Did you know that tea can boost exercise endurance? Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) found in green tea can increase your body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which helps improved muscle endurance. Drinking the right kinds of tea may help protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases as well as some cancers. No matter the season, tea can be enjoyed hot or cold.
Unwise: Sweetened Iced Tea
Classic southern, sweet tea is probably the worst tea you can possibly drink because it has such large amounts of sugar. Southern sweet tea recipes typically call for 2-3 cups of sugar to be added to 1 gallon of brewed tea. A serving of this tea can easily reach 30-50 grams of sugar. With daily added sugars recommended to be no more than 25-33 grams, this tea exceeds that amount and then some. While there are more bottled, sweetened tea options than ever, beware of any pre-sweetened iced tea, even if it is from a name brand because of the amount of sugar. Cheaper brands often have higher amounts of sugar, which help mask the cheap tea that is often used.
Better: Herbal Tea
Herbal teas are made from dried fruits, flowers, spices or herbs. This means herbal teas can come in a wide range of tastes and flavors and make a tempting alternative to sugary beverages or water. In addition to being delicious, some herbal teas have health-promoting properties. Chamomile tea is most commonly used as a relaxing, sleep aid where peppermint tea used to support digestive tract health. Ginger, sage and hibiscus tea all have health benefits while tasting great!
Best: True Tea
Green, white, black, and oolong tea are all from the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea, popular across the world, is minimally processed—the leaves are steamed, rolled and dried. Black tea is withered, rolled or crushed, and then fermented before being dried, which makes it black and stronger in taste. Oolong tea is partly fermented like black tea. White tea is harvested in early spring; the young leaves and silvery white buds are just steamed and dried. From cardiovascular health to brain health, true teas have most positive research backing them. Although drinking tea alone is not a “cure all” beverage, adding this to your healthy lifestyle can really make a difference.