Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and in order to produce green tea extract, the leaves, stems and buds of this plant are steamed. This keeps the polyphenol content in tact.
Once the beneficial substances are extracted from the green tea plant and ground into a powder form, it is placed inside capsules so that a person can take them orally. The healthy substances in green tea supplements are:
- vitamin A
- vitamin B2
- vitamin E
It’s important to read the label because the amounts of these substances can vary between manufacturers.
Caffeine is safe to about 400 mg per day but many of these supplements can contain up to 1200 mg. Anything over 400 mg is a high dose and can be associated with harmful side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- rapid heart rate
- high blood pressure
- digestive issues
How To Take It
When using green tea supplements for weight loss, be sure that you drink lots of water. Some of the ingredients are diuretics causing you to urinate more frequently. It doesn’t have to be taken with food. You can pair this supplement with fish oil and quercetin which increases green tea’s effectiveness and bioavailability.
Precautions When Taking This Supplement
Always talk to your doctor before taking any type of supplement. Green tea supplements can adversely interact with other medications such as antibiotics and even birth control pills.
Some research suggests that using too much green tea extract can cause liver problems. The NIH reports that 9.9 grams of green tea extract is the maximum amount that can be tolerated.
Although rare, liver damage has been reported and directly linked to weight loss supplements such as Slimquick, Hydroxycut and Dexatrim. If you are predisposed to liver problems or are taking other medications, you need to speak to your doctor before taking green tea extract.
If you do experience abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin (jaundice) or dark urine, contact your doctor immediately and stop taking any supplements.
Every person can experience green tea differently. Some people may not tolerate the caffeine and feel jittery and anxious after taking the supplement.
What to Look For
Always read the labels so you can choose the highest quality supplements. Make sure the manufacturer is not adding any fillers, flavorings or other binders that can have an adverse affect on your health and negate the benefits. Be sure that the product label has a seal of approval from a third party testing company such as ConsumerLab.
The research findings have shown that the catechins that are found in green tea supplement are as effective as brewed green tea. There are many reasons someone would choose to supplement instead of drinking green tea. If you don’t like the taste, you can reap all of the benefits by taking a high-quality supplement in pill form each day.