High Protein Matcha Drink — role in abdominal fat loss

INTRODUCTION: Green tea which is high in the catechin EGCG (epigallocatechin gallato) has been associated in two meta-analysis with a reduction in body weight and body fat — especially abdominal fat [1,2] and matcha powder is especially high in EGCG.


Catechins make up ~ 30% of green tea’s dry weight and while ordinary brewed green tea contains ~50—100 mg catechins [3], just 1 gram (~1/3 teaspoon) of matcha powder contains 105 mg of catechins of which 61 mg are EGCs.

A 2009 meta-analysis of 11 green tea catechin studies found that subjects consuming between 270 to 1200 mg green tea catechins / day ( 1 — 4 tsp of matcha powder per day) lost an average of 1.31 kg (~ 3 lbs) over 12 weeks [2], but that the effect of green tea catechins on body composition was significant, even when the weight loss between treated and untreated groups is small (~5 lbs in 12 weeks).

Even with as little as a 3 pound weight loss, the total amount of abdominal fat decreased 25 times more with green tea catechin consumption than without it (−7.7 vs. −0.3%) [2] and the total amount of subcutaneous abdominal fat (fat just below the skin on the abdomen) decreased almost 8 times more with green tea catechin consumption than without it (−6.2 vs. 0.8%) [2].

A 2017 meta-analysis found that consuming as little as 100 and 460 mg/day has shown significant effectiveness on body fat and body weight reduction in intervention periods of 12 weeks or more [1].

How do Green Tea Catechins in Matcha Work?

The mechanisms by which green tea catechins reduce body weight and reduce the amount of total body fat and in particular reduce the amount of abdominal fat are still being investigated but it is thought that green tea catechins increase thermogenesis (increased heat production which would result in increased energy expenditure), increase fat oxidation (using body fat as energy), decrease appetite, result in the down-regulation of enzymes involved in liver fat metabolism, and decrease nutrient absorption [2].

Timing of Matcha Catechin Consumption

Green tea catechins such as EGCG found in matcha are absorbed in the intestine and since the presence of food significantly decreases their absorption, green tea catechins are best consumed 1/2 an hour before meals, or 2 hours after meals.

The timing of green tea catechin intake may also affect the absorption and metabolism of glucose. A study by Park et al [4] found that when green tea catechins were given one hour before to a glucose (sugar) load, glucose uptake was inhibited and was also accompanied by an increase in insulin levels.

Effect of Milk Casein on Catechins

It was previously thought that the protein casein found in milk binds green tea catechins, making them unavailable for absorption in the body, however a recent study found that while the antioxidant activity of polyphenols is lowered from 11-27% by the presence of casein, EGCG which is the catechin in matcha is actually increased by the presence of casein [5].

Final Thoughts…

Consuming between 1 — 4 tsp of matcha powder per day (270 to 1200 mg green tea catechins / day) is sufficient to contribute to weight loss of ~ 3 lbs in 12 weeks (with no other dietary or activity changes) and more significantly decrease body fat composition, especially abdominal fat.

Along with a well-designed meal plan, beverages containing matcha powder may be helpful for those who have already lost significant amounts of weight and who would like to lose remaining fat on their abdomen.

WARNING TO PREGNANT WOMEN

While EGCG has also been found to be similar in its effect to etoposide anddoxorubicin, a potent anti-cancer drug used in chemotherapy [6 al], high intake of polyphenolic compounds during pregnancy is suspected to increase risk of neonatal leukemia. Bioflavonoid supplements (including green tea catechins) should not be used by pregnant women [7].

High Protein to Energy Matcha Drink

This drink is great after a workout, or as a quick high protein, low carb meal replacement when time doesn’t allow for real, whole food. It may be helpful for those who have already lost significant amounts of weight, yet are having difficulty losing residual fat around their abdomen.

Since matcha does contain caffeine, I recommend drinking these before 2 PM in the afternoon so that the caffeine does not interfere with sleep.

