When you think of a tea drinker your mind may jump to a posh English gentleman sipping from a delicate china teacup.
That may have been the demographic of Western tea consumers at one point in history, however nowadays it couldn’t be further from the truth. Tea drinkers today are a whole spectrum of people from all walks of life. They drink teas for different reasons and expectations. Some are picky about the taste, some like the experience and others drink for the health benefits. Endurance athletes are just one group of people that fit into the latter category and are drinking green tea like never before. But why are endurance athletes drinking so much tea?
An increase in endurance capacity
A 2004 study found that green tea improved endurance during aerobic activity, and that increased endurance was in part due to an increase in fat being burned for energy.
This essentially means that tea, and green tea in particular (according to this study), helps to use the fat in your body for fuel. Meaning you can last longer in sporting activities and also burn fat in a more effective way.
Keeps stimulation to a healthy level
Tea contains naturally occurring caffeine, and as I’m sure most readers will already know, caffeine can stimulate you! This is a big bonus to any type of athlete. The crash that comes after the caffeine boost that comes with drinking energy drinks or even coffee, however, is something that endurance athletes don’t want.
Tea keeps the stimulation in check and limits the negative crash effect that other drinks can cause.
The stimulation it provides is natural
To add to the previous point, the type of stimulation is important to athletes but the source of the stimulation is also something that should be considered.
Sports drinks often contain either a lot of sugar, or additives, or even both! If you care about your long term health you should ditch the sports drinks and make the switch to tea.
You may be thinking, of course tea hydrates, it is made with water! Well actually, it’s not that simple…
Studies have shown that yes, tea does hydrate almost as well as water, and provides additional benefits too. These benefits include increased levels of antioxidants, important vitamins and minerals, and fluoride for oral health! Younger athletes have also taken to drinking tea as it has a preferable taste to plain water.
As you can see, tea can be a very beneficial drink for athletes of any discipline. There is a growing trend in tea drinking amongst people who care about their bodies and performance and for all the right reasons.
We hope that tea’s influence as a sport supplement will continue to rise and people will replace the unhealthier energy drinks with tea!