Why All Athletes Should Drink Tea
Quick, what is the most popular drink in the world behind water?
Coffee? Juice? Milk?. Not this.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Although tea has become more popular, it still has a certain stereotype. For many young people, the word tea conjures up images of quiet old women and polite Englishmen. He doesn't remember, say, elite athletes.
But why? You've probably heard someone say that tea is good for you. But beyond that blanket statement, you may not know that tea has a number of performance-enhancing benefits that make it especially beneficial for athletes. Yes, drinking tea can help you perform better.
Dehydration impairs performance and causes problems like cramps and fatigue. However, staying hydrated is not always easy. Luckily for you, tea is a great way to stay hydrated. A 2011 study found that tea had similar hydrating properties to water.
Many athletes may not like to drink plain water. It may not have enough flavor and they are looking for other drinks. A 2 percent drop in hydration can affect performance, but tea keeps you hydrated, tastes good, and doesn't have a ton of sugar like sodas or juices.
Studies have found that beverages like soda hydrate you in a similar way, but one should consider that these alternatives generally contain a ton of caffeine, sugar, and additives. High amounts of caffeine and sugar are addictive. Tea is lower in sugar and caffeine than most alternatives, allowing you to have the positive side of these substances while avoiding their potential dangers. Tea contains caffeine, but not as much as coffee. It can provide a bit of stimulation for an athlete. You can drink some green tea to rehydrate after practice, and it will also help increase your level of consciousness. This is smarter than relying on drinks like soda or energy drinks that generally have much more sugar and caffeine than you need.Caffeine, studied in its isolated form, has been found to be one of the most tried and true performance enhancing substances of all time. Basically, it can help you get that extra boost you need during a sports performance.
The tea keeps you hydrated, gives you a little kick to help you get through the day, and is low in calories and sugar. But perhaps the most impressive performance-enhancing benefit of tea is that it increases endurance capacity.
A 2004 study found that green tea extract improved endurance capacity in mice: "GTE [green tea extract] markedly improved endurance capacity and stimulated the use of lipids." And a 2006 study concluded that "GTE's endurance-enhancing effects were mediated, at least in part, by increased metabolic capacity and utilization of fatty acids as an energy source." All that jargon basically means that green tea extract was found to improve endurance during aerobic activity, and that the increased endurance is due in part to an increase in burning fat for energy. While both studies were done with mice, human studies have shown similar results.
Green tea definitely improves endurance capacity in athletes. It helps your body prioritize fat storage over glycogen, which means it burns fat for energy.
Disease preventionCatechins, a powerful antioxidant abundant in many teas (especially green tea), have been shown to help in the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease. Tea consumption has also been linked to better dental health, lower cholesterol, and better immune system function. The general health and disease prevention benefits related to tea drinking are really too voluminous to list. If a child were to swap a soda for unsweetened green tea, who knows how many health benefits they would find. It could help prevent cancer, improve cardiovascular health, prevent diabetes, help you better control your weight and give you more energy and focus, and improve your oral health. Green tea is one of those things where the downside of consuming it is practically non-existent.
Affordability and convenience
Tea is also an affordable and convenient beverage option. It's easy to get, it's easy to make, and it's easy to create large quantities. It is widely available. If you're wondering what type of tea is right for you, there are plenty of great options. Green tea might be the best option, as it has the highest catechin content and is the one that has been studied the most. But black and white teas have many of the same health benefits.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Herbal teas are not technically teas as they are not made from the Camellia sinensis plant. They are actually made from a mixture of seeds, herbs, flowers, and fruits. Therefore, herbal teas do not confer the same benefits as traditional teas.
Making your own tea from loose tea leaves is a smart choice, as green tea made this way has been found to have a higher antioxidant content than bottled tea.