How are they made?
There are a couple of different processes used to make green tea tablets. The best dietary supplements are standardized extracts of green tea. The green tea leaves are dried and put into capsule form. You can usually only buy this kind of green tea supplement at a health food store.
Other types of supplements are industrially processed to make a green tea extract. The tea leaves are brewed and the catechins (antioxidants) are extracted and used in supplements, beverages, foods, and skin creams.
Caffeine-free pills are further processed concentrated forms of the catechins without the caffeine.
Are they as effective?
The catechin EGCG is one of the most beneficial elements in green tea, so this is the material that is extracted and put into green tea tablet form. The good news is that researchers have found that the EGCG in tablet form is just as effective as drinking a glass of green tea.
See my review of 4 Popular Green Tea Extracts
But, drinking green tea has many other beneficial ingredients aside from EGCG. The caffeine in tea also contains antioxidant properties beyond what the catechins provide. And, L-theanine, an amino acid, has calming effects on the nervous system.
Recommended daily allowance
Some green tea capsules contain excessive amounts of polyphenols and EGCG. Supplements can contain anywhere from 100 â 750 mg of polyphenols per pill.
The average person should not consume more than 10 mg of extract per kilogram of body weight (10 mg x body weight in kg) or 4.54 mg per pound of body weight (4.54 mg x body weight in lbs).
For example, if you weigh 50 kg or 110 lbs, then you shouldnât consume more than 500 mg of green tea extract per day. For all body weights, it is recommended to have no more than 750 mg in one day.
It is difficult to exceed the recommended daily allowance when you are drinking green tea. A cup of green tea contains on average 80 mg of EGCG (some more, some less). That means you can drink quite a lot of green tea before reaching the danger zone.
The bottom line on green tea capsules
If you are going to go the route of green tea capsules, I would recommend buying high-quality tablets at a health food store that do not exceed the recommended daily allowance of catechins for your body weight.
But, keep in mind that green tea has been historically used as a drink, not a pill, and has been studied as such in Asia for centuries. The science on pills is new, so we donât know the long-term effects.
If you donât like the taste of green tea, I recommend keeping at it. The taste will grow on you. Do you remember the first time you took a sip of coffee? Like most people, you probably didnât fall in love with it immediately. After time, you grew to like it until you were craving it every morning!
If you want to take a green tea pill to get more catechins, then remember there is no one ingredient that will make you healthier. To be healthy, it is best to have a natural diet with many fruits and vegetables, smaller portion sizes, and increased physical activity.
And, a few cups of green tea will give you all the benefits green tea has to offer!