For me, summer is the time when I drink iced tea. I like all kinds of tea on a hot day – iced black tea, half and half (aka Arnold Palmer), and those great shaken teas at coffee shops. Tea is awesome and can be healthy. In fact, I’ve found green tea particularly appealing because it is so good for you.

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong and black teas. For those interested in managing their caffeine intake, eight ounces of green tea contain about 35 mg of caffeine, about half the amount found in black tea and about a quarter the amount found in coffee. Caffeine has been shown to provide performance enhancing benefits by mobilizing fatty acids from body fat and making them available for use as energy.

Performance enhancement is not the only health benefit of green tea.  Here are a few benefits of drinking green tea you might not know about.

Improved brain health.  Green tea has two important benefits for your brain. One, it helps prevent dementia and Parkinson’s. Multiple studies show that catechins, an antioxidant compound in green tea can have protective effects, potentially lowering the risk of some dementia and Parkinson’s. Two, it can improve your brain health now!  Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, increasing the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine. Green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects.

Improved fat burning.  Green tea can help you with weight loss.  It has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate in human controlled trials. One study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.

Reduced risk of disease.  Green tea is a disease fighting powerhouse! It has been shown to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer, and heart disease.  Multiple NIH studies have shown a reduced risk of disease in men and women who drank green tea. For example:

  • An analysis of 29 studies showed that those drinking green tea were up to 42% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
  • According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.
  • Green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

The bottom line? Drinking green tea can make you feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases.  For more information about the health benefits of tea, visit WebMD.

Andrea wants to live in a world where the neighborhoods are walkable, bike lanes are plentiful, and the food is fresh, delicious and readily available. A 20-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, she started her career in the fitness industry while earning a master’s degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion, and then on to the burgeoning field of worksite wellness. Andrea has competed in collegiate level soccer, worked as a personal trainer, fitness instructor, wellness coach, and master trainer, climbed 14ers, and completed cycling centuries and metric centuries. All of these experiences give her the opportunity to view well-being from many different perspectives. When she’s not helping others to be their healthiest self, you can find her at a farm to table restaurant, down dogging at the yoga studio, or experiencing the Colorado landscape on a bicycle, snowshoes, cross country skis or on foot.