Green tea has risen in popularity mainly for the health benefits that it offers.
There’s currently a large demand for green tea supplements, whose main component is green tea extract.
I encourage you to choose real green tea over the extract, but in any case I thought that this was a topic worth discussing.
Green tea extract has numerous uses in many areas such as cosmetics, drinks and foods. However, we’ll be focusing on supplements for this article.
What do green tea supplements contain?
Catechins in green tea are responsible for its healthy quality, and EGCG has been shown to be the most important one.
Most studies that have been done on green tea involve EGCG. It’s helpful to see the product’s label to see how much it contains.
As in natural green tea, caffeine is present, unless that it says that it is decaffeinated.
The green tea extract is obtained by concentrating a green tea solution. This can be done in different ways.
Sometimes water is evaporated by using low pressure so that the extract remains. Another option is to freeze it and separate it from the mixture, or it may be filtered by reverse osmosis.
Note that at this point the process is almost the same as for instant tea powders.
The extract is available in both liquid and solid form. It can be dried into a powder and added to capsules, or made into hard tablets.
Green tea extract has been linked to liver damage. Don’t take it if you have a liver disease.
According to the Nihoncha Instructor Course book, you can receive about 109 mg of catechins in 100 ml (3.3 oz) of your average loose leaf sencha.
The green tea extracts that I’ve seen range from 300 to 500 mg of catechins, and the label suggests one or two doses each day. Thus, you can obtain up to 1000 mg of catechins with the extract, which is roughly equivalent to 900 ml (30 oz) of sencha.
As with any substance, natural or not, if you go past a certain dose you risk damaging your health. So don’t go overboard with your supplement intake.
Also, if your main purpose is to lose weight, read my article on green tea and weight loss.
I find that drinking high-quality green tea is a great experience, much like tasting a good wine. I would drink tea even if it had no health benefits.
If loose leaf tea is not your thing but you’re still interested in its healthy properties, why don’t you try matcha? It’s a powdered green tea and many people use it as a supplement by mixing it into food and drinks.