In many ways, green tea is the original wonder drug. It was used thousands of years ago to treat typhoid fever, and contemporary research shows it might have properties that can fight everything from genital warts to Parkinson’s disease, from cancer to obesity. This simple leaf contains several potent antioxidants and phytochemicals that support our body’s daily processes. But green tea is a bitter drink that is an acquired taste for some. And most studies suggest drinking anywhere from two to 10 cups a day to see the best health boosts.
Green tea extract allows you to reap the benefits of the drink without having to double your daily liquid consumption. One or two capsules or scoops of powder can give you those benefits with less caffeine and less time taken from your daily schedule. But understanding the difference between extracts gets complicated fast. We’re here to help unpack what all of the different terms mean, show you what research does — and doesn’t — really reveal, and point you toward the best green tea extract for your body.
If you’re in a hurry, check out our top recommendations below.
Zhou Nutrition Green Tea Extract provides strong nutritional benefits at an affordable price- all without the caffeine crash.
Each capsule contains as much caffeine as one cup of green tea, with five times the polyphenols. Save 20% when you subscribe and get free shipping on orders over $50. All orders are covered by a 60-day money-back guarantee.
Winner: Zhou Nutrition
The value of a product relies on its cost and your benefits. Just because you can get a product for pennies on the dollar doesn’t mean it’ll work or that it’ll work as efficiently and effectively as something that costs slightly more. And while all of our top products work, they simply can’t all be the best.
In our opinion, the green tea extract with the best value per serving is from Zhou Nutrition. They balance a potent formula with a low cost, providing 500mg of green tea extract standardized to 98% polyphenols with 50% EGCG, making this one of the more powerful supplements on our list. Yet it remains firmly within healthy dose recommendations, ensuring that you won’t accidentally risk your health while trying to improve it. And it does all of this in a four-month supply for $18.99, or $15.19 with free shipping if you join their Subscribe & Save program.
Here’s a breakdown of our top choice’s costs for comparison.
|Standard cost||Subscribe & save cost||Value ($/serving)|
|Zhou Nutrition||$18.99||$15.19 (save 20%)||$0.16 standard / $0.13 subscription|
|Zenwise||$19.97||$16.97 (save 15%)||$0.17 standard / 0.14 subscription|
|Life Extension Decaffeinated Mega||$22.50||$18.00 (save 20%)||$0.23 standard / $0.18 subscription|
|Bulk Supplements Powder||$14.96-242.96||$14.21-230.81 (save 5%)||$0.07-0.02 standard and subscription|
When it comes to taking supplements, safety is extremely important. Since the FDA doesn’t approve supplements the same way they do medications, supplement companies must take extra steps to ensure they're producing safe products. This often looks like using good manufacturing practices (cGMP or GMP), independent third-party testing, and transparency around ingredients.
We were surprised by the number of companies that did their own testing rather than bringing in an independent third party. However, with 16 different third-party certifications under their belt, NOW is our pick for the safest green tea extract. They run all of their tests in-house, and their laboratories won a national award for testing quality and initiative in June 2021. So they might do everything themselves, but since they’re a large company, they have the capacity to do it well.
All NOW products — including their Green Tea Extract — go through several stages of testing throughout the manufacturing process and are checked against relevant clinical studies to ensure ingredients are safe. They aren’t particularly forthcoming about the percentage of catechins versus EGCG in their supplement. Still, their testing efforts provide serious peace of mind.
Winner: Healths Harmony
Despite all being made from green tea leaves, not every green tea extract is the same. They have different levels of polyphenols, catechins, and EGCG. Some supplement companies report these levels; others don’t. And the overall dose of green tea extract itself varies as much as 500mg depending on the vendor. There isn’t a definitive recommended dose yet, but most scientific studies suggest that taking between 350mg and 675mg of EGCG — not green tea extract overall — is where you’ll find the most health benefits. You can start to see perks as low as 100mg.
