When you're in your workout mode, you might imagine that water or a specially-formulated sports drink (generally ending in "-ade") is the best beverage to have on hand. You may want to "bag" that idea... it turns out that green tea may provide a true wealth of health benefits athletes need when they're undergoing resistance training.
A recent study followed 14 healthy men, half of whom drank six ounces of green tea three times a day. They—and their blood samples—were followed for a week and tested after performing four sets of bench presses, a prime example of resistance exercise. For all the benefits workouts provide, they can cause the body to undergo oxidative stress—in excess, not a good thing for your cells and tissues. Green tea can help counteract that.
Athletes who drank the green tea had less damaging lipid hydroperoxide and more protective polyphenols in their blood before and after exercise. Another key finding was a 37 percent higher post-exercise level of a protein called glutathione, which helps protect the body from oxidative stress caused by damage from free radicals. The researchers concluded that green tea provided significant benefits for sports participants.
So go ahead, pump that iron and then enjoy a nice cup of green tea. Better yet, enjoy your green tea as just one of many flavorful, healthful ingredients in my ChefMD®-approved Butternut Barley Risotto with Goat Cheese and Almonds.
With hearty barley, succulent squash, toasty almonds and a medley of flavors, it'll fill you up, give you energy and prep you properly for the next workout.