Researchers at the University of Tsukuba in Japan found that drinking two cups of ‘oolong‘ tea a day can stimulate the breakdown of the fat while sleeping.
Although all teas come from the same plant – Camellia sinensis – the degree of oxidation defines its specific type. For example, green tea is not oxidized and has a mild flavor, while the distinctive color of black tea comes from complete oxidation.
Oolong tea, being partially oxidized, shows characteristics of both green and black tea.
Like all teas, oolong contains caffeine, which impacts energy metabolism by increasing our heart rate.
However, drinking tea also “can increase fat breakdown, regardless of the effects of caffeine,” explained the study’s lead author, Professor Kumpei Tokuyama, quoted by EurekAlert.
The researchers examined the effects of oolong tea consumption versus caffeine alone on fat metabolism in a group of healthy volunteers.
The results of the study, published in the journal Nutrients, show that both oolong tea and pure caffeine increased fat breakdown by 20%.
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But the funny thing is that oolong tea continued to had its effects while sleeping.
The stimulating effects of ‘oolong‘ tea on the breakdown of fat during sleep may have real clinical relevance for body weight control, Tokuyama noted.
At the same time, despite containing caffeine, oolong does not affect sleep, the scientists noted after observing the sleep patterns of the volunteers.
The research lasted two weeks, but now scientists are looking to determine if the effects they observed translate into a real loss of body fat over an extended period.
“In addition, we want to trial a decaffeinated oolong tea to better distinguish the effects of caffeine from other components of tea, which will help us understand exactly how oolong helps with fat breakdown,” concluded Professor Kumpei Tokuyama.