Healths Harmony allows you the flexibility to adjust your daily intake so you can dial in the best possible dose for you. They recommend starting with two capsules a day, giving you 1,000mg of 98% polyphenol green tea extract. Not only is this the strongest recommendation on our list, but it also maxes out at 75% catechins. If you find the dose is too strong and gives you jitters or nausea, you can reel back to one capsule or 500mg a day. And while it might not have the highest overall amount of EGCG at 45%, the other catechins and flexibility that Healths Harmony’s extract offers are worth the slight offset.
One of the major bonuses of green tea extract is that it’s substantially more convenient to take than several cups of green tea for the same benefits. But not every green tea extract is equally convenient. Some have giant capsules that are hard to swallow; others are powders that you have to mix into a liquid of your choice. And others yet have enough caffeine that taking them without food makes your day a little more complicated.
Zenwise tops our convenience rating with their heavy-hitting 725mg of extract in each capsule. One capsule has as much EGCG as six cups of tea, so you only need to take one daily to see full benefits. Each serving has only 15mg of caffeine, meaning that while you should generally take green tea extract with food, it won’t completely ruin your day if you don’t. They’re the smallest capsules on our list, making them easy to swallow.
Even more convenient than its delivery method, Zenwise offers an extremely generous lifetime guarantee. If you realize that this supplement isn’t right for you, you can reach out to their customer service for a refund or swap the product out at no additional cost, no matter when you ordered it.
Green tea is a specific way to prepare the leaves of Camellia sinensis (tea plants). Tea leaves are picked, heated, dried, and rolled into the small flakes we might be familiar with in tea bags. There’s very little processing done to prepare green tea. Green tea isn’t oxidized, meaning it’s closer to leaves straight off the bush (as opposed to black or oolong tea).
Green tea extract is a highly concentrated form of green tea. Rather than infusing the tea leaves in water like you would to make a cup of tea or blending them into a powder to make matcha, caffeine and catechins are extracted from tea leaf scraps and emulsified into a powder. Some companies will strip the antioxidants and caffeine from the leaves themselves instead.
A few choice micronutrients make green tea such a holistically healthy substance. We’ll be focusing on polyphenols, catechins, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), but green tea also offers:
Many different plants contain polyphenols, compounds that help avoid pathogens and damage from UV radiation. When we eat plants rich in polyphenols, we gain some of these benefits through antioxidants. They aren’t vital nutrients like vitamins or zinc, but they help offset environmental free radical accumulation, keeping your health steady as you age.
There are thousands of polyphenol varieties. Some that you might encounter include:
Specifically, green tea contains flavonoids. Flavonoids are the largest group of polyphenols, containing over 5,000 different compounds that affect everything from coloring to taste to metabolites. These include:
Catechins are a specific kind of flavonoid. Green tea is one of the best dietary sources of catechins, but they’re also commonly found in:
Catechins are known for their intense antioxidative properties. They can help our body absorb healthy foods better, protect our skin from UV damage, and minimize inflammation associated with allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.
There are four different types of catechins found in green tea:
These catechins exist in large quantities in green tea. The oxidizing process to make black and oolong tea converts these polyphenols into other antioxidant polyphenols (such as theaflavin).
Of the four kinds of catechins mainly found in green tea, EGCG is the powerhouse. It’s the most common kind of catechin, and scientists are quickly discovering that it significantly impacts our health.
Its protective effects are vast, regulating multiple cancer-related pathways and helping to modify your epigenetics. In doses between 107mg and 856mg per day, it can lower your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels. It’s also the primary chemical thought to be responsible for green tea’s thermogenic properties, meaning more EGCG can help you lose weight.
This doesn’t mean that EGCG or green tea is a cancer cure or that it’ll give you a perfect body overnight. Instead, EGCG’s beneficial properties keep your body running at peak functioning.
There are dozens of potential applications for green tea extract, but most of them still need more research before we can say they work for sure. Some theoretical properties of green tea include:
Based on these features, it’s proposed that green tea could help fight or prevent:
Obviously, these are big shoes to fill. And most of these proposed benefits are still theories or only tested in animal models, meaning that we don’t know for sure if green tea can help humans in the same way. The list of diseases and disorders that it’s thought to cure stretches on longer than this article. If you’ve been prescribed medication by your doctor, don’t switch it out for a green tea supplement without consulting them first.
