Written by Guest Blogger: Jesse Silkoff, President and Co-Founder of FitnessTrainer
When you’re in the groove, your workout can be exhilarating—nothing makes you feel more powerful and strong than crushing those reps! But there are times when you could use a little pick-me-up: a natural, safe cure for the workout doldrums. That’s where these teas come in.
The right cup can pump up your energy levels and get you hydrated and ready to work. Ready to hear more? Check out our recommendations for the five best pre- and post-workout blends.
Green tea is a fitness no-brainer. Along with reducing the risk of cancer, in studies, green tea has demonstrated metabolism-boosting, heart-healthy powers. Green tea contains an antioxidant known as ECGC, which, when mixed with caffeine, can potentially spur weight loss. In one study, participants who drank a cup of green tea before their workout burned more fat and lost more weight than those who didn’t—although those results have yet to be repeated in subsequent trials. Regardless of its effect on your waistline, it’s a safe, sugar-free source of caffeine, and drinking caffeinated beverages before a workout gives you a boost of energy to power through that next mile. Plus, it may prevent weight-related conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease, so it’s definitely something to add to your weight conditioning diet!
Although not as popular as green tea, white tea, made from the buds of the Camellia sinensis plant, is even more packed with antioxidants than its well-loved cousin. In fact, one study showed that white tea combats obesity and has slimming powers. Antioxidants aside, however, drinking it throughout the day definitely helps you stay hydrated—and studies have shown that proper hydration may be a vital key to weight management. In these findings, people who stayed hydrated were 1.59 times more likely to have a healthy BMI. Meanwhile, even moderate hydration can make it harder to stick with a tough workout and may lower your strength, too. So don’t be afraid to reach for the kettle before that long run!
This is another potential fat-buster. Oolong, an ancient Chinese brew, comes from the same plant as white tea, but here, the mature leaves are withered and sun-dried to achieve maximum flavor. Oolong also looks promising for weight loss—in one publication, 70 percent of 102 participants lost at least 2 to 3 pounds during a six-week-long trial. Those in the study drank at least 0.28 ounces of tea everyday, and many showed a decrease in body fat and a boost in metabolism. It also comes in tons of flavor varieties—for instance, there’s nothing like a good Coconut Oolong to get you in the mood to sweat!
Ginseng may well be an athlete’s secret weapon. Ginseng has been used in Asian countries like Malaysia and China for years due to its rumored anti-fatigue benefits. However, there’s some evidence that ginseng could potentially increase endurance and athletic performance, as well, especially for long-distance runners. More research is definitely needed, since studies show very inconsistent results. However, according to some anecdotal reports from runners, it does seem to give them more energy. Whether placebo or not, drinking the brew in tea form, such as this Ginseng Herbal Hippie Tea, will make sure you’re getting the real thing and avoiding chemicals and sugars that might be added to bottled ginseng drinks.
If you have the tendency to over reward yourself with food after a hard workout, you’ll love this tip: try sipping on a warm cup of mint tea afterwards. Some people claim that peppermint suppresses appetite and helps with digestion—making it a great addition to your weight loss routine. Plus there’s evidence that it reduces stress and helps you maintain focus, as well, all of which can’t hurt when you’re trying to get in shape. Need more help kicking your workout into shape? You may want to look into a personal training session. Many trainers are also registered dieticians and nutritionists, so they can definitely weigh in on what food and drinks will help with your workout. When diet and exercise work together, the results can be life changing!
Jesse Silkoff is an avid runner and tennis player. He currently resides in Austin, TX where he works as the President and Co-Founder of FitnessTrainer, the leading online marketplace to find a local personal trainer that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.