract can led to weight loss and even reduced waistline in women after 12 weeks,” writes Women’s Health. “This might be because green tea extract significantly lowers ghrelin levels in the body, which is a gut hormone. (An added bonus: Green tea also lowered cholesterol in the participants!)”
2. Black Tea
Black tea has the highest level of caffeine and is probably the strongest tasting tea on this list. If you’re transitioning from coffee to tea and prefer the extra boost of energy and robust flavor, try a black tea blend. “Prolonged oxidation, which is commonly referred to as ‘fermentation,’ also changes the makeup of polyphenols, or plant compounds, in black tea,” writes Everyday Heath. “While it does contain EGCG like less-processed tea varieties, it’s a better source of theaflavins. These polyphenols form when black tea leaves are oxidized, and they may offer weight loss benefits, according to a review published in April 2018 in Molecules.”
Besides caffeine helping to boost metabolism, black tea also contains flavonoids, an antioxidant that may contribute to faster metabolism, decrease fat absorption, and regulating weight. “One small study evaluated the effects of black tea on body composition in 111 participants,” notes Forbes. “Over a three-month period, regular black tea consumption was found to impede weight gain and minimize waist circumference. Another study from 2016 also touts the possible benefits of black tea, specifically the polyphenols, stating that these polyphenols may inhibit fat digestion and absorption, as well as block the obesity process by reducing oxidative stress.”
“One of the most potent tea varieties on the market, black tea contains a potent amount of flavonoids which makes it a fantastic beverage choice for people trying to reduce weight,” writes Healthify Me. “Flavonoids In black tea improve your metabolism and increase fat burning capacity of your body. Research also shows that drinking tea with high flavonoids promotes lower body mass index than those with lower flavonoids.”
3. Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is a classic Chinese tea made from the Camellia sinensis plant that shares both qualities of green and black tea. “Though green tea has long been thought of as the go-to variety for weight loss, some researchers believe that oolong–a Chinese tea that falls somewhere between green and black—may be even more powerful,” writes Prevention.
Besides metabolism-boosting caffeine, this tea also contains a multitude of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Polyphenols boost digestion and protect against diabetes, and EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is known for boosting weight loss and reducing inflammation. “This caffeinated tea may help you burn off more energy because it stimulates fat burning and ups your metabolic rate,” explains Women’s Health.
“Similar to green and black tea, oolong tea has some potential weight loss properties,” writes Sports Illustrated. “One study found that three to four cups of oolong tea per day could help decrease body fat content and reduce body weight through improving the metabolism of fats for energy in the body.”
4. White Tea
White tea is also made from the Camellia sinensis plant, but the buds and leaves are harvested right before they bloom and are full of tiny white hairs. White tea is processed the least and contains the highest amount of antioxidants compared to other blends. “Studies show that white tea is rich in catechins, which may help enhance weight loss,” explains Healthline. “Furthermore, one animal study showed that white tea extract could reduce fat gain in mice on a high fat diet by boosting metabolism, increasing the breakdown of fat cells, and preventing the formation of new ones.”
White tea contains both caffeine and catechins, which work together to help boost metabolism. “According to a past review, white tea is the least processed of all the teas, which accounts for its light, delicate flavor,” says Everyday Health. “The minimal processing also means white tea holds onto a high amount of anti-inflammatory antioxidants and fat-burning EGCG, making it another potentially beneficial brew for trimming weight.”
“White tea is considered to be one of the most delicate tea varieties because it’s so minimally processed,” writes Sport Illustrated. “This tea is made from the same Camellia sinensis plant that produces black, green, oolong and even Pu-erh tea; however, it’s neither rolled nor fired, which minimizes the oxidation that occurs.”
5. Pu-erh Tea
Pu-erh tea also originates from China and is named after the town it was developed in. This tea goes through a fermentation process after the tea leaves are first dried, which changes the flavor and allows the tea to be aged. “Part of pu-erh tea’s weight-loss benefits could be how it helps control blood sugar levels, though results have only been found in vitro and mice, so far,” says Insider. “Controlling blood sugar levels is important for weight loss because abnormally high blood sugar can trigger cells to store the excess, unused sugar as fat.”
Since Pu-erh tea is fermented, it can act as a probiotic, restoring healthy bacteria to the gut that help regulate blood sugar and control hunger, resulting in better weight management. “Native to Chinese tea culture, Pu Erh tea inhibits your body from producing more fats,” explains Healthify Me. “The best time to drink Pu-erh tea is one hour after a meal so that it can eliminate hard-to-digest fats and excess grease from the body.”
“Fermented Pu-Erh tea hails from China’s Yunnan Province and is a popular weight loss aid in Asia,” writes Women’s Health. “It contains two compounds, theabrownin and gallic acid. They can help fight off free radicals and clear out toxins—plus, they have anti-obesity effects, according to a study published in Food Research International.”
6. Mate Tea
Yerba Mate is the most well-known variation of mate, sold in commercially made cans for easy access. Yet Yerba Mate is a traditional drink that originated in South America, served traditionally in a gourd with a metal straw. “Yerba mate is a South American tea made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant which are dried over a fire,” writes HealthMatch. “Some weight loss properties have been attributed to yerba mate tea, with studies in animals showing it to have anti-obesity effects, but further studies are needed with humans.”
Besides being rich in the same antioxidants as other tea varieties, Yerba Mate has high caffeine content, with one serving being about 80 mg. “Yerba mate has a large number of antioxidants, and is noted for its high caffeine content and energizing, anti-inflammatory and obesity management properties,” explains Sports Illustrated. “Similar to green tea, yerba mate also promotes the metabolism of fat in the body through a process called beta-oxidation, which prioritizes the conversion of excess body fat into energy.”
“Mate tea, including the popular Yerba mate tea, could have some serious weight loss benefits,” writes Women’s Health. “One Journal of Functional Foods study found that mate can help you burn off more calories and lose weight. It can also lower cholesterol, in case you need another reason to brew a cup.”
7. Hibiscus Tea
If you can‘t tolerate caffeine you might want to try a caffeine-free herbal tea. Hibiscus tea is brewed from dried hibiscus flowers and produces a cup of tea that is tart and fruity, similar to cranberry. “This tart, tangy tea — harvested from hibiscus leaves — offers catechins like EGCG and has been shown to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol,” writes Everyday Heath. “One past review of animal and human studies, for instance, suggests that hibiscus extract shows promise in the treatment of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, though the authors say we need more research before recommendations can be made.”
The hibiscus plant contains anthocyanins, phenolic compounds and flavonoids – all known to reduce the amount of fat a person stores in their body by reducing the size of individual fat cells. “Hibiscus tea is a type of herbal tea made from the flowering hibiscus plant. More research is needed to determine how effective it is for weight loss, but some studies indicate hibiscus tea may protect against obesity,” writes Insider. “One small study of 36 overweight individuals found that participants who took hibiscus extract lost more body fat over 12 weeks than participants who took a placebo.”
“You can prepare hibiscus tea using the flowers of the hibiscus plant,” explains Healthify Me. “It has a pleasant, tangy flavor and looks pink with a reddish hue. Drinking hibiscus tea supplies you with certain plant compounds that help boost fat elimination and regulate lipid metabolism genes. According to Penn Medicine, hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure and fat levels and can stave off sweet cravings.”
You might also be interested in:
- Women’s Health
- Everyday Heath
- Healthify Me
- Sports Illustrated
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.