There’s substantial evidence that green tea extract can kickstart weight loss (or keep you from gaining weight) by inducing thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is the process that makes your body generate extra heat to burn fat. Weight loss supplements and medications rely on this mechanism to help you lose weight, which is why you’re likely to see green tea extract listed as an ingredient in their Supplement Facts lists.
Polyphenols are potent antioxidants. We know that antioxidants have a huge range of health benefits because they can stop or slow damage to your cells from free radicals. Free radicals happen naturally from things like digesting food but can also be caused by environmental pollution or cigarette smoke. Over time, free radicals can build up excessively to cause oxidative stress, which can then cause things like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer.
Since antioxidants interfere with this oxidative damage, you might see marketing that antioxidants can prevent those disorders and diseases. That’s not entirely true, but it’s also not completely wrong. Taking green tea supplements won’t delay a cancer diagnosis, but it might help slow cellular damage that could lead to it.
The differences between green tea extract and steeped tea play out in dosing. One cup of green tea made from a tea bag at home has about 100-150mg of polyphenols (about 75% of which are EGCG when brewed correctly). High-quality green tea extracts range from 45% to 50% EGCG, resulting in a lower EGCG-to-polyphenol ratio but more EGCG overall.
Most studies look at the amount of EGCG in each serving to determine a healthy dose. Taking about 350mg of EGCG daily is often enough to receive these benefits without any harm, though studies have shown that you can take up to 675mg without risking your health. Doses upward of 800mg EGCG daily (or about 1,500mg of green tea extract per day) can cause liver damage in some people.
Our top picks have between 250 and 450mg of EGCG per serving. To get the same amount of EGCG (and the same health benefits) as one serving of our favorite green tea extracts, you’d need to drink 2-4 cups of green tea. You can get the same benefits with less caffeine from a concentrated extract.
Special Offer from Zhou: Save 20% When You Subscribe
Insider Tip: Polyphenols taste bitter, so green tea that’s less sweet is more likely to be better for you. (As a bonus, green tea extract capsules remove bitter flavors from the equation altogether.)
Green tea extract is more stable long-term than brewed green tea. Green tea is best brewed at a low temperature (about 180° F). Once you begin steeping the tea, its polyphenols start to degrade. This occurs faster at higher temperatures. Green tea extract preserves a vast majority of these (between 95 and 98% on average), allowing you to get the most benefit without pulling out a thermometer every time you want a cup of tea.
On the other hand, solids (including powders inside capsules like most green tea extracts) are harder for your body to digest. It takes a while to break a solid into small, soluble pieces, and the longer it takes to reach peak solubility, the more proteins and chemicals degrade before you can use them. This means that while green tea extract might get you more polyphenols faster, your body might not be absorbing them in the same way. Most extracts have enough polyphenols to offset this, however.
There are a few problems that can stem from taking green tea extract. Most of them occur when you take a high dose (2,000mg or more) every day and are made worse by taking them on an empty stomach. Be sure to take your green tea extract with food to avoid stumbling into adverse side effects.
The National Institutes of Health recommends staying away from green tea extract if you take beta-blockers like nadolol. In high doses, green tea can lower the amount of blood in your body, so it interacts poorly with medications used for high blood pressure and heart problems.
Some green tea extracts can cause stomach irritation. This is partially related to their caffeine content and partly associated with how polyphenols interact with the GI system. The easiest way to combat feelings of nausea is to take your green tea extract with food. If they persist, you might consider trying a decaffeinated green tea extract like Life Extension’s Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract. Green tea naturally contains caffeine, though very few extracts have more than the average cup of coffee (100mg) per serving. (That’s another big perk.)
If you’re pregnant or lactating, a decaffeinated green tea extract should be safe to take in low doses — but always check with your doctor first. Green tea extract is not appropriate for children or teens.
The most serious risk you face when taking green tea extract is liver damage. Supplements high in catechins are more likely to cause liver damage when taken in extremely large doses. Very few green tea extracts have enough catechins to cause harm, but when green tea extract is used in bulk in weight loss supplements, you’re more likely to find these dangerous side effects.
