Tea has been enjoyed for centuries for its refreshing taste and soothing properties. However, with an increasing focus on health and wellness, the debate surrounding the benefits of tea for weight reduction and overall health has gained momentum. Oolong and Green Tea have been at the forefront of this ongoing debate, with the latter garnering significant attention for its potential health benefits, including losing weight.
This article will compare oolong tea vs green tea for weight loss in order to gain a better grasp of the similarities and differences between these two types of teas.
Research On Tea For Weight Loss
If your beverages are normally rich in calories, switching to tea may result in weight loss and can easily save you a few hundred calories. Tea contains catechins, which can boost metabolism by driving your body to break down fats faster and burn more calories.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health1, several of the traditional forms of tea — green, black, white, and oolong — are obtained from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Their distinct flavors and qualities are due to variances in processing, geographical location, and plant species. These variances also alter the nutritional profile of each tea, which implies that certain types may be better suited for weight loss than others.
However, much of the research examines the benefits of tea in capsule or tablet form, which may provide study participants with a more concentrated dose of plant chemicals such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), which is a type of catechin, than a regular bag of tea would.
In other studies they do not employ humans, or if they do, the sample sizes are modest. Because of these significant limitations, further large human research utilizing brewed tea is required before scientists can better understand and establish any possible weight loss advantages for people.
Regardless, health experts believe that drinking simple, unsweetened brewed tea is generally beneficial. So, if you enjoy drinking tea or would like to switch to healthier drink alternatives, you may be able to reap some of teas health benefits.
What Is Oolong Tea?
Oolong tea is a true tea, meaning it is prepared from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, often known as the tea plant. It is one of the most popular teas in Asia.
The tea leaves are dried in the hot sun, oxidized, and then twisted and coiled into their distinctive shape of long, curling spindles or little beads.
The oxidation levels of oolong tea leaves range from 8% to 85%, which greatly modifies the flavor profile. Some oolong teas have a fruity and sweet flavor and a honey aroma, while others have an earthy, woodsy flavor and a roasted aroma.
Oolong leaves contain naturally occurring caffeine, although the amount in tea varies depending on where the tea is grown and how it is processed. A cup of oolong tea often has more caffeine than most green teas. This indicates that persons who are caffeine sensitive may experience more adverse effects when drinking oolong tea than green tea.
Overall, brewing oolong tea is not only a delicious beverage choice but also an opportunity to appreciate and connect with Chinese tea culture. With ancient brewing techniques such as hitting clay yixing pots and gaiwans, oolong tea exemplifies the traditional elements of tea production and consumption. Indeed, as a classic true tea, oolong represents the pinnacle of tea-making and drinking.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is made from the same Camellia sinensis tea plant that is used to make other genuine teas such as oolong tea, white tea, and black tea. Green tea, like oolong tea, is indigenous to China.
Green tea is now widely grown throughout India and Asia, however, China still produces 80% of the world’s green tea. Green tea is prepared from leaves that are cultivated in the sun or in the shade and picked three times a year.
Green tea comes in a variety of flavors that vary greatly depending on the country that produces it. Chun Mee and Gunpowder tea are two prominent Chinese green teas. Popular green teas in Japan include genmaicha, sencha, and matcha. The caffeine content of green tea is similar to that of oolong tea, with the exception of matcha green tea, which has a higher caffeine amount2.
Differences Of Oolong Tea And Green Tea
Aside from the apparent color difference — green tea is a brilliant green, whereas oolong tea is often a light brown — oolong and green tea have diverse flavor profiles and production methods, making each a unique combination. While both oolong and green tea are manufactured from the Camellia sinensis plant, the distinction lies in the different processing methods.
As previously mentioned, the difference between green tea and oolong tea is the processing method. Oolong tea is semi-fermented, whereas green tea is not fermented at all. This means that all oolong teas go through the oxidation process, in which tea leaves are dried over several weeks. The leaves are exposed to oxygen, resulting in a darker brown hue than green teas that have not been oxidized.
Green tea, on the other hand, is dried immediately after harvesting using artisanal processes such as sun-drying or charcoal-firing methods. Oven drying and steaming are two other common modern procedures for increasing productivity.
Oolong teas are known for being fruity and nutty or earthy and woodsy. Oolong tea has the most varied flavor profiles of any real tea kind. This tea does not have an astringent flavor but rather is smooth and powerful.
When it comes to flavor, green tea is significantly more vegetal. Its flavor is often described as grassy, with a bitter undertone that offers a sharp edge that strong tea drinkers enjoy. When it comes to taste, most casual tea drinkers choose oolong tea since it has a greater variety of flavors that can fit diverse palates. Green tea is more of an acquired flavor with powerful ingredients that frequent tea consumers like.
Oolong Tea vs Green Tea For Weight Loss And Overall Health Benefits
Green tea and oolong tea both have numerous benefits, making them both excellent additions to your daily routine. Frankly speaking, the health advantages of green tea and oolong tea are fairly comparable.
General real tea benefits include a potential reduction in high blood pressure and a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes3. But the battle for the most health benefits between oolong tea and green tea comes down to chemical composition.
Both green and oolong tea contain a variety of antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. While all true teas and herbal teas contain polyphenols and catechins like EGCG that provide significant health advantages, green tea contains higher concentrations of these chemicals than oolong tea. In a study, it was found that some of the chemicals in tea can stop cancer cells from growing, and EGCG was particularly effective4.
In addition, antioxidants are said to prevent free radicals, which are responsible for oxidative stress5. A study performed on 34 subjects showed that drinking green tea daily for 4 weeks reduced the development of oxidative stress and authors suggest that it may protect the individuals from oxidative stress diseases6.
