Whether you’re starting a new exercise habit or want to jump-start an existing routine, tea is a great workout drink. No matter what your fitness level is, many of us share common exercising goals that include burning more calories and fat, recovering faster, staying hydrated, plus more consistent and frequent activity. Long gone are the 3-hour sessions at the gym, so many of these goals are about getting better results in the same amount of time or less.
No matter if you love working out in the gym, playing on a court, or being outdoors, tea offers many benefits. And, hot or cold, many of tea's benefits are the same.
Let's explore how tea can have a positive impact on performance and recovery.
Tea fits perfectly with the trend towards more natural, plant-based approaches to pre- and post-exercise nutrition. Besides its physical perks, tea has a special appeal for those gearing up for a workout. Thanks to its caffeine content, teas such as Matcha, Energitea, and Assam could give you a kick of motivation, sharpen your focus, and improve your overall exercise performance. The alertness and mental boost you get from tea add an extra layer to make your workout experience more satisfying and complete.
5 Ways Tea Can Improve Your Workouts
- Hydration and refreshment
- Boost energy
- Improve performance
- Burn more calories and fat
- Reduce inflammation and soreness for faster recovery
Is Tea Good For Hydration?
Yes, tea is good for hydration and an easy way to add flavor and variety to your water. Hydration which is very important before, during and after the workout in recovery. According to a University of Utah Health study, “Dehydration impairs your body's ability to regulate heat, which causes your body temperature and heart rate to rise. This causes you to feel more tired during exercise. Dehydration also weakens your mental function.”
The main ingredient in tea is water, so hot or cold, tea is a delicious, no or low-calorie beverage to stay hydrated. Freshly brewed tea is 100% natural without artificial sweeteners or sugars. Stay away from the highly sweetened alternatives.
Is Tea Good For Energy?
Tea is great for an energy boost. Before you hit the gym, grab a cup of tea for a clean and natural energy. Caffeine and L-Theanine, natural compounds in tea, work to boost your energy and your focus. While not as caffeinated as coffee or energy drinks, tea’s energy has cleaner aspects worth noting for before and after workouts. Caffeine in tea is absorbed more evenly into the bloodstream so the energy boost is more gentle and sustained compared to energy drinks and coffee. Tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps to stimulate the brain and balance tea's caffeine to avoid jitters or crashes.
Can Tea Improve Sports Performance?
Yes. In a study conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, "Things like plant extracts and natural compounds from plants can help improve how our bodies work, help us recover after exercising, keep us healthy overall, and usually don't cause many side effects. For example, drinking green tea regularly has been shown to reduce body fat and make your waistline smaller compared to people who don't drink green tea. Studies on animals fed high-fat diets also showed that consuming a compound found in green tea helped them lose weight."
How Does Tea Help Burn Fat and Calories?
Yes! Recent research suggests that the unique plant-based compounds in green tea hold the promise to boost your metabolism and encourage your body to burn fat through thermogenesis, a process in which the body burns surplus calories and turns fat into energy (Dulloo et al., 1999).
Green tea packs a dynamic duo: caffeine to provide a nice energy boost, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant that’s shown the ability to boost thermogenesis.
In a recent study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when participants were given green tea extract in pill or liquid form, researchers observed a fascinating phenomenon – a notable increase in thermogenesis, where the body effectively burns more fat. This revelation implies that making green tea part of your workout routine might be a delicious strategy to amp up fat and calorie burn.
Peppermint, an ingredient in Mint Mamaki, can help increase the body’s natural ability to burn fat. “Peppermint tea helps in aiding weight loss, reduces heartburn, makes skin glow, induces sleep and provides satiety, further helping you lose weight,” according to Dr. Simran Saini, a nutritionist with Fortis Hospital.
Better Recovery Means More Active Days
Tea after a workout has benefits too. Beyond hydration, tea is packed with antioxidants, catechins, and polyphenols, that foster enhanced performance and quicker recovery. Better results include continued calorie burn, sustained energy, optimal hydration, and reduced soreness—all achieved naturally, saving time without resorting to chemical supplements.
Antioxidants are like superheroes for your cells as they are proven to defend against harmful free radicals. When you exercise, your body produces more free radicals. This stress can slow healing and recovery, and even make you feel fatigued. Studies have shown antioxidants step in to counteract these effects, acting as guardians during your workouts. (Lamprecht.M., et al., 2015)
But tea has a secret weapon that other antioxidant-rich foods like berries, dark leafy green and fruits do not. It’s called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. This powerhouse antioxidant fights off oxidative stress, helping cells recover and regenerate faster. Green tea keeps its antioxidants intact through minimal processing, making it a go-to for health buffs. EGCG is innate in ALL camellia sinensis teas - white, green, oolong, black, and matcha.
Antioxidants in tea help to reduce cellular stress, promoting muscle recovery, and supporting overall well-being. Sipping on tea post-exercise can contribute to a faster recovery process, help cells regenerate, and reduce inflammation. In addition to green and black teas, herbal tea with key ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties like turmeric and chamomile can help with recovery and relaxation.
Inflammation is one of the body’s natural responses to protect and heal itself. Camellia-based teas (white, green, oolong, and black) have proven anti-inflammatory properties because of their antioxidant content. Research (Corfield,D. et al, 2013) on black teas have shown it to relax arteries and blood vessels to help with circulation which can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Phytonutrients in turmeric, ginger and mamaki also have anti-inflammatory properties. These superfoods are featured in our turmeric blends. Olena is Hawaiian for turmeric and we have both a tea bag version and a loose tea version specifically crafted to help reduce inflammation.
For a chill post-exercise ritual, think about brewing up chamomile or peppermint tea, like Lemon Chamomile and Mint Mamaki. Sipping on these teas after your workout not only keeps you hydrated but also brings in antioxidants that actively support your body's recovery. It's like a soothing hug for your muscles and a natural addition to your post-workout routine.
Green Tea and lemon offer tremendous benefits for overall health and is so easy to do. Matcha and black teas are two drinks that can provide a quick and clean energy boost. Mint tea is great for burning fat and increasing metabolism to blast fat away.
When To Drink Tea Before A Workout?
The best time to drink tea before a workout is 20-30 minutes before starting your routine.
These teas are great for after working out because they help with recovery. Chamomile is one tea that can improve relaxation and sleep. It's an ingredient in our tea for sleep called MAHINA. Turmeric, black tea, mamaki, and ginger have proven ability to reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Mint Tea post-workout helps with metabolism and relaxation while white tea is rich in antioxidants that can help with recovery and cell regeneration.
When To Drink Tea Before A Workout
Drink one to two cups of tea 20-30 minutes before starting your workout. It may take 60 minutes before working if you're dehydrated and want to rehydrate your body.
Best Time to Drink Tea After A Workout
Drinking tea within 60 minutes after a workout is great to rehydrate and replenish the body. If the activity takes a few hours like hiking or walking, then sipping tea during your workout is perfectly fine.
Tea is good as a pre-workout drink and a post-workout drink. Tea before your workout can provide a clean energy boost and help lift your mood and focus during exercise. Before exercising, studies show having a cup of green tea, rich in EGCG antioxidants, can prepare your body for optimal performance.
After your workout, it’s been proven sipping on turmeric, chamomile, or peppermint teas not only helps with hydration but can also contribute to continuing to burn fat and calories plus help with muscle recovery due to less inflammation and soreness. So, think of tea as your dependable and trusted workout buddy. Incorporate tea into your workout routine, as a pre-workout and post-workout drink, to get more out of your exercise time and energy.
Check out some of these tea recipes here.
Written by Cheri Mula and Byron Goo