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Traditionally, water has been the drink of choice for remaining hydrated pre and post workout, but a new research paper, titled Tea for Sport and Fitness: A Scoping Review, has highlighted the fact that tea can also offer a range of benefits.
The research groups together various studies which all suggest that tea can be a fantastic addition to a person’s day to day diet, as well as a hydration hack prior to or post working out.
The research shows that in order to elicit the health benefits of tea, four cups per day need to be consumed.
With 77 percent of British adults already consuming tea regularly, this number doesn’t seem too difficult to achieve.
Dr Tim Bond of the Tea Advisory Panel (TAP) believes that the food and drink consumed on a daily basis has a strong influence on how we perform on a daily basis.
He said: “In the UK, Public Health England recommends six to eight hydrating drinks per day, which includes water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks such as tea.
A staggering 50 to 60 percent of our body weight is water so we need to keep this topped up regularly.
And if you like to work out and keep active, ensuring your hydration levels are topped up is essential, especially when it comes to performance.”
Previously, it was assumed that the caffeine content of tea meant the drink acted as a dehydrator, but studies have shown that tea can offer the same hydration levels as water.
This finding was based on blood tests and urine samples taken from volunteers who drank cups of tea made with tea bags and 20ml of semi-skimmed milk.
Nutritionist and advisor to TAP, Dr Emma Derbyshire explains that “the average cup of tea contains less than half the level of caffeine than coffee.”
Personal trainer, Chris Ruxton and a fond lover of a cuppa, says: “Staying hydrated helps with all aspects of sports performance.
We should aim to maintain ‘euhydration’; essentially normal hydration balance and tea helps tick the boxes here.”
Interestingly, exercise can disrupt the body’s water balance, with just a two percent body mass loss of water can hinder performance, making staying hydrated even more important.
The research has revealed that men who were given 200ml of tea three times a day over eight days, had improved strength recovery in the 24 hours after exercise.
While women in Japan suffering from sarcopenia (muscle wastage) who drank 350ml of tea a day, had improved walking speeds over a three month period.
This speed was helped by an improvement in muscle mass strength.
Not only can tea boost hydration, drinking green tea reguarly could help to aid weight loss.
Dr Emma Derbyshire explains: “There’s also the weight loss benefits from tea. Several studies have linked the consumption of matcha green tea to weight loss.
Just four cups of matcha green tea drunk over a 24 hour period resulted in increased fat oxidation when volunteers went on a 30 minute brisk walk, while another study proved how sedentary females who drank three cups of green tea a day over eight weeks lost weight around their middle.”
The studies suggest that combined with exercise, tea could help to boost weight loss.
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