Can EGCG Enhance Exercise Performance?

Filed under :Green Tea - EGCG

In recent years, the chemical composition of green tea has been determined.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is viewed as the most significant active component.
There has been a lot of research looking at the effects of green tea and numerous medical conditions such as cancer and cardiovascular health.

In the search for strategies to enhance athletic performance, researchers began looking at EGCG in the last decade.

There have been several studies done on the effects of EGCG on mice, but only one study done with humans.
  • One study looked at the anti-obesity effect of EGCG in a mouse model of diet-induced obesity – control animals gained twice as much body weight during a 4-week treatment as animals supplemented with 1% EGCG in the diet (International Journal of Obesity, 2005).
  • Another study conducted on mice investigated the effects of long-term intake of EGCG in combination with regular exercise on the development of obesity in mice – This study had found that long term intake of EGCG together with regular exercise decreased body weight gain by 33% on a high fat diet (International Journal of Obesity, 2006)
  • A study done on male cyclists investigated the effects of EGCG consumption on fat oxidation at rest, during sub maximal exercise, and on endurance performance – the study found little benefit in consuming green tea extract on fat oxidation or cycling performance (International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism, 2009).

It has been determined that it is safe to consume ~800mg of the green tea extract EGCG per day.  Some side effects that are reported are considered very mild events which include: excess gas, upset stomach, nausea, heartburn, stomach ache, abdominal pain, dizziness, headache, and muscle pain.  More research is needed though for higher dosages, and long term consumption.

The bottom line is that many studies done on mice show positive results for Green Tea-EGCG supplementation, while the only study conducted on human subject showed little to no results to enhance endurance performance.  Currently there is no data investigating the effect of EGCG on resistance training. In conclusion, more research is needed to investigate the effects of supplementing with EGCG and exercise performance.


Introduction

Filed under :Green Tea - EGCG

Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water for enjoyment and health.

Green tea has been recognized for its many health benefits.  The major components of interest are the polyphenols which are responsible for the antioxidant and other health benefits.  The major polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids.  There are four major flavonoids in green tea, i will focus on epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is viewed as the most significant active component.

Much research is available depicting the health benefits of green tea for a wide variety of implications, including different types of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, etc.

There is also a wide range of uses for green tea in diabetes, inflammatory diseases, skin disorders, hair loss, as well as weight loss, and exercise enhancement.

I will be focusing on the effects of green tea (more specifically EGCG combined with caffeine) and its affects on weight loss and exercise enhancement.

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