I got an early start this morning so, after battling all of the excuses I kept coming up with to NOT, I went to the gym instead of going straight to work. Of course, even though I’m telecommuting, I’ll have to work a little later than I normally do. But I think it was TOTALLY worth the trade-off. It felt great to get up and GET IT DONE! I’m going to try to go to the gym before work a couple of days next week and see how it impacts my commute and the length of my day. I do believe, however, that the normal afternoon fatigue that hits after lunch might reach a crescendo earlier than usual those days. In which case I might just have to double up on my afternoon pick-me up of green tea. I started drinking green tea instead of coffee in the afternoons for all the health benefits it was touted to have.
Green tea originated in China as a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong and black tea. Green tea extracts have been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for a variety of uses. Extracts may be sold in liquid, powder, capsule, or tablet form. Green tea extract supplements are accessible over the counter in various forms and extracts that are standardizedare typically 90 percent total polyphenols. One Capsule equals approximately 5 cups of tea.
While I don’t take a green tea extract supplement, I do drink a cup or two of green tea about 5 days a week. In addition, some of the Advocare supplements I take have green tea extract in them, my favorite is the Advocare Advogreens Powder. I’ve taken all of these, which also have the extract, before – MNS-C, MNS-3, CorePlex.
Here are 5 reasons I drink green tea almost daily:
1) Green tea may help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease – Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world. Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases. I mentioned it as one of the ways to reduce cholesterol naturally in a previous post. Because of the beneficial effects on the following risk factors, green tea drinkers could experienced up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
– Green tea contains flavonoids that promote heart health and may lower your risk of having high blood pressure by 50 percent.
– Green tea has been shown to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation in the heart and lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which can lead to a greater risk of heart disease.
2) Green tea increases fat burning and improves physical performance – If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there. Since green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short-term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight. In one study of 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4%. More energy expenditure results in more calories burned. Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17% which indicates that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.
3) Antioxidants in green tea may helpt to lower your risk for various types of cancer – Green tea contains an organic compound called epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. Not only does EGCG inhibit the growth of, but it also kills cancer cells. It is well-known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect. Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk for some types of cancer -including breast cancer, colorectal, prostate and various other cancers.
4) Skincare – Green tea’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging. Studies have shown that some of the benefits green tea has on skin are:
– Helps to fight and treat acne
– Helps to protect against UV exposure and reduce sun damage
– Helps to tone skin and improve overall complexion
– Helps to fights aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles
– Helps to reduces puffy eyes and dark circles
5) Green tea and oral health – Periodontal disease (gum disease) affects many people and side effects include inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria. Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent or control gum disease. Many studies indicate that those who regularly consume green tea have healthier gums than those who do not. Green tea benefits in oral health include:
– Better breath
– Fewer Cavities
– Less tooth loss
– Increased Gum Health
– Lower risk of oral cancer
Of course, drinking it sweetened and/or with milk will offset some of the benefits, so I’ve trained myself to drink it unsweetened. It took a while because, honestly, it tasted like dirt to me at first. Now it just tastes like…well…green tea…