Green tea is a popular beverage for fat loss and general health. It is often consumed because it is marketed as a low-calorie or calorie-free alternative to soft drinks and contains antioxidants and other important nutrients. However, there are many different kinds of green tea available and not all varieties are calorie-free.
Bottled Green Tea
Green tea is readily available in bottled form at any large grocery store, marketed under several brand names. Green tea in this form is generally sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup or with an artificial sweetener such as sucralose or aspartame. A 17.5-oz bottle of Snapple Green Tea, sweetened with sugar, contains 60 calories in an 8-ounce serving, or 130.75 calories for the whole bottle.
Powdered Green Tea
Green tea can also be found in an instant, powdered form. This is often marketed as a frappe-style mix. A green tea frappe is usually made with the powdered tea leaves themselves, or matcha. The Island Teas brand powdered green tea can come sweetened with cane sugar, which yields 30 calories. There is also a xylitol-sweetened option which contains 22 calories. Unlike the bottled green tea, these are mixed with milk to create the complete beverage.
Bagged Green Tea
Green tea is available in the familiar form of teabags. These are collections of tea leaves measuring 2 g that the user steeps in hot water to prepare. According to LiptonT.com, one 1.8-g bag of tea contains 0 calories. The teabags contain only the tea leaves.
Loose Green Tea
Loose green tea leaves are typically heated in a teapot before drinking. Like teabags, they contain 0 calories. Some sources claim the tea brewed from loose leaves has even greater health benefits than that brewed from bags. Both forms of tea created with more traditional methods are the lowest in calorie content, while powdered and bottled tea are more like other modern drink mixes and soft drinks in calorie content and other ingredients.
Other Benefits of Green Tea
In addition to its status as a zero-calorie beverage, green tea has other benefits to drinkers looking to lose weight. According to a study cited on Medical News Today, green tea contains an active component known as "catechins." Introducing catechins into a diet over 90 days resulted in significantly improved body composition. The study indicated that "These effects were more pronounced in the group consuming the highest amount of catechins and the results also indicate that the effects are particularly strong on fat located in the abdominal region."