Ingredients

1 tsp matcha (green tea) powder  (1 tsp = 2 gm)

1 scoop unflavoured whey isolate powder (25 g protein per scoop)

12 cubes ice cubes

1 cup (250 ml) fat free Fairlife® milk (low carb, high protein) 

Optional: 1.5 tsp monk fruit / erythritol sweetener

Method

  1. Place 1 tsp matcha powder in a small stainless steel sieve and gently press through the sieve into a small bowl with the back of a small spoon
  2. Put the sieved matcha powder into a ceramic or glass bowl (not metal, as the tannins in the tea will react and give the beverage and ”off” metallic taste)
  3. Whisk 3 tbsps. boiled and cooled water into the matcha powder using a bamboo matcha whisk (available at Japanese and Korean grocery stores) until the mixture is smooth and frothy
  4. Add low carb erythritol sweetener, if desired
  5. Add 1 scoop of unflavoured whey isolate powder
  6. Stir in 1 cup Fairlife® (low carb, high protein) milk
  7. Pour mixture over ice cubes

Macros

from chronometer®

Protein to Energy Ratio = 3.17

from ptoe.com

More Info?

I design low carb Meal Plans from a variety of perspectives, including a Low Carb High Protein perspective.

If you would like more information, please send me a note using the Contact Me form on the tab above.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyKiddie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetterByDesignNutrition/

 


References

  1. Vázquez Cisneros LC, López-Uriarte P, López-Espinoza A, et al. Effects of green tea and its epigallocatechin (EGCG) content on body weight and fat mass in humans: a systematic review. Nutr Hosp. 2017 Jun 5;34(3):731-737. Spanish. doi: 10.20960/nh.753. PMID: 28627214.
  2. Hursel R, Viechtbauer W, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Sep;33(9):956-61. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2009.135. Epub 2009 Jul 14. PMID: 19597519.
  3. Weiss DJ, Anderton CR, Determination of catechins in matcha green tea by micellar electrokinetic chromatography, Journal of Chromatography A, Vol 1011(1—2):173-180, September 2003
  4. Park JH, Jin JY, Baek WK, Park SH, Sung HY, Kim YK, et al. Ambivalent role of gallated catechins in glucose tolerance in humans: a novel insight into nonabsorbable gallated catechin-derived inhibitors of glucose absorption. J Phyisiol Pharmacol 2009;60:101—9.
  5. Bourassa P, Cote R, Hutchandani S, et al, The effect of milk alpha-casein on the antioxidant activity of tea polyphenols, J Photochem Photobiol 2013;128, 43-49.
  6. Bandele, OJ, Osheroff, N. Epigallocatechin gallate, a major constituent of green tea, poisons human type II topoisomerases”.Chem Res Toxicol 21 (4): 936—43, April 2008.
  7. Paolini, M, Sapone, A, Valgimigli, L, ”Avoidance of bioflavonoid supplements during pregnancy: a pathway to infant leukemia?”. Mutat Res 527 (1—2): 99—101. (Jun 2003)

 

Copyright ©2021 BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the ”content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

 

Staying Hydrated Without a Caffeine or Carbonated Drink – Limonana

This week, the weather forecast for the Vancouver area is for hot and hotter, so I thought it would good to revisit a wonderful summer drink that I enjoy to help cool off, and replace fluids.

This week’s weather forecast – hot and hotter (from the Weather Network)

Most people know that when it’s hot out that they need to drink more but are concerned that caffeine-containing drinks such as iced coffee, tea, or matcha or various types of sodas such as cola which contain caffeine can cause dehydration. But is it true?

