It’s no secret that Kourtney Kardashian cares about her body and the food she puts in it. The mom of three routinely talks about her strict wellness routine — daily workouts, only organic foods — on both her E! reality show and social media.
But what she really credits her taut midsection to is green tea.
"Whenever I am trying to step up my workout regimen, I drink an extra iced green tea,” Kardashian wrote in a post on her app. “I swear it makes my tummy flatter.”
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The 36-year-old also claims that her go-to tea also helps “reduce the signs of cellulite” and gives her enough sustained energy to keep up with her kids because it delivers caffeine "much slower than with espresso or coffee, so it lasts longer."
Sounds like a miracle drink, right? The problem is that her claims aren’t true.
6 myths about green tea and weight loss, debunked
Don’t get us wrong: green tea does provide real health benefits, including plenty of brain-boosting caffeine and powerful antioxidants like flavonoids and catechins. However, its powers are now so exaggerated that it’s difficult to tell the fact from the fiction. Let us help.
Green tea myth #1: It helps eliminate cellulite
Reality: Nope. There’s no treatment, pill or drink — including green tea — that will reduce or eliminate cellulite. There is some evidence that caffeine (like that found in green tea) can help increase circulation temporarily, but that only works when it’s used topically, like in a cream. And, sadly, any cellulite-smoothing effects are likely only temporary.
Green tea myth #2: It burns belly fat
Reality: There is no drink, exercise or food that can burn belly fat directly because you can’t spot reduce fat (we know, we know). That said, some studies show that green tea can aid in the digestion process because of the anti-inflammatory effects of the catechins. However, some people report feeling more bloated after drinking it. Plus, participants in controlled studies on the effect of green tea are given large amounts of catechins. To put it in context, you would have to down roughly seven cups of green tea daily to match most numbers. At that point, the fat frying effect you might get is just as likely from logging extra steps in all those trips to the bathroom.
Green tea myth #3: It boosts your metabolism
Reality: There have been multiple studies about the effect of green tea on metabolism and most of the them contradict each other. The truth is that green tea may have a positive effect on metabolism, but it probably depends on the person — and any effects are only temporary. The best way to boost metabolism for the long term is by increasing your lean body mass (building muscle) through resistance training. ‘
But what about the studies that did portray green tea as the fire-stoking fuel your body needs? Let’s put that into context. The metabolism boost reported in an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 1999 found that a green tea extract (again, read: very concentrated) increased metabolism by a paltry 4 percent. For an average 30-year-old woman who clocks in at 5’6” and 150 pounds, that translates to almost 70 calories.
Green tea myth #4: It fights cancer
Reality: As we mentioned, green tea contains antioxidants known for their cancer-fighting benefits, but these antioxidants aren’t unique to green tea. Eating a plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables can net you the same benefits as drinking green tea.
Green tea myth #5: The caffeine in green tea is better than the caffeine in coffee
Reality: Sorry, Kourtney: your body can’t tell the difference between the caffeine found in green tea and the caffeine found in any other source. Coffee does have a little more caffeine than green tea, so that might be the reason why it made her feel so “jittery” and “hyper,” but caffeine is caffeine.
That said, there is some evidence that people feel more sustained energy when they drink green tea, but that might be attributed to the amino acid L-theanine found in the leaves. L-theanine is shown to help neurotransmitters in the brain which, when combined with caffeine, can have a positive effect on mood.
Green tea myth #6: It can detoxify the body
Reality: Your body does a great job of detoxifying itself because your kidneys and liver do a good job of filtering out the bad stuff. Any “detoxifying” benefit you get from green tea is likely due to better digestion (like we mentioned before), or that you’re eating a healthier diet full of vital nutrients to go along with that green tea.