White Tea and Weight Loss

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
Cup of white tea

If you're a white tea drinker, you may be wondering what effect it has on weight loss. Numerous weight loss studies have examined effects of tea, especially green tea, on weight loss. While studies using white tea specifically are less prevalent, they do exist. Knowing how white tea affects body weight can help you meet weight loss goals.

What Is White Tea?

White tea is minimally processed and made by drying new growth buds and young leaves of Camellia sinensis plants. The main difference between white tea and other types is that white tea undergoes minimal processing. Tea leaves are harvested when buds are young, not fully open, and covered in fine, white hair. The leaves are steamed and dried right after harvest to prevent polyphenol oxidation. Man-made processing techniques, such as fermentation, curling, or rolling, are not used in the production of white tea, and it is generally more expensive than other teas.

Research Findings

Numerous studies show tea's potential benefits during weight loss, and white tea is no exception. A 2010 review published in the International Journal of Obesity found drinking white tea may be an effective weight loss tool because it helps boost satiety, increase energy expenditure, maximize fat oxidation, and prevent decreases in metabolism associated with weight loss. Another review published in 2013 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports white, green, and oolong teas may be useful for weight loss and obesity prevention.

Why It Works

There are several proposed reasons white tea is beneficial when you're trying to shed pounds. Tea helps fill you up but is very low in calories, generally providing 0 to 2 calories per cup. The 2013 review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition notes catechins and caffeine found in white tea help boost energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and the polyphenols in tea prevent decreases in metabolism during weight loss. Caffeine also helps energize you, making it easier to burn more calories during workouts and throughout the entire day. The bottom line is drinking white tea fills you up without the extra calories and keeps your body's metabolism high.

White Versus Green and Black Teas

Black and green teas also appear to be beneficial for weight loss because they, too, are low in calories but provide caffeine and polyphenols. Black and green tea polyphenol extracts reduced visceral body fat in mice, according to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Nutrition. Like white tea, green tea is a good source of weight-reducing catechins, but black tea is not. Most studies that show tea's effectiveness for weight loss use green tea, or green tea extracts.

Bottom Line

Drinking white tea isn't a guarantee you'll lose weight, but it does provide you with metabolic benefits, making it easier to burn more calories and feel less hungry. However, white tea is not a replacement for reduced-calorie eating and a regular workout schedule, two keys to weight loss success. Because caffeine can keep you up at night, and proper sleep is a must when trying to shed pounds, avoid drinking white tea right before bed.

White Tea and Weight Loss