Effects of Green Tea and Resistance Training on Women’s Body Composition

Over the past twenty years, the obesity rates in both Canada and the United States have increased by a staggering ten percent.  All of the usual suspects that we like to blame (soda pop, diet soda, sugar, junk food, and fast food restaurants, etc) predate this increase.  When you compare which factors are new to those that predate this increase, what’s left is technology.

I’m probably not the first to suggest that the Internet or smart phones are making us fat.  :)  Just saying…

Uh oh, not another onion belt story again…  When I was a child growing up, we had around 8 channels to watch on TV, no remote controls and kids played outside (street hockey, ice hockey, baseball, downhill skiing, tag, hide-and-seek) until bed time.

Needless to say, times have changed.  We don’t even need to get up to change the channel or even go to Blockbuster to rent movies anymore.  Consequently, it’s more important than ever to get involved in sports or other forms of physical exercise on a regular basis.

Researchers from Brazil published the results of a recent study which explored the effects of resistance training and green tea (each alone or in combination) on the body composition of 35 women between the ages of 20 to 40 with BMI’s ranging from 25 to 35.

Study Design:

For the first 4 weeks of the study all subjects were put on a 1200 kcal/day diet after which they were randomized to 4 groups–placebo, green tea, green tea + resistance training, and placebo + resistance training.  The protocols for these four groups were then followed for 8 weeks.


Green Tea:

The green tea groups were given 20 grams of powdered green tea per day in divided doses:

“The green tea and the placebo were donated by Sanavita Industry (Piracicaba). The product was a powder, soluble in water-based maltodextrin, of powdered green tea, orange pulp, vitamin C, zinc, selenium, lemon flavor, chlorophyll dye, and sucralose. The nutrition information was as follows: energy value (30 kcal = 126 kJ); carbohydrates (7.5 g); sodium (15 mg); zinc (2.1 mg); vitamin C (13.5 mg); selenium (10.2 mg); and total polyphenols (160 mg).”

The study authors note that the placebo had the same composition minus the powdered green tea.

Resistance Training Protocol:

“The subjects of groups 3 and 4 were subjected to a resistance training program in which we employed the following exercises: bench press, back pull down, leg press (45), side lateral raises, triceps pushdown, bicep curls with the bar, leg curls, gluteus kickback, bent-knee calf raises, and sit-ups. Three sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise were performed, with 60 sec of rest between the reps and the sets, three times a week in the afternoon.”

Study Results:


Weight Change:

  • Green tea alone:  -5.7 kg *.   Was the only group that achieved weight loss.


  • Green tea alone:  BMI decrease by 2.6 *

Waist Circumference:

  • Green tea alone:  -5.8 cm *
  • Green tea + resistance training:  -9.2 cm *

Body Fat Mass:

  • Green tea alone:  -4 kg *
  • Green tea + resistance training:  -9.7 kg *
  • Resistance training alone:  -3.2 kg *

Lean Body Mass:

  • Green tea alone:  +1.1 kg *
  • Green tea + resistance training:  + 6.6 kg *
  • Resistance training alone:  +3.5 kg *
  • Placebo:  -2.3 kg *

Body Fat Percentage:

  • Green tea alone:  -4.7%  *
  • Green tea + resistance training:  -10.3% *
  • Resistance training alone:  -4.4% *
  • Placebo:  +2.1% *

* statistically significant change from baseline.  All results mean change from basline.


Nicely summarized by the study authors:

“Green tea promoted changes in body composition, weight loss, the maintenance of lean body mass, loss of body fat, decreased waist circumference, and lowered body fat percentage. When coupled with resistance training exercises, there were greater decreases in waist circumference, body fat mass and percentage, and TAG levels, and green tea plus resistance training produced the largest gains in lean body mass and strength, as compared with exercise alone (placebo plus resistance training).”


  1. Cardoso GA, Salgado JM, Cesar MD, Donado-Pestana CM.The Effects of Green Tea Consumption and Resistance Training on Body Composition and Resting Metabolic Rate in Overweight or Obese Women.  J Med Food. 2012 Nov 9. [Epub ahead of print]


One thought on “Effects of Green Tea and Resistance Training on Women’s Body Composition

  • January 16, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Thank You for posting this study. I do find green tea really boosts weight loss. I am confused by one part of the study posted- possibly it is missing data? It seems if there was a significant reduction in Body Fat Mass, Lean Body Mass & Body Fat Percentage when using green tea with resistance training, then it would follow that Weight Change would also be significant when using green tea with resistance training.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *