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Green tea tablets - review of 4 popular brands

Green tea tablets - review of 4 popular brands

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All this talk of green tea tablets has sparked my interest. I decided to do some research. I can’t believe how confusing it all is! The nutrition labels vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, making it difficult to compare each brand.

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea

Let’s see if we can make sense of all this. I chose 4 green tea extracts to compare that were the most popular on Amazon and also available at stores off-line.

Before we begin, let’s go over some key points.

  • Polyphenols in tea are called catechins. They are also referred to as antioxidants.
  • Of the catechins, EGCG is the most active, the most studied, and the most beneficial.
  • An average cup of green tea contains about 80 mg of EGCG (based on 1 gram of tea).
  • The best green tea tablets should contain about 90% polyphenols. If they contain less, then you have to wonder what you’re buying.

 

1. NOW Foods - Green Tea Extract 400 mg

Now Foods Green Tea Extract

Potency: A standardized extract from the leaf consisting of 40% catechins and 60% polyphenols.

Caffeine: 16 mg of naturally occurring caffeine.

Quality: Now Foods is a quality, natural foods company. The supplements are sold at health food stores. The pills do not contain any sugar, salt, starch, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, shellfish or preservatives.

Other ingredients: Gelatin (capsule) and Magnesium Stearate (vegetable source).

Good points: Lots of catechins and polyphenols, and low in caffeine.

Bad points: Polyphenols are basically catechins, so it's difficult to differentiate the meaning of 40% catechins and 60% polyphenols. The nutrition label doesn’t list EGCG, so we don’t know exactly how much it contains.

2. Applied Nutrition - Green Tea Fat Burner 400 mg

Green Tea Fat Burner

Potency: A serving size is 2 pills. The 2 pills contain 400 mg of green tea extract, 50% EGCG.

Caffeine: 160 mg

Quality: Green Tea Fat Burner is sold at many stores. Consumer Labs found the pills to have 65% less EGCG than advertised.

Other ingredients: Soy bean oil, gelatin, purified water, soy lecithin, beeswax, glycerin, titanium dioxide and sodium copper chlorophyllin. Also contains a blend of ingredients that make 100 mg of an antioxidant boost and 86mg of a vitality boost.

Good points: There is 200 mg of EGCG per serving. This is the same as drinking 2 - 3 cups of green tea. However, research found 65% less EGCG than advertised, which would be more like 70 mg of EGCG (less than drinking 1 cup of green tea).

Bad points: The pills contain a lot of unnecessary ingredients and a very high amount of caffeine. To compare, a cup of green tea has only 15 - 25 mg of caffeine.

3. Source Naturals - Green Tea Extract 500 mg

Source Naturals Green Tea Extract

Potency: 500mg Green Tea Leaf Standardized Extract Yielding 175 mg Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG)

Caffeine: 16.25 mg

Quality: Sold at health food stores.

Other ingredients: Dibasic calcium phosphate, stearic acid, modified cellulose gum, and silica. Also contains 47 mg of calcium.

Good points: There is 175 mg of EGCG in each pill. This is the same as drinking 2 - 3 cups of green tea.

Bad points: None. There is also a 100 mg Green Tea Extract, which contains 70 mg of EGCG. The 100 mg extract has less EGCG than drinking 1 cup of green tea.

Note: I contacted Source Naturals for information about their extract, and they replied the same day. Excellent customer service!

4. Nature's Bounty - Green Tea Extract 315 mg

Nature's Bounty Green Tea Extract

Potency: A serving size of Nature's Bounty is 2 pills. The 2 pills contain 630 mg of green tea extract, standardized to contain 15% polyphenols (95 mg), and 58 mg EGCG (from Consumer Labs).

Caffeine: 65 mg (from Consumer Labs)

Quality: Sold at many stores. The label says there is no artificial color, flavor or sweetener, no preservatives, no sugar, no starch, no milk, no lactose, no soy, no gluten, no wheat, no yeast, no fish, sodium free.

Other ingredients: Dicalcium phosphate, gelatin, maltodextrin, silica, vegetable magnesium stearate.

Good points: Consumer Labs found the pills to be exactly as claimed.

Bad points: The 2 capsules contain 58 mg EGCG, which is less than drinking 1 cup of green tea.

A cup of green tea has on average 15 – 25 mg of caffeine, which is less than the 65 mg of caffeine in this supplement.

Conclusion

It seems to me like most of the manufacturers don’t really want us to know what is inside these green tea tablets. Many of the supplements aren’t much better than drinking a cup of green tea. And they contain loads of unnecessary ingredients in order to put it all into pill form.

As for me, I’m going to continue drinking green tea. It’s the most natural way to get all of the plant’s beneficial properties, and it has over a thousand years of research to back it up.

If I were to take an extract, I would probably go with the Source Naturals 500 mg. The green tea tablets contain 175 mg of EGCG, are low in caffeine, and have a good reputation and good customer service.

This article contains affiliate links. Green Tea Guide receives a small commission for purchases made through these links. Your purchases support our effort to raise awareness about green tea. Thank you!

Daily Matcha Green Tea
Daily Matcha Green Tea

Sources

Cabrera, C., Artacho, R., & Giménez, R. (2006). Beneficial effects of green tea – A review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 25(2), 79-99.

USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 2.1 (2007) http://www.ars.usda.gov/services/docs.htm?docid=6231

Becki
Becki Benedict has a Master’s degree in International Studies and has traveled extensively throughout Asia. She has lived and worked in Japan, China, and Thailand.

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