There’s no clear scientific consensus on how or why this liver damage happens, but EGCG concentrates in the liver four times faster than it does in your blood. Some studies have shown that green tea extract also increases your alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, but it’s unknown if that’s a cause or an effect of liver damage.
These liver problems are more likely to occur when you take more than 800mg of EGCG per day. If you have a history of liver disease or a family history of acute liver failure, talk to your doctor before starting a green tea extract.
Best overall and best budget pick
Zhou Nutrition was started after its founders got frustrated trying to find high-quality supplements that didn’t cost as much as a week’s worth of groceries, and it’s clear that they’ve stuck to their mission since opening in 2014. The Utah-based company uses strict GMP standards in their labs and sources their ingredients from wherever in the world they grow best. While they test both their ingredients and the final products, it’s unclear whether or not they do it themselves. Either way, everything that leaves their factory has been tested at least twice for quality assurance.
Their Green Tea Extract is a nutritionally dense supplement that won’t wreck your concentration. One capsule contains 500mg of green tea extract with 98% polyphenols and 50% EGCG, making it one of the most potent extracts on our list. Each serving contains up to 15mg of caffeine, which is about as much as you’d find in one cup of brewed green tea with five times the polyphenols. It includes two additives (rice flour and magnesium stearate), but these are common, safe, and help keep your extract shelf-stable. And with 120 servings in one bottle, you’ll be set for four months or more for less than $20.
There are two purchasing options for Zhou’s Green Tea Extract. You can either purchase it as a one-time order for $18.99 or join their Subscribe & Save service. Subscribing will give you a 20% discount and free shipping, which drops the total price to $15.19 for one bottle. These subscription orders ship monthly, and you can choose how frequently you want a new bottle:
You can order this Green Tea Extract through Zhou’s website, Amazon, Walmart (online shop only), Jet.com, or small health stores. If you purchase directly from Zhou, your order is eligible for their flexible 60-day money-back guarantee. Even if you’ve opened and tried a few capsules, if you find it isn’t for you, just send an email to customer service, and you’ll get a full refund within a few days.
Zenwise provides an uncompromising green tea extract with a few bonuses. Each container holds 120 servings (one capsule per serving) of 725mg green tea extract. It has 95% polyphenols and 50% EGCG; this is one of the most potent extracts on our list, though there are higher polyphenol concentrations. Each serving also contains 60mg of vitamin C as ascorbic acid for an extra immune system and antioxidant boost. One serving also only has 15mg of caffeine, which is about the same as one cup of brewed green tea.
Uniquely, Zenwise offers a 100% lifetime money-back and risk-free guarantee. At any point, if you decide that their Green Tea Extract doesn’t agree with your body or you aren’t feeling any positive effects, you can reach out to customer service for alternative options. This might look like a full refund, a partial refund, or a different product shipped to you at no cost, depending on what fits your needs best. When we reached out to customer service for clarity around this policy, the representatives our testers spoke with in Zenwise’s in-browser chat replied within a minute and quickly had a clear, detailed answer.
It was a close tie for our top pick between Zhou Nutrition and Zenwise’s Green Tea Extracts. Ultimately, despite Zenwise’s positives, it was our runner-up because it has a slightly lower polyphenol concentration, slightly more additives, and is about $1/bottle more expensive.
Ordering is easy. You can choose between a one-time purchase for $19.97 or a subscription plan, which sends you a new bottle at a regular interval of your choosing:
A Subscribe & Save membership saves 15% off every purchase, dropping the price to $16.97.
You can order Zenwise’s Green Tea Extract directly from their website if you live in the United States. Orders to the continental United States always have free shipping and arrive in 2-5 business days. You’ll have to pay a variable shipping fee if you’re ordering from Alaska or Hawaii. If you live outside of the United States, you’ll have to order your extract from Amazon or iHerb, which are both licensed retailers.
Life Extension has a bit of a rocky history. They tend to make grand promises about their supplements and can’t always follow through, having been in trouble with the FDA more than once. However, their Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract is just as good as they claim.
