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Fasting with green tea

Posted May 31 2011 7:23pm

I’ve been playing around with brief (18-24 hour) fasts with the use of green tea. Of the several variations on fasting, such as juice “fasts,”  I’ve been most impressed with the green tea experience.

While the weight loss effects of daily green tea consumption are modest, there seems to be a specific satiety effect that has now been demonstrated in multiple studies, such as this and this . In other words, green tea, through an uncertain mechanism, reduces hunger. The effect is not just due to volume, since the effect cannot be reproduced with hot water alone.

I therefore wondered whether green tea might be a useful beverage to consume during a fast, as it might take the “edge” off of hunger. While hunger during a fast in the wheat-free is far less than wheat-consuming humans, there is indeed an occasional twinge of hunger felt.

So I tried it, brewing a fresh 6-8 oz cup evert two hours or so. I brewed a pot in the morning while at home, followed by brewing single cups using my tea infuser at the office. Whenever I began to experience a hunger pang, I brewed another cup and sipped it. I was pleasantly surprised that hunger was considerably reduced. I sailed through my last 18 hours, for instance, effortlessly. The process was actually quite pleasant.

I brew loose Chinese bancha, sencha, and chunmee teas and Japanese gyokuro tea. Gyokuro is my favorite, but also the most expensive. Bancha is more affordable and I’ve used that most frequently.

If anyone else gives this a try, please report back your experience.

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