If you are drinking tea to support your weight loss efforts, then I’m sure you’ve already asked yourself: How many calories are there in green tea? The answer should be simple “none”, but there are different brands and types of green tea out there, and some of them do have calories as manufacturers add sugar or artificial sweeteners to enhance and “improve” the taste.
The first thing you need to know is there are zero green tea calories in the natural, sugar free tea. So when you prepare a cup of tea using bagged or loose green tea, you can be 100% certain that, if you don’t add anything else in it, you get a 0 –calorie beverage that helps you burn fat. What can be better than this? The main ingredients of green tea are polyphenols, caffeine, theanine, catechin, chlorophyll, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, , E, F, P and U and minerals such as fluoride, manganese and aluminum. This wonderful mixture of elements gives the tea its many health properties, from preventing cancer to losing weight, to whitening the teeth, and as you can see there is absolutely no calorie in it.
The bottled green tea is another story. Marketed under various brand names, it is usually sweetened with sugar, fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame or sucralose. A 17.5 –oz bottle of Snapple Green tea, for example, has 130.75 calories. Make sure you check the label of the bottles, since sugar or sweetener quantities vary with different brands.
Another variety of green tea found on the market is the instant or powdered form. Green tea powder can be used for making mixes, for cooking, backing and for making drinks like frappes. The Island Teas brand powder green tea, sweetened with cane sugar, yields 30 calories, while the same brand sweetened with xylitol contains 22 calories. Matcha Green Tea Powder contains 3 calories per serving.
The reason why the bottled and powder green teas have calories is they contain other ingredients that add to their caloric content, such as milk or sweeteners. The bagged and loose green teas have the lowest caloric content, because they are the least processed, closer to the natural plant itself. When you want to drink green tea for your health, the best thing would be to go for the least processed types: the bagged and loose green tea leaves and drink two or three cups a day.
If you don’t like your green tea plain, and you’d like to add something else for the taste, you can do that without feeling bad about adding calories. Green tea increases thermogenesis (the process through which the body burns calories to produce heat) and increases the metabolism, which means you’ll be burning calories just as a consequence of drinking this type of tea, without doing anything else. Of course, if you want to see quick and amazing results, you should also try a low calorie diet and some exercises.
Here is a short list of the calories in a cup of green tea if you decide to add:
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (4g) = 14 calories; (6g) = 25 calories
- 1 teaspoon of honey = 21 calories
- 1 slice of lemon = 2 calories
- whole milk = 146 calories per cup; 1% milk = 102 calories per cup; non-fat milk = 83 calories per cup
So green tea calories are nothing to worry about. Even if you decide to sweeten your tea with sugar or honey, the calories you burn because you drink the tea outnumber that you take in with the beverage. No need to start counting calories when it comes to green tea for your health … just start drinking it!