And while the answer to this question may be very obvious to some of you, others will be left in the dark unless I elaborate. Realistically, anyone with a news agents nearby or Internet access should be sipping green tea right now, but chances are, they aren’t. For those of you who are still green tea-shy, let me tell you a story.
I used to hate tea. All kinds of tea. Tea wasn’t and, to this day, isn’t a particularly popular drink amongst Bulgarians. The only times my lips ever touched tea was when I had the flu or a cold. Mum chased me around the flat, a cup of tea in her hand, pleading for me to have some in the undying hope it’d get rid of my sore throat. The mere smell of tea made me nauseous. Hardly surprising, if you ask me, given that I was ill outrageously often and antibiotics were almost always involved in my recovery ordeal. There was no force in the world that could turn my frown upside down at the sight of a tea bag, or worse even, a tea bag submerged in boiling water. Hell did exist: it was, yes, hot; it varied in colour and its other two vital components were honey and lemon. YUCK!
There may have been random folk trying to persuade me to drink tea every now and again – especially in the absence of phlegm and / or similar disgusting stuff – but to no avail. I wasn’t buying any of it. But, thanks to a French girl with whom I shared a flat in Manchester, my long-lasting hatred for tea was finally put to rest in 2010. Since then I’ve been a tea lover and I’m now irreversibly converted to Teaism! True, I’m not a huge fan of black tea or Earl’s Grey but I do drink white, red, green and herbal tea commonly. I’m quite happy to experiment with new flavours.
I can sit here and convince you to drink any type of tea, yet nothing beats my love for pure green tea! It’s one of the health miracles I swear by. I hear you…You’re fed up with people drilling it into you how beneficial for your health it is. But, as with anything, ‘there’s no smoke without fire’. The health benefits of green tea are multiple and indisputable. They’re also largely praised…everywhere. Let’s recap:
- Drinking green tea on a regular basis is believed to serve as an effective preventive measure against cancer thanks to the antioxidants present in it.
- It can help you in the fight against Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, infection and other unfavourable conditions.
- Green tea increases your brain power! Upcoming exams? Stock up on green tea and you’re one step closer to a better result.
- Just like coffee, green tea contains caffeine. Just like coffee, it energises you. Compared to coffee, however, its caffeine content is lower which makes it a good alternative for anyone who dislikes the taste of the former, or is perhaps nervous about caffeine intake later in the day.
With the list going on and on, my post will turn out intolerably lengthy. With no further ado, onto your fat loss / muscle and strength –building / toning lifestyle:
- If you drink two – three cups of green tea a day, you’re less likely to gain weight. Or, if you do, it’ll be the product of fat loss! Green tea is linked to the stimulation of burning fat. Even if you aren’t eating tremendously healthy, the systematic consumption of green tea will deter your body from piling up the pounds.
- Green tea boosts your performance during exercise. Have a cup before and / or during your exercise routine and you’ll last longer.
- Remember how we talked about water kick-starting your metabolism? Well, so does green tea! It starts and restarts your metabolism, fastens it and you’re burning calories without moving a muscle (unless you count picking up the mug). No complaints over here.
What do I personally do? I have one cup of green tea about 30-40 minutes after my breakfast which happens to be a little before – sometimes during – my workout. In the early hours of the afternoon, say about 2:30, I have another. My last cup of tea I take in the late afternoon / early evening, around 6-6:30. I drink pure green tea and I don’t add any sweeteners, including honey. If you find you can’t drink it without a sweetener, I’d say honey is your safest bet. Some people add a slice of lemon and, whilst you may think I don’t do that due to horrible childhood memories, it’s actually because I prefer it this way.
An extra tip: It’s your ‘treat’ day – or, maybe, it’s simply a bad day altogether? You’ve overindulged in ‘Food For the Soul’, are now full to the brim and feel like a baby killer whale (minus the cuteness)? Have a cup of green tea! It’ll eradicate a few calories and, more essentially, the bad conscience. Happy sipping!