In a recent blog that we have posted I mentioned drinking hot Green Tea while training.
My favourite drink while training is hot Green Tea, especially in the winter. I have definitely experienced better performance and injury prevention whilst sipping on a hot Green Tea. My warm up session before weight training can also be reduced as I’m usually sweating within 5 minutes because of the Green Tea’s heat. This may, however, look a little odd with a thermos flask in the gym.
How will drinking Green Tea while training help performance?
Green tea’s high temperature is the first factor influencing an increase in performance. As you start sipping on your Green Tea, heat is transferred to your blood stream and to all parts of your body by thermal energy transfer. This ensures muscle elasticity, preventing possible injury.
Caffeine, also found in Green Tea, is a powerful sports supplement drug.
The caffeine in Green Tea acts as a central nervous system stimulant. Two performance enhancers can be identified here, mental and physical:
As a central nervous system stimulant, caffeine combats drowsiness and fatigue. It increases mental alertness, which I think can help with injury prevention. One may think you don’t need to be alert when lifting weights, after all, picking something up and putting it down multiple times doesn’t need much thought…but if you’re training at a high intensity, which you should be, mental fatigue sets in and your exercise form sets out, and that’s when injuries occur.
Power and strength. This drug, the caffeine in the tea, has been proven to improve strength and power. Please read many articles about this, here is one: The results of this study indicated that ingestion of the caffeine-containing supplement resulted in a significant (2.1 kg 2.1%) increase in BP 1RM
Green tea is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. Drinking Green Tea at the start and during exercise will get those antioxidants working as soon as those free radicles have started developing, making sure your recovery will be complete and you’ll be healthy for the next workout.
Green Tea Turbo boost
I hope the above is enough to convince you to drink Green Tea during your next workout. Do you want to boost the antioxidant levels? Add two table spoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. The vitamin C in lemon juice is also a power antioxidant. Add a quarter teaspoon of Ginger spice into your tea as well, the Gingerol compound in the Ginger is a powerful anti-infammatory and antioxidant.
Just a note: Caffeine is not absorbed instantly but is most potent after an hour of ingesting. This doesn’t mean you won’t get any benefit soon after drinking but it will have an increasing effect over time. That’s why I recommend drinking tea during your warm up and have it finished after about 20 minutes, careful though, it’s hot!
Ice Green Tea
Just like Australia is sometimes cold or sometimes very hot, you may want to consider drinking cold Green tea instead of hot while training, if the ambient temperature is hot and you’re drinking hot tea you could run the risk of suffering from heat exhaustion, or worse, heat stroke. The way I do this during a hot day is I drink my hot tea within 10 minutes and then change over to cold water so that I can still take advantage of the hot tea phenomenon.
Cheers, till we meet in the gym again.