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Does Peppermint Tea Help You Lose Weight?

You’ve started a weight cut and your whole lifestyle has changed for the better.

Your exercise regime is well underway and the contents of your refrigerator have gone from a sea of ready meals to a whole host of fresh vegetables and lean meats. This time there’s no going back!

But what would be a healthy supplement to add to to this lifestyle overhaul? Peppermint tea maybe?

As a refreshing and invigorating tea with a distinct taste and aroma, peppermint is often cited as a weight loss tool. But does it actually help you lose fat or weight?

In this article we take a look…


What is Peppermint?

Also called Mentha balsamea, peppermint is a hybrid plant and the result of crossing watermint and spearmint.

It more than likely originated in Eastern Asia but is also indigenous to Europe. It’s an easy-to-grow plant that distinct, dark green leaves and you’ll find it growing all over the world.

Peppermint is used commonly as a flavouring in various foods such as chewing gum and confectionery. It is also used to flavour toothpaste and add scent to soaps and skin care products.

The essential oil extracted from the leaves can be used in cosmetics and other pharmaceutical products as well.

Peppermint tea

Currently, peppermint tea is the single most popular herbal infusion available on the commercial market [1].

The leaves of the peppermint plant are made into a tea by infusing them with boiling water. The result is a caffeine-free lightly colored tea with a minty smell and taste.

It is classed as a herbal tea simply as it derives directly from the plant. Peppermint tea has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years as a tonic and health-boosting supplement.


Peppermint plant leaves

What Are The Health Benefits?

Peppermint has long been thought to boost health.

The plant leaves are full of antioxidant phenols, flavonols and other bioactive ingredients [2].

These include:

  • Rosmarinic acid
  • Eriocitrin
  • Luteolin
  • Menthol and menthone

As such, peppermint is said to have antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that help it fight infections and inflammation.

Here’s a breakdown of common uses:

Digestive health

The main reported benefit of peppermint is that it boosts digestive health by promoting healthy bowel movements (it relaxes the gastrointestinal tract). This means that the enzymes responsible for using bile to break down fats can work more efficiently.

When you digest food easier you can feel less tired. You can also feel less bloated, unconformable and lethargic. It may even help to reduce the effects of stomach pain, diarrhoea or gas too.

The scientific evidence for this though relies pretty much on animal studies. 

Sinus problems

This one’s not so much about ingesting tea, rather just the general aroma of peppermint.

The menthol compounds found in peppermint are thought to reduce inflammation in mucus membranes found in your sinuses and throat.

Peppermint oil in particular has been used to treat sinus infections, common colds and phlegm build-up for a number of years in many over-the-counter remedies.

Other benefits

You’ll also find that the infused tea has been used to treat anything from headaches to mood. Manufacturers of these products often make claims about it improving various ailments, many without any scientific backing.

Be aware though – many of these benefits are anecdotal

Although peppermint has been used as a health tonic for centuries in traditional medicine, clinical trials might tell a different story. 

One review of the herb aimed to assess its bioactivity under strict laboratory conditions. The authors claimed that at that point there was very little scientific evidence to back up health claims made by herbal tea and tisane manufacturers, as well as those that sold oil-based remedies and supplements. They therefor wanted to investigate its effects further.

What did the review find?

The study found that some benefits to antimicrobial and antiviral did occur. However, these results were only found in vitro which means that all tests were conducted ‘out of biological context’ in cells, not living animals or humans.

The review concluded that at present  “human studies of peppermint leaf are limited and clinical trials of peppermint tea are absent”.


Key Point: Peppermint is said to have a number of health benefits. However, research to back these claims up is extremely scarce and currently limited to animal studies.


But Can Peppermint Tea Boost Weight Loss?

A quick search of the internet will bring back quite a few articles linking peppermint to weight loss, fat loss and improved body composition.

The problem is though that much like claims made around general health improvement, there’s very little legitimate scientific sources of evidence available to back it up. That in itself is worrying. 

Here are the main claims you’ll find…

Peppermint ‘may’ suppress appetite

It is often suggested that the smell of mint could suppress appetite.

But that’s not necessarily down to peppermint tea, just the smell of mint. In theory you could just smell spearmint gum or even toothpaste and get the same effect if that was the case.

To date there are no studies that show peppermint tea will help with weight loss in the context of appetite suppression. There are a number of other natural nutrients such as glucomannan that

have a much stronger clinical profile. This would be a much better option for reducing appetite and overall calorie restriction.

Mint tea ‘could’ improve digestive health

Again, it’s a far fetched link built on anecdotes rather than actual science. Yes digestion is a big part of overall health – but improving digestive transit doesn’t necessarily lead to fat loss.

The link between improved digestive health and weight loss is a much touted one. But science doesn’t back it up.

Again, there are no studies that show peppermint tea will cause weight loss by improving gut health.



Are There Any Side Effects?

Decreased testosterone

As a natural steroid hormone, testosterone is important for both men and women who wish to optimize their body composition.

This androgenic hormone helps you build muscle and reduce belly fat. It improves endurance and performance and makes you an all-round better athlete.

A study published in Urology [3] found that peppermint tea caused significant negative effects on reproductive function. The authors of the study suggested that although the tea has been seen to aid in digestion, it may have toxic effects when used in excess.

Gastrointensitnal upset

Although there haven’t been any reports of serious adverse reactions in humans, there may be a host of side effects you could suffer from. These include:

  • Kidney stones
  • Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Hiatus hernia

Man with muscular physique drinking green peppermint tea

Is There a Better Option?

Unlike peppermint tea, green tea has been found to boost weight loss in the most rigorous of clinical studies.

It contains a number of bioactive compounds including polyphenols and catechins – the most important of these being epigallocathechin-3 gallate (EGCG). 

Not only that but it contains a fairly high dose of caffeine in it too which is a well known thermogenic fat burner.

Why is green tea extract good for weight loss?

Green tea has a three-pronged effect on body fat:

  • It reduces appetite
  • It boosts metabolism
  • It has a thermogenic effect that speeds up fat loss

The largest review study conducted on green tea – a meta-analysis – [4] found that the catechins in green tea were found to not only significantly decrease body weight, but also help maintain healthy weight after a period of weight loss.

This has been backed up by a number of other trials too, with many reporting an increase in  fatty acid use over a 24-hour period as high as 16% above baseline [5].


Enter… Instant Knockout

Instant Knockout contains green tea extract, as well as other fat fighting nutrients.

As an exhaustively researched, natural supplement, Instant Knockout is used by top MMA fighters to make weight whilst at the same time feeling full of energy and strength.

It has the power to:

  • Increase Calorie Burning – Lose fat faster and safely
  • Boost Energy – Work harder for longer
  • Control  Appetite – Reduce food cravings and stay on strict diets with minimal effort
  • Promote Day-Long Fat Burning – Keep that metabolic fire high

Try Instant Knockout today!


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References

  1. McKay, DL et al. A Review of the Bioactivity and Potential Health Benefits of Peppermint Tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phyto Res. 2006; 20: 619-633
  2. Dorman, HJ et al. Phenolic profile and antioxidant evaluation of Mentha x piperita L. (peppermint) extracts. Nat Prod Commun. 2009; 4(4): 535-42
  3. Akdogan, M et al. Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology. 2004; 64(2): 394-8
  4. Hursel, R et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. Int J Obes. 2009;33:956–61
  5. Hursel, R et al. The effects of catechin rich teas and caffeine on energy expenditure and fat oxidation: A meta-analysis. Obes. Rev. 2011; 12: e573–e581


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