Green tea and endurance training enhance fat utilization

Energy for exercise is fueled by a combination of carbohydrates and fat. Endurance training often causes an increase in reliance on fat for fuel. Green tea has also been shown to enhance fat utilization. Japanese researchers hypothesized that the combination of endurance training and daily supplementation with green tea extract would be synergistic.

Healthy men were randomly assigned to one group that consumed a green tea beverage containing 573 mg of total catechins and 77 mg of caffeine or to a placebo group that was matched for caffeine only. Subjects consumed the beverages three times per day at meals.

Both groups trained on a cycle for 60 minutes three times per week for 10 weeks. The expected increases in aerobic capacity were observed for both groups after training.

After training, the green tea group showed a significantly greater utilization of fat during exercise compared to the placebo group. The green tea group burned approximately 540 fat calories during the 90 minutes of exercise compared to 495 calories in the placebo group, representing a 9% greater fat use.

Thus, a combination of regular green tea extract supplementation and moderate intensity exercise training effectively increased the amount of fat burned during physical activity. 

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