Many new studies have made exciting discoveries about the positive effects of green tea on energy and fatigue. High in antioxidants, green tea has many health benefits including fatigue treatment. Green tea is known to raise the metabolic rate, which helps boost fat burning and weight loss, and this could also explain why it helps counter fatigue.
Exercise and Oxidative Stress
Tannins are polyphenols in green tea that help the body to eliminate toxins, boost fat burning and increase metabolism. These antioxidants also counter the harmful effects of free radicals which are produced as a byproduct during natural body functions such as digestion and exercise.
During exercise, free radicals are produced in the body and they are neutralized by antioxidants. Although regular moderate exercise is known to boost health, strenuous exercise can cause oxidative stress. Studies show that this free radical production during exercise is what causes fatigue and consequently reduces endurance performance.
Oxidative stress is when the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced as a byproduct of burning energy threatens to overwhelm the body’s antioxidant defense. If there are insufficient antioxidants in the body to detoxify the ROS, this leads to an undesirable level of oxidative stress. Free radical production is highest when exercise is exhaustive and therefore higher levels of antioxidants are required to neutralize them.
Study on Green Tea as a Treatment for Fatigue
The China University of Mining and Technology carried out a study on 40 mice into the effects of green tea polyphenols as a fatigue treatment. The mice were divided into four groups with one control group receiving distilled water. The other three groups received different amounts of green tea polyphenols, adjusted to each animal’s body weight.
The mice were given swimming exercises each week, carrying weights of 10% of their body weight to replicate the effects of strenuous exercise. After two weeks, the mice fed green tea polyphenols were able to swim for longer, indicating that the polyphenols were effectively acting as a fatigue treatment. The higher the dose of green tea polyphenols, the longer the mice were able to swim.
Results showed that the green tea acted as an anti-fatigue treatment on the mice and allowed the mice to swim for longer with less fatigue.
Tips for Drinking Green Tea for Energy
- Avoid ready-to-drink green tea as it does not have the same strength as freshly brewed green tea
- Avoid decaffeinated green tea as it contains less than one third of the catechins found in regular green tea
- Avoid green tea bags as they generally contain lower quality green tea than loose tea leaves
- Use 4 grams of loose green tea per cup of boiling water (8 fluid ounces)
- Do not add milk as this reduces the effect of the catechins
- If you don’t like the taste of green tea, add honey, ginger, lemon or mint leaves to boost the flavor
You’ll find green tea is a refreshing drink and a great fatigue treatment when energy levels are low.