The history of tea goes back centuries, not only as the original pick-me-up but also in ceremonial and community gatherings around the world. Aside from giving us energy and bringing us together, some cultures have traditionally used tea for medicinal purposes. Thanks to advances in technology, you can now reap the benefits of tea in many forms. When you pair it with your tailored diet and training program, you may even find it helps you reach your body composition goals. But how?
In honour of International Tea day, we bring you the benefits of the popular and much-loved green tea. Read on to find how this amazing brew can help you!
One cup of green tea a day can provide your hard-working body with nourishing polyphenols, mostly known as catechins. The specific catechin in question is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Providing natural antoxidant support, your body gets extra defense against cell damage and thus has a tool to promote healthy aging.
When you have enough antioxidants, your body has what it needs to thrive and be at its best! Whether you're looking to lose weight, gain muscle or simply be as healthy as you can be, antioxidants from plant-based compounds like green tea are key.
4. Brain Health
Thanks to being a natural source of caffeine, green tea can help support your mood and energy. However, you won't have to worry about that dreaded caffeine crash. Balanced out by the natural presence of L-Theanine, you can enjoy the benefits of caffeine whilst still remaining calm and collected.
Though more research is needed, evidence exists to show that green tea can be a useful tool in guarding against age-related mental declines such as found in dementia.
3. Cardiovascular Health
A healthy heart means a healthy you! Cardiovascular diseases comprise some of the most problematic issues we face globally. If we can protect ourselves and our loves ones from the risks of death from stroke and heart disease, we're onto a winner. Who knew a soothing cup of green tea could come to be an aid?
Green tea may help lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, which is an excellent option if you're looking to be heart-healthy. When you take care of your cholesterol and blood pressure, you're not only giving yourself future health insurance, but you're also giving yourself what you need to perform and train at your best!
2. Blood Sugar
If you wonder why you're always feeling hungry, fluctuations in blood sugar can be to blame. When you eat a heavy carbohydrate meal (say a big bowl of sugary cereal with milk), your blood sugar spikes, making you feel super energised and happy. However, the drop may be even quicker, due to the fast-acting nature of carbohydrates. These highs and lows play havoc on your body, causing fluctuations in energy, mood, appetite and even exercise performance.
Whether you have diabetes or not, blood sugar management is important for overall health. Green tea may assist managing your blood glucose through its action on diabetes health markers like fasted glucose levels and A1C levels. Green tea can also decrease fasting insulin levels, which signals its suitability as a healthy beverage for sustained energy.
1. Metabolism Support
Green tea has thermogenic properties, so its a useful tool to use when dieting. Thanks to the natural caffeine in it, you'll find it'll give you energy and provide support to your internal thermostat - your metabolism. Your metabolism guides how you process food. If you have a slow metabolism, you will gain weight with less food. A fast metabolism means you'll be able to eat more without fearing the fat. A key idea behind weight training is to grow muscle so that you burn more calories at rest, due to a higher metabolism.
Aside from caffeine, green tea contains catechin, a type of flavonoid which may play a hand in the way the body breaks down fat. Though you can't rely on green tea to do all the heavy lifting for you, you'll find that many gym junkies and athletes love to sip green tea for its metabolism-aiding properties.
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Nugala B, Namasi A, Emmadi P, Krishna PM. Role of green tea as an antioxidant in periodontal disease: The Asian paradox. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2012;16(3):313-316. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.100902
Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010;5:13. Published 2010 Apr 6. doi:10.1186/1749-8546-5-13