While caffeine is a mild diuretic (makes you urinate more), a 2014 study which compared the effect of drinking coffee with the effects of drinking the same amount of water (keeping other things constant) found no difference in hydration status between the two groups.  In the study [1], fifty men who usually drank 3-6 cups of coffee per day were asked to drink 4 x 200 ml cups of coffee containing 4 mg/kg caffeine per day for 3 days, while having their total body water calculated.  Then the men switched and drank 4 x 200 ml of water for 3 days, while having total body water calculated — and during both arms of the study, amounts of physical activity, food and other fluids were controlled for. The study found that there were no differences in several markers of hydration status between the groups — so no, caffeine won’t dehydrate you but for many, too much caffeine interferes with sleep, gives them headaches if they drink varying amounts on different days or causes them to feel agitated or nervous. As well, for those with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), caffeine can increase heartburn and other symptoms due to its effect on relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — resulting in the contents of the stomach more easily backing up into the lower esophagus, resulting in discomfort.

But what’s the alternative? Plain water? It is a choice, but some find it boring.

Others enjoy bottled club soda or make their own using a Sodastream, or they drink one of the brands of commercial unsweetened bubbly drinks that are available in various flavours — but some people can’t tolerate carbonated drinks, so what’s left?

How about Limonana?

Limonana is a drink that I only learned about a few years ago (and wrote about here) and that I enjoyed so much yesterday that I put up a new pitcher at lunch time, and have it chilling in the fridge for later. Since I wrote about it in 2016, I have lost more than 50 pounds and put my type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure into remission, so no longer make that sugary version that I wrote about previously.  The recipe below is what I am making now.

“Limonana” is named for it’s two main ingredients, lemon and mint. In Arabic or Hebrew, “limon” means lemon, and “nana” means mint and this drink is lemonade with a twist. It is a wonderfully refreshing and cooling drink on the hottest of days, like today or this weekend.

I make Limonana using a sugar-free Monk Fruit and erythritol sweetener, so it is very low in carbohydrate and doesn’t spike insulin or blood glucose, and I use fresh mint that I grow on my counter — but any fresh mint will do. Dried mint is a very last resort.

There are two essentials (in addition to fresh mint) that are needed for Limonana, and the first is it must be made with fresh lemons and the pulp of the lemon (none of that bottled stuff!!). The second thing is it must be served over lots of ice cubes.

Here is the recipe for one liter (~a quart) of Limonana. Enjoy!

Limonana

  • 3 lemons
  • 1620 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 Tbsps. Monk Fruit / erythritol sweetener (or to taste)
  • 450 ml cold water
  • a whole tray of ice cubes
  • Sprig of mint to garnish (optional)
  1. Dissolve the Monk Fruit / erythritol sweetener in a bit of hot water and set aside.
  2. Using a knife, remove the peel from the lemon and be sure to cut off all the white pith as it is bitter. Separate the sections of lemon flesh from the membranes – like one does for orange suprí¨mes. Discard the membranes and any seeds, and put the flesh of the lemon into a blender.
  3. Add the mint and Monk Fruit / erythritol sweetener and pulse a few times until the mint leaves are well chopped. Add the ice cold water and pulse again to mix. Taste the Limonana and add more sweetener, if necessary.
  4. Allow to chill in the fridge for a bit, to let the flavour mature.
  5. When ready to serve, put plenty of ice cubes into a tall glass and pour the Limonana over them. Drink as is, or garnish with the mint sprig and serve.
Enjoy!

 

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyKiddie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetterByDesignNutrition/

References

  1. Killer S.C, Blannin A.K., Jeukendrup A.E., No Evidence of Dehydration with Moderate Daily Coffee Intake: A Counterbalanced Cross-Over Study in a Free-Living Population, PLOS One, January 4, 2014, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0084154

Copyright ©2021 BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the ”content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

 

Middle-Eastern Style Lentil Soup – whole food plant based

The new Canada Food Guide encourages a whole food plant-based diet which is a good option for those who are metabolically healthy — especially those who are insulin sensitive. The challenge is that I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 10 years ago and while I am in partial remission now as a result of dietary changes I implemented 23 months ago, on a cold winter day like yesterday I really wanted a bowl of my favourite homemade lentil soup.

