Boost your energy with Green Tea

Boost Your Energy with Green TeaI love green tea. I like the way it tastes and the way it’s so versatile and can be mixed with other herbs, spices, and flowers, but the main reason I love it is for its health benefits and the energy boost it gives me.

I was a coffee addict for the longest time. I was so dependant on coffee that if I didn’t drink coffee I felt exhausted.  However, coffee also had its dark side. While it would give me an energy rush for a couple of hours soon after exhaustion would kick in.  I was tired of this energy roller coaster and being addicted to coffee, not to mention feeling tired, anxious and jittery at times.  I wanted to stop drinking coffee, since I noticed that it just made me feel bad and tired.  Kicking the coffee habit was hard, since withdrawal symptoms such as head aches kick in.  A friend recommended that I try a 3 Day Detox featured on the Dr. Oz show, she told me that the 3 day detox plan was not only good for eliminating cravings such as sugar but also coffee.  I decided to try it for the main purpose of ending my coffee addition.

The 3 Day Detox plan cured me!  Now I get my energy from a morning cup of green tea with lemon and lots of green juices, as Dr. Oz’s Detox plan recommends.   I have to say that it was not easy kicking this horrible addiction of mine.  The first day was hard but by the third day, I didn’t even think about coffee.  In fact I felt like I had more energy than before when I drank coffee.  I made the switch to drinking green tea in order to lower my caffeine levels not knowing the other value added health benefits of green tea.

Green tea has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It originated in Asia and the trend of drinking green tea spread to the rest of the world.  The medical effects of green tea are still being researched but so far studies have shown that Green tea may provide some of the following benefits:

  • cancer-fighting properties
  • increases your metabolism
  • regulates glucose levels thus a perfect drink for individuals with diabetes
  • helps with mental energy
  • Delays Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s desease
  • has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • lowers the risk of stroke
  • reduces build-up of bad cholesterol in the arteries and reduces high blood pressure
  • helps with digestion
  • Aids with tooth decay
  • Reduces high Blood Pressure
  • Keeps you looking beautiful!  It reduces wrinkles and signs of aging