Each bottle contains 100 capsules of 725mg green tea extract and nothing more. Their extract is standardized at 98% polyphenols — tied for the highest percentage on our list — and 45% EGCG. Each serving (one capsule per day) contains up to 327mg of EGCG, a healthy dose that’ll let you access the catechin’s benefits but won’t increase your risk of developing side effects. Plus, they strip caffeine from the green tea extract during production, meaning it’s safe for people sensitive to caffeine but who still want to feel the benefits of green tea.
While they only offer one size and dose of their Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract, their dose is still robust and gives you more than three months of capsules for $22.50. If you order bottles in bulk, you can score extra savings: four bottles at a time drops their individual prices to $18.00, a 20% savings. If you don’t know if you’ll need a year’s worth of green tea extract at once but still want in on Life Extension’s savings, you can subscribe to their AutoShip & Save program. This gives you free shipping and a 20% discount, bringing you Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract at $18.00 per bottle. You can change how often these subscriptions reach your door, choosing from:
Life Extension offers a generous one-year money-back guarantee: if at any point in the year after you’ve placed your order you decide that their Decaffeinated Mega Green Tea Extract isn’t for you, you can get a full refund.
If you’re interested in learning more about Life Extension, check out our full review.
Most potent formula
Green tea extract’s dosage range is wide. There’s a lot of wiggle room for you to take more without experiencing adverse side effects if you aren’t feeling anything from a low dose. Healths Harmony gives you the flexibility to take twice as much as the competition without feeling over-caffeinated or having to sacrifice other options.
One bottle holds 120 capsules, which at first glance is the same size as most of their competitors. However, one serving of Healths Harmony’s Green Tea Extract is two capsules, meaning you get half as many servings per bottle. This is a big reason they’re our top pick for potency: if you’re looking for something that’ll pack a punch, one serving is 1,000mg of green tea extract with 98% polyphenols and at least 45% EGCG.
Notably, Healths Harmony doesn’t give precise numbers on their Supplement Facts list. Instead, they list the minimum percentages for EGCG and catechins and the maximum percentage for caffeine. Based on those numbers, each serving contains:
It’s one of the more heavily caffeinated supplements we’ve chosen but still contains less caffeine than one cup of coffee. One of the nice things about their larger serving size is that if you find 1,000mg is too strong for you, you can cut down to one capsule for a 500mg dose, which is in line with most of Healths Harmony’s competitors. However, these supplements are not vegan-friendly as the capsules are made from bovine gelatin.
One bottle costs $15.97, and shipping is free from Healths Harmony’s website. You can also order your Green Tea Extract from Amazon or Walmart’s website. If you try this green tea extract and find it doesn’t work for you, you’ll have 90 days to contact Healths Harmony’s customer service for a full refund.
Best in bulk
If you want a matcha-like experience with a green tea powder, Bulk Supplements has your back. They offer loose powder and capsules, but we’ve focused on their powders for this review.
One serving is equivalent to about ⅕ teaspoon. That’s not a common household size, so unless you have a kitchen scale and can measure out 500 milligrams or find a ⅕ teaspoon, there’s a very good chance that you won’t be able to dose consistently. Each serving exclusively contains green tea extract, standardized to include at least 50% EGCG. Bulk Supplements doesn’t give or measure information about polyphenol percents, slightly obscuring the ingredient information, making it a little harder to tell exactly what benefits you’re getting from it.
You can take the powder straight, put it into a capsule yourself, or mix it into your favorite liquid. (Our testers enjoyed it in Greek yogurt, which gave it a batter-like consistency.) The powder has the bitter tang associated with green tea, so if you don’t like the way green tea tastes, you may want to opt for a capsule-based green tea extract.
If you’re looking for a green tea supplement in bulk, there’s no better option than Bulk Supplements. They offer a wide range of size options in powder form alone. You can pick a bag size from:
If you want to buy a substantial amount, Bulk Supplements also offers bundles of multiple 2.2lb bags at a time. You can get five (11lbs) or 25 (55lbs) bags at a time. Their 55lb option is frequently out of stock, but you can order 11 pounds of green tea extract powder for less than $250.