Catechins in green tea have also shown to reduced body fat in men and may be beneficial in preventing and managing diseases, mainly obesity7.
While green tea is well-known for its health benefits, including the capacity aid in weight loss, it is not the only real tea that may do so. Green tea’s calorie-burning properties may be due to the combined actions of EGCG and caffeine, which appear to work synergistically. Caffeine must be present with EGCG to promote weight loss, according to a study8.
Whereas, for oolong tea, in a research published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular drinking of oolong tea led to higher metabolism and a 13% increase in fat oxidation (the process of breaking down fatty acids), allowing the body to burn fat more efficiently9. Oolong tea’s fat-burning properties may result in weight loss via promoting lipid metabolism.
Oolong tea also contains similar antioxidants as green tea, albeit in different proportions as again, it has less catechins than green tea. However, it was found that the catechins in oolong tea had a strong ability to get rid of free radicals in the body when the tea is steeped in hotter water for a longer time10.
Furthermore, both teas have demonstrated to be effective in protecting against hypertension. A study on a Chinese population showed that drinking oolong or green tea at least 120 mL per day for a year significantly reduced the risk of developing hypertension11.
In essence, these two teas provide identical advantages to differing degrees, and you don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. Both oolong and green tea offer potential effects on weight loss. However, the specific benefits and amounts of beneficial compounds in each tea may vary, so incorporating both teas into your diet can provide a wider range of health benefits.
Additionally, keep in mind that tea should be viewed as a complement to a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
The Bigger Picture
Drinking oolong and green tea is a terrific method to improve your overall health. Green tea is well-known for its fat-burning properties and is an excellent addition to your diet if you want to increase your energy expenditure and safeguard your mental sharpness12. Oolong tea promotes stronger bones and fewer attacks of insomnia13, making it an ideal beverage for people who are looking to optimize their performance and recovery.
However, anything in excess can have negative consequences. Drinking too much oolong tea or green tea may cause irregular heartbeat and a loss in bone mineral density. To avoid negative effects, limit yourself to 4-5 glasses of tea. Caffeine-sensitive persons may find that oolong tea and matcha green tea contain too much caffeine. If caffeine creates side effects for you, limit or discontinue use and consult a health care practitioner.
Ultimately, it’s all about personal preference. When it comes down to it, drinking tea should be an enjoyable experience. Whether you prefer the mellow, diversified flavors of oolong or the sharper, more full-bodied flavor of green tea, you should enjoy what you drink. Choose high-quality teas to get the most out of the flavor and health advantages of these two teas.
2 Kochman J, Jakubczyk K, Antoniewicz J, Mruk H, Janda K. Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules. 2020 Dec 27;26(1):85. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010085. PMID: 33375458; PMCID: PMC7796401.
4 Du GJ, Zhang Z, Wen XD, Yu C, Calway T, Yuan CS, Wang CZ. Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) is the most effective cancer chemopreventive polyphenol in green tea. Nutrients. 2012 Nov 8;4(11):1679-91. doi: 10.3390/nu4111679. PMID: 23201840; PMCID: PMC3509513.
6 Coimbra S, Castro E, Rocha-Pereira P, Rebelo I, Rocha S, Santos-Silva A. The effect of green tea in oxidative stress. Clin Nutr. 2006 Oct;25(5):790-6. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2006.01.022. Epub 2006 May 15. PMID: 16698148.
7 Nagao T, Komine Y, Soga S, Meguro S, Hase T, Tanaka Y, Tokimitsu I. Ingestion of a tea rich in catechins leads to a reduction in body fat and malondialdehyde-modified LDL in men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jan;81(1):122-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/81.1.122. PMID: 15640470.
8 Vázquez Cisneros LC, López-Uriarte P, López-Espinoza A, Navarro Meza M, Espinoza-Gallardo AC, Guzmán Aburto MB. Efectos del té verde y su contenido de galato de epigalocatequina (EGCG) sobre el peso corporal y la masa grasa en humanos. Una revisión sistemática [Effects of green tea and its epigallocatechin (EGCG) content on body weight and fat mass in humans: a systematic review]. Nutr Hosp. 2017 Jun 5;34(3):731-737. Spanish. doi: 10.20960/nh.753. PMID: 28627214.
9 Rumpler, W. V., Seale, J. L., Clevidence, B. A., Judd, J. T., Wiley, E. R., Yamamoto, S., Komatsu, T., Sawaki, T., Ishikura, Y., & Hosoda, K. (2001). Oolong Tea Increases Metabolic Rate and Fat Oxidation in Men. Journal of Nutrition, 131(11), 2848–2852. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/131.11.2848
10 Su X, Duan J, Jiang Y, Duan X, Chen F. Polyphenolic Profile and Antioxidant Activities of Oolong Tea Infusion under Various Steeping Conditions. Int J Mol Sci. 2007 Nov 28;8(12):1196–205. PMCID: PMC3871800.
11 Yang YC, Lu FH, Wu JS, Wu CH, Chang CJ. The protective effect of habitual tea consumption on hypertension. Arch Intern Med. 2004 Jul 26;164(14):1534-40. doi: 10.1001/archinte.164.14.1534. PMID: 15277285.
12 Diepvens, K., Westerterp, K. R., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2007). Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. American Journal of Physiology-regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 292(1), R77–R85. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00832.200513 Smith, R. (2022, June 7). 8 Amazing Oolong Tea Benefits. Tea-and-Coffee.com. https://www.tea-and-coffee.com/blog/oolong-tea-benefits