I knew from testing my blood sugar in response to different foods that I was beginning to tolerate a small amount of whole, unground legumes such as chickpeas that had been soaked from the dried ones, then cooked. I also knew that leaving the lentils whole rather than pureeing them would reduce the blood sugar response and by adding additional non-starchy vegetables such as spinach and fresh green herbs would also help lower the glycemic response, so in the interest of science (of course) I decided to make the lentil soup and test my response two hours afterwards and the next morning.

The only significant source of carbohydrates that I ate yesterday was the soup which was ~20 g of carbs per bowl.  I was pleased and encouraged that after 23 months of changing how I ate that my blood glucose two hours after eating it was only 5.5 mmol/L (100 mg/dl), which was normal. This morning my fasting blood glucose was 6.3 mmol/L (114 mg/dl) which was significantly higher than what it has been the last few months eating a low carbohydrate diet, but considering the amount of slowly digestible carbohydrate in the soup, it was somewhat understandable.  To more accurately assess my glycemic response to the soup, I should have tested my blood sugar before I ate it, after 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 2 hours after eating it, as I did with my chickpea “experiment” as the 2 hour snapshot after 2 hours doesn’t provide any information as to what was happening to my blood glucose at 30 minutes and 60 minutes, which may have included a spike.

The soup was a nice treat and it was encouraging to me to continue to discover that as time goes on, I can reintroduce small amounts of whole-food carbohydrate sources without unduly impacting my blood sugars. Of course, being in remission from Type 2 Diabetes is not Diabetes  reversal, so I am by no means “cured”, but I am doing much better than 23 months ago.

As I know from several studies, including a 2015 study from Israel (Zeevi D, Korem T, Zmora N, et al. Personalized Nutrition by Prediction of Glycemic Responses. Cell. 2015 Nov 19;163(5):1079-1094), everyone’s glucose response to individual foods is different and the only way to know how each person will respond (whether Diabetic or non-diabetic / insulin resistant) is to test individual response to a specific amount of the food, which is what I did. While legumes are not something I would eat on a regular basis as it would negatively impact my glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) level, it is certainly nice to be able to have it sometimes.

Of course, for those who are insulin sensitive, this is a delicious whole-food, largely plant based meal.

Below is the recipe for the soup. I included a piece of beef shank, but it can as easily be made without any meat for those that don’t eat it.

NOTE: This recipe is posted as a courtesy for those following a variety of different types of eating styles and not necessarily as part of a Meal Plan designed by me. This recipe may or may not be appropriate for you.

Middle Eastern Lentil Soup

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion, chopped finely
1 medium carrot, diced
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced finely
2 tbsp olive oil
1 slice of beef shank, optional
2 cups small brown lentils, rinsed well
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt, to taste
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (coriander greens), chopped
1 cup fresh parsley (flat leaf or curly), chopped
2 300 g packages of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
4 liters cold water

Herb Topping (optional)

3 green onions, minced finely
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced finely
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced finely
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced finely
1 tbsp olive oil

Saute the green onions in the olive oil over a medium heat until wilted, but not browned, add the garlic and saute a minute or two then add the chopped parsley and cilantro and continue sauteing until the greens are slightly cooked.  Set aside to top each bowl of soup with, just before serving.

Method

  1. Saute the chopped onion in the olive oil until lightly browned
  2. Add the chopped carrot and saute until partially cooked
  3. Add the beef shank, if using and brown on both sides
  4. Add the minced garlic and saute (being careful not to let it brown as it would become bitter)
  5. Add the coriander and cumin powder, and keep stirring
  6. Toss in the rinsed brown lentils
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  8. Add cold water and stir to dislodge anything that may have stuck to the bottom
  9. Over a medium-low heat, bring to a simmer, skimming off any foam that accumulates from the meat protein
  10. Cook at medium-low for several hours, until the lentils are cooked but not too soft
  11. Twenty minutes before serving, add in the well-squeezed spinach, fresh parsley and fresh cilantro (coriander greens)
  12. Prepare the herb topping and set aside to top individual bowls of soupd when serving
  13. Enjoy!
Middle Eastern Style Lentil Soup

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Copyright ©2019 BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the ”content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.