If you know that you’ll want your Green Tea Extract regularly, you can sign up for Bulk Supplement’s Subscribe & Save program. Unlike most Subscribe & Save programs, you’ll only save 5% (most others average around 15-20% savings). However, considering the bulk deals you’re already getting, you’re likely still saving more per serving than a subscription from a competitor. These subscriptions will send you a new bag at a regular interval:
The chart below breaks down the number of servings, standard cost, and subscription savings for each readily available size.
|Number of servings||Standard cost||Subscription cost (save 5%)|
Bulk Supplements ships just about anywhere in the world. If you live in the contiguous United States, you can earn free shipping on orders over $59. Otherwise, shipping fees vary depending on the weight of your order and your location.
Nature’s Wellness’s Green Tea Extract is a well-rounded choice. While it didn’t earn any of our top picks, it displays many of the same qualities, cementing its place as one of our top seven green tea extracts.
This extract is well-formulated at 98% polyphenols, at least 75% catechins, and at least 45% EGCG. It falls prey to describing its ingredients with their minimum and maximum possibilities rather than giving hard numbers, making it slightly more challenging to tell what exactly you’re getting. But, if the numbers they do provide are any evidence, you’re still getting a hefty dose. Each serving of one capsule contains 500mg of green tea extract and only 15mg of caffeine. However, the capsule is made from gelatin extracted from bovine parts, so it’s not safe for vegans.
You can only place one-time purchases of this green tea extract. One bottle of 120 capsules costs $17.85, and Nature’s Wellness doesn’t currently offer a subscribe-and-save program. Spending $30 or more unlocks free shipping to the contiguous United States. Otherwise, shipping prices vary depending on where you live. (Conveniently, it’s also readily available via Amazon.)
Nature’s Wellness does offer a robust “Certified Happy” money-back guarantee. Should the first bottle of green tea extract you order not fit the bill, contact their customer service. They’ll work with you to get a refund or replacement immediately.
However, if you decide on your second (or third, or fourth) bottle that their Green Tea Extract isn’t something you want anymore, you’ll need to reach out within 60 days of receiving it. You’ll need to return it in the bottle’s original packaging, and your refund (minus the cost of shipping) won’t be credited to your bank account until after Nature’s Wellness receives the bottle in good condition. And be sure to include your receipt or proof of purchase in the box as well — Nature’s Wellness won’t accept the return without it.
NOW is a powerhouse of a health product and supplement brand. They make everything from hand sanitizer to essential oils, from monk fruit granules to Green Tea Extract. NOW offers both Green Tea Extract and an EGCG supplement, but we’ve focused on their pure Green Tea Extract.
Each capsule contains 400mg of green tea extract. NOW isn’t particularly transparent about the polyphenol breakdown of this supplement, but they do include at least 40% catechins. We can assume that most of these are EGCG since they’re the most abundant catechin in green tea, but there’s no clear identification here. They state that it includes up to 32mg of caffeine — on the higher end of caffeine concentration on this list but still in the same range as one cup of green tea — and 60mg of vitamin C as ascorbic acid. The vitamin C is a nice touch, adding antioxidants and immune boosters to this supplement, but it doesn’t make up for the lack of transparency elsewhere.
When our testers reached out to customer service for more information, they were told that NOW just doesn’t measure polyphenol breakdown or EGCG in these supplements. That makes them slightly more risky content-wise than some of our other top picks.
However, unlike most others on this list, you can choose between two sizes of bottles: 100 capsules ($11.99) or 250 capsules ($25.99). There’s no subscription program, so you’ll have to purchase them one at a time. Luckily, NOW is a relatively prominent supplement brand, so dozens of retail stores carry NOW’s products, from independent health food stores to GNC.
Shipping is free on orders over $50 to the contiguous United States. NOW honors returns on unopened products as long as you get them back within 30 days of purchase, but you’ll have to pay for return shipping.
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We extensively test each health service or product we review. Our content provides you, our readers, with an unbiased exploration of at-home health options, free of marketing jargon or gimmicks. We evaluate products and services based on their adherence to quality and the latest medical evidence and health standards. We ask ourselves two simple questions: Would we buy the product or service ourselves if it weren’t part of our job? Would we recommend it to family and friends?
Additionally, like all health-related content on this website, this guide was thoroughly vetted by one or more members of our Medical Review Board for accuracy.