We’ve all seen the sports drink commercials where the players guzzle some artificially sweetened water full of dyes and electrolytes. We are led to believe that these all-purpose sports drinks are the solution for rehydrating after a workout. The benefits of tea, on the other hand, stem from nature.
Since tea most commonly conjures up images of British socialites and monocle wearing gentleman, the thought of an athlete is often the furthest from people’s minds when it comes to the benefits of tea. Athletes guzzle, rehydrate, and get gritty; they don’t sip a spot of tea and talk about the likes of society.
But the fact is, when it comes to the right beverage to drink after a workout, you should put down the sports drink bottle and pick up your tea infuser tumbler. Tea is one of the best ways to fuel your body after a workout—especially if you are doing yoga.
Dehydration during your yoga workout is the worst. It causes cramps, and it can cause you to be too tired even to finish your workout. For this reason, drinking a beverage that will keep you hydrated for the duration of your practice is crucial.
A 2011 study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that black tea has many of the same hydration properties as water. Now add in the fact that the benefits of tea also has flavor, and it makes for a better choice for hydrating drinks.
Keep in mind that hydration is crucial for those of us who are serious about yoga. When your body is dehydrated, it can significantly compromise your practice. This means that all the work you put in will have been done in vain. A tumbler full of the benefits of tea to start and end your workout will go a long way in helping you find that balance.
While hydration is a significant physical benefit of tea, endurance is also greatly increased when you opt to drink tea. Green tea is a great base to start with when drinking to improve endurance.
Green tea contains a balance of water, caffeine, and antioxidants. Keep in mind, when caffeine enters the bloodstream, it improves perception which then increases endurance and enables you to exercise for longer periods of time.
Also, another great way to improve stamina while drinking tea is to add honey or a teaspoon of salt to the regular amount of tea you drink during your workout. This replenishes electrolytes and gives you a short burst of energy.
Endurance is probably one of the most important parts of yoga, and tea can help keep you going strong.
There’s no doubt that hydration and stamina are an important part of a great yoga workout; however, mental capability and awareness takes you to the next level. Tea contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which when combined with caffeine, can enhance mental sharpness by astounding levels.
This is where that age old tea stigma fits in. For most, just the thought of sitting down and drinking tea relieves anxiety in itself. It compliments that balance you are seeking when relieving the pressures of physical activity. Mental awareness can make or break a competition.
Tea helps heal athletes in all sorts of ways. Tea helps prevent headaches, cancer, depression, aches, pains, and it prolongs life in general.
But in an athlete’s regard, it helps improve metabolism. The metabolism allows you to burn calories and fat faster. In other words, you don’t always have to be fearful of what you eat if you drink tea. Also, tea helps decrease body weight and prevent cardiovascular disease.
We certainly don’t recommend dumping a jug of hot tea on your instructor after an intense workout. But, we are sure that the benefits of tea outweigh sports drinks. The biggest reason they knock sports drinks out of the park is that tea lacks the artificial dyes and sweeteners. But, they also offer a tremendous number of benefits to athletes–benefits that your body will thank you for.