Green tea is one of the most popular health beverages–and for good reason. Its history of herbal and medicinal use dates back thousands of years ago to ancient China. “It had been used by Chinese professionals to reduce heat in the body, thus restoring balance, but additional benefits included increased endurance, a digestive aid, reduced severity or occurrences of headaches, and also improvements in flow,” says Roger Adams, Ph.D., personal trainer, doctor of nutrition and proprietor of eatrightfitness.
Nowadays green tea is still hailed as an all-natural health booster, thanks to its abundant nutrient content, such as antioxidants and polyphenols that help reduce inflammation, fight cancerous cells, and protect healthy cells from free radicals in the body.
And if those were not enough reasons to brew your own cup of green tea right now, Tara Allen, personal mentor and trainer, notes that there are brain and mental health benefits to sipping green tea as well. “The moderate quantity of caffeine (less than a cup of coffee) and amino acid L-theanine found in green tea has been proven to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and give your memory a boost,” she adds.
If you aren’t already convinced that green tea should play an integral role in your diet, read up on those impressive ways green tea can help you accomplish your fitness objectives.
It helps you stay hydrated
One of the easiest ways consuming green tea can help you with your fitness goals is that it can help you stay hydrated. “The water from the tea is readily absorbed into your body–contrary to what many may believe about caffeine being a diuretic, the caffeine in green tea isn’t strong enough to act in this fashion,” says Dr. Adams.
It can reduce belly fat
On the list of fat-busting foods, green tea reigns supreme due to its anti-angiogenic effect. “Green tea can boost the metabolic rate at which your body works to reduce body fat, especially in the abdominal region,” states Miriam Amselem, holistic nutritionist, fitness trainer, and yoga instructor. “Since it increases the metabolic rate, you can burn fat faster throughout the day.” She recommends drinking a cup of green tea just before you work out on Aaptiv to help boost this effect.
It gives you an energy boost
Unlike a cup of coffee, the moderate amount of caffeine in a cup of green tea won’t leave you jittery. It might, however, help enhance your endurance during your workouts, according to Allen. To reap this fitness perk, she recommends drinking your green tea about 30 minutes before you begin to exercise.
It enhances your workout performance
Because green tea is able to increase your blood circulation, which then results in improved oxygenation to your bodily organs, it’s linked to improved physical performance, shares Amselem. For continued improvement in your performance as you work out, she suggests drinking chilled green tea instead of water, which still gives you the necessary hydration.
It boosts your longevity
“Green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of many chronic diseases (such as cancer and diabetes).” Says Dr. Adams, adding that, without the worry of any disorders, you may have more time to focus on your fitness objectives. He advocates working more green tea into your day by brewing a large amount, adding a squeeze of lemon or some fresh mint, and keeping it in the fridge for a fast grab-and-go unsweetened iced tea.
It lowers your stress levels
Exercising in itself can help decrease your stress levels, which is so important to your overall health. Well, green tea can do the same! Green tea consumption has also been linked to reduced anxiety levels. “When we have less anxiety effects on our body, our immune systems operate better, which can help you get the most out of your workouts and gets you into the gym more often or hitting the street for more miles,” says Dr. Adams.