Tea has played a significant role in world history for thousands of years. From the first cup sampled by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung circa 2737 BC to the dumping of tea in Boston harbour by U.S. patriots seeking to overthrow British rule, this beverage remains a staple on every continent. But tea serves as more than a drink served at social occasions and with meals.
Nutritionists have investigated health benefits derived from organic tea for years. As a runner seeking every naturally-derived health advantage possible, adding organic tea to your diet could pay off big time.
The anatomy of organic tea
Dr. Mercola, an international proponent of alternative medicine, is just one of the professional medical authorities singing the praises of organic tea’s valuable health benefits.
Citing 2 billion daily tea drinkers, he advocates consuming pesticide-free teas as a regular dietary aid; particularly green teas, known to be an “abundant source of antioxidants.”
He’s not alone. Scientific evidence has proven that organic green teas can help reduce heart disease mortality rates, increase blood flow in arteries, act as a stroke preventative and combat arteriosclerosis and cerebral thrombus.
Green tea helps burn fat, boosts bone strength and aids in inflammation reduction thanks to antioxidant boosts – all great reasons runners should take a second look at tea if they’ve dismissed it in the past.
All athletes can benefit from drinking tea
According to the “American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology,” green tea boosts exercise endurance to such a degree, professional baseball teams in Japan are using it as a performance enhancer.
Trainers are urged to make sure there is plenty of organic tea available at player’s training tables and even in the dugout at baseball games.
At the Biological Sciences Laboratories of Kao Corp., Tochigi, Japan, endurance exercise performance in test subjects was boosted up to 24-percent, simply by giving subjects green tea extract (GTE). The results of these trials were impressive and ranged from respiratory improvements to higher fat oxidation rates.
When the study ended, conclusions reached were that all athletes can benefit from consuming up to four cups of green tea daily.
What’s behind the science?
If you believe that the majority health issues can be traced to immune system weaknesses, you’re right. Organic tea has been shown to enhance the immune system. Like a military defence system, the immune system stands guard over the body, ready to “launch” its power should anything toxic invade the system.
But suppose you could keep your immune system so high, no invaders stood a chance of compromising your health? That’s one of the promises organic tea makes: drink it in conjunction with a smart diet and proper exercise and staying fit just got easier.
8 Reasons runners should drink organic teas
Listen up sports drink fans: There is another way to stay hydrated. Try substituting your standard bottled drinks with organic teas and get the benefits of four substances that work in concert to deliver health benefits that keep you in top form: Caffeine, Theobromine, Theophylline, and L-Theanine (CTTT).
These agents are at the very heart of the tea leaf, so you can expect these 8 benefits by drinking organic tea:
- Your body will do a better job of metabolising fats. Organic green tea can impact body weight so effectively, the catechin antioxidants in the tea work overtime to process fats so runners speed is increased as a result of less body mass that allows muscles to work more efficiently. According to New Zealand’s Waikato Institute, test cyclists burned fat at a rate of 17-percent more than non-tea drinkers.
- Your reaction time improves thanks to caffeine in organic teas, but you won’t go into overdrive! About 8 ounces of green tea has only 40mg of caffeine compared to the same amount of coffee that contains 200mg! Further, fatigue is reduced while adrenaline is increased as fat is metabolised. Even your brain benefits. Drinking organic tea blocks the neurotransmitter adenosine so dopamine and norepinephrine are secreted to help push runners forward.
- Green tea is a potent nutritional booster. The brain reacts to teas by triggering alpha brain waves known for helping runners get through interval training, no matter how daunting the circuit. Polyphenols aid memory and learning and benefits extend throughout the nervous system. Theobromide, found in the leaves of green tea, stimulates the heart and helps manage efficient blood flow, so powerful physiological changes impact your run.
- Improve your strength by adding organic tea to your daily beverage intake menu and those speed power training and conditioning sessions are going to feel easier, even as you reach critical 60- and 90-minute workout times that can exhaust runners’ energy supplies. Part of the reason you feel stronger is because the tea is busy removing toxins from the body.
- Enjoy improved digestion before, during and after you run. As your digestive tract converts food to energy, green tea serves as a catalyst to speed foods through the body. Just as traditional Chinese teas treated indigestion, stomach problems and ailments related to the colon, organic teas deliver a boost of vitamins B, C and E to help the gastrointestinal tract fight inflammation during digestion.
- Tea helps flush the body of toxins. It’s a natural diuretic that pushes unhealthy agents out of the body. The fewer the toxins in your body, the less inflammation and muscle pains are likely to assault you. Not only does organic tea increase a runner’s intake of the EGCG antioxidant that boosts the body’s immune system, but you couldn’t find a better way to flush the liver.
- Organic tea can boost the benefits of carbohydrates you consume before you run. Tea impacts the way the body handles sugar conversion, keeping blood sugar levels and breaking down carbs more efficiently. As a byproduct of carbohydrates being more efficiently broken down, the body performs more efficiently during workouts, reason alone to replace some drinking water or sports drinks with green tea.
- Organic tea offers amazing recovery benefits. No matter how daunting your workout or run, free radicals that can attack healthy cells are instead minimised, diminished or vanquished when green tea is part of an athlete’s regular diet. According to researcher Pereira Panza, green tea intake dramatically protects against oxidative damage. He says that “proteins that protect the body from free radicals increased by 37-percent” when one follows “a diet rich in green tea.”
Is organic tea in your future?
Were you already convinced of the benefits of adding organic tea to your diet?