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Wouldn’t it be great to find a great tasting beverage that has the potential to improve your health? There is such a beverage – tea. Research has indicated that tea is healthier than water. This definitely a positive point since tea has more flavor. So, what are the potential health benefits?
Research has found that tea is healthier for your body than water. Surprising, since popular consensus states water is the healthiest beverage for your body. Findings have been reported that tea rehydrates the body as well as provides disease-fighting antioxidants. Tea may offer protection against stroke, heart disease, and several types of cancers.
Do you want more reasons to drink tea? Drinking tea has potential benefits such as boost the immune system as well as strengthen teeth and bones. Tea may also improve artery function by aiding in blocking LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol).
How about drinking green tea? Research has found that senior citizens in Japan who consumed one or more cups of green tea per day were less likely to present cognitive and memory problems. Green tea contains EGCG, which appears to reduce the production of a toxic protein that clogs the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
All these healthy reasons make me want to get my infuser and brew a cup of tea. Health benefits and delicious taste make this an excellent beverage of choice. If only everything that tasted good proved to be healthy for us.
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
A classic OLS/ETS blog entry originally published 01.23.2009
You don’t need to be an expert in human biology to understand the importance of staying hydrated while you’re exercising. Of course, it’s important to stay hydrated all the time, but that’s especially the case when you’re exercising. As the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) notes, body weight can decrease anywhere from one to three percent in cases of minimal dehydration and up to five percent in serious cases. Needless to say, that’s a bad thing.
For most people the preferred way to keep hydrated when exercising is with water or perhaps one of a number of sports drinks expressly designed for this purpose. Which is not such a bad idea and the ACSM actually gives sports drinks a thumbs up for the carbohydrates and electrolytes that they provide.
For my own purposes, exercising regularly in the sultry climate of southern Arizona, water or tea are my most frequent choices. While most people don’t look to the latter as the first option for rehydrating during and after exercise I tend to gravitate toward it for the following reasons:
- Hydration — First and foremost, of course, there’s the matter of hydration. Though the consensus is often that tea is not suited for this sort of thing, studies have shown that this is not actually the truth. They include a recent study by Australian researchers that found that caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee do not contribute to dehydration.
- Caffeine boost — It’s actually the caffeine content of tea, now that you mention it, that can also be of some benefit when it comes to exercise. Among the studies supporting this notion are a 2001 study by Canadian researchers that found that it “could be beneficial in training and in competition” for a number of reasons. Researchers also found that no evidence that caffeine during exercise contributed to “dehydration, ion imbalance, or any other adverse effects.”
- Taste — Last, but certainly not least, is the palatability question. One of the issues that I’ve run across when exercising in extreme heat, is that it becomes difficult to keep drinking plain water after a while. As the ACSM notes, “enhancing palatability of a beverage will help to encourage fluid consumption” and while I don’t typically gravitate much toward sweetened sports beverages I do find that tea fits the bill quite nicely.
For more from the ACSM on exercise and fluid replacement, look here.
Tea — The Ultimate Hydrator?
© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
There’s never a shortage of news reports about the assorted and sundry health benefits tea can provide. Many such reports have appeared in these very pages. And while it’s a good idea to take the sometimes miraculous health claims many merchants make for tea with a grain of salt, there’s also good reason to believe that tea can actually be good for you.
With cooler weather afoot in much of the Northern Hemisphere it’s probably not a time that many of us are thinking of hydration. But with the cool dry air of winter siphoning off our body’s moisture, it’s still something to keep in mind. We reported on the links between tea and hydration in this previous English Tea Blog article. Since then the UK Tea Council has reported on the results of a study by the Tea Advisory Panel that suggests that caffeinated beverages such as tea can be just as good as water when it comes to hydration.
Speaking of the UK Tea Council, here’s yet another report they’ve put together on the links between tea, caffeine and health. It suggests that, contrary to what many people believe, caffeinated beverages like tea “can make an important contribution to good health.”
According to Dr. Carrie Ruxton, who conducted a research review on the health aspects of caffeine-containing beverages, such as green tea, optimal intake of some caffeinated drinks deliver key benefits in terms of mental function and heart health.
Among the findings Ruxton uncovered, “caffeinated drinks in appropriate amounts contribute to healthy hydration” and “provide a range of compounds, such as polyphenols which are associated with health benefits.” As to the recommended limits for daily caffeine intake, results of the study suggested, that about 400mg a day, or about eight cups of tea, maximizes “the likelihood of health benefits,” while caffeine intakes of 600mg a day or more might result in adverse consequences.
Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!
By William I. Lengeman III
The next time you’re exercising and you’re ready to reach for one of those sports drinks, you might want to think twice. There’s evidence that indicates that tea helps boost exercise performance and may even help us burn fat while exercising.
A study done in Brazil found that green tea might “offer a protective effect against oxidative damaged induced by resistance exercise,” as one researcher put it. The study was undertaken by researchers from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, and the Center of Physical Education, Physiotherapy and Sports of Santa Catarina State University.
The Brazilian researchers studied 14 healthy men aged 19 to 30 who consumed water or green tea three times daily for seven days. They found that there was a 64 per cent reduction in the levels of lipid hydroperoxide after exercise for those who drank green tea and a 37 percent increase in levels of a beneficial protein known as glutathione.
Another study of the links between tea and exercise was conducted by Japanese researchers. They tested the effect of green tea extracts on endurance exercise performance and reported an increase in performance of up to 24 percent in mice who were given GTE in amounts that for humans would be equivalent to about four cups of tea daily. Researchers noted that long-term ingestion of GTE gave results where single doses did not.
Green tea extracts also played a part in a study on tea and exercise carried out by researchers at the University of Birmingham. They tested 12 healthy young men who were given GTE before exercising and discovered that it improved fat oxidization and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Researchers said the EGCG in green tea was apparently responsible for improving fat oxidization.
The lead researcher in this study said that many nutritional supplements sold as fat burners tended to be ineffective. He pointed out that “the best way to increase the capacity to burn fat is by regular physical activity,” but said the results of the study were “very exciting.”
As summer approaches here in the northern hemisphere, it’s an appropriate time to take a look at the topic of tea and hydration. Given that water comprises anywhere from 50-70% of our bodies, it’s not surprising that makes up such an important part of our daily intake.
According to many accounts, the consensus is that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. A 2004 report from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies suggested that American and Canadian women should consume 2.7 liters of water daily and men about 3.7 liters. While some would have us believe that tea and other caffeinated beverages shouldn’t be included in that total, there’s some evidence to the contrary.
It’s unclear whether tea was one the beverages in question, but a study carried out by the Omaha-based Center for Human Nutrition concluded that “advising people to disregard caffeinated beverages as part of the daily fluid intake is not substantiated by the results of this study.”
A 2006 study that zeroed in specifically on tea found that it might help rehydrate the body, as well as providing extra health benefits. Results of the study, which was conducted by researchers at Kings College London, appeared in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. While caffeine at high doses may be ill advised, one researcher suggested that tea might be a better choice for hydration than water in an article published by BBC.
According to the UK Tea Council’s Healthy Drinks Survey, a third of adults there don’t meet their daily fluid requirements. About 40 percent of the nation’s fluid intake comes from tea. As the Council points out, it’s important to note that a cup of tea consists of 99.5 percent water. Ultimately they conclude, “tea can make a positive contribution to the body’s hydration status.”
The most important aspect of hydration is to make sure you’re taking in enough liquids of any type, but the next time you’re feeling parched don’t be afraid to rule out tea as an option. Just another one of the health benefits of tea.