Green tea, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), may affect body weight and composition, possibly by enhancing fat oxidation. The aim of this double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled cross-over study was to investigate whether 3-day supplementation with EGCG (282mg/day) stimulates fat oxidation and lipolysis in 24 overweight subjects (age = 30 +/- 2yrs, BMI = 27.7 +/- 0.3 kg/m(2)). Energy expenditure, substrate metabolism and circulating metabolites were determined during fasting and postprandial conditions. After 6 h, a fat biopsy was collected to examine gene expression. In 12 subjects, skeletal muscle glycerol, glucose and lactate concentrations were determined using microdialysis. EGCG-supplementation did not alter energy expenditure and substrate oxidation compared to placebo. Although EGCG reduced postprandial circulating glycerol concentrations (P = 0.015), no difference in skeletal muscle lipolysis was observed. Fasting (P = 0.001) and postprandial (P = 0.003) skeletal muscle lactate concentrations were reduced after EGCG-supplementation compared to placebo, despite similar tissue blood flow. Adipose tissue leptin (P = 0.05) and FAT/CD36 expression (P = 0.08) were increased after EGCG compared to placebo. In conclusion, 3-day EGCG-supplementation decreased postprandial plasma glycerol concentrations, but had no significant effects on skeletal muscle lipolysis and whole-body fat oxidation in overweight individuals. Furthermore, EGCG decreased skeletal muscle lactate concentrations, which suggest a shift towards a more oxidative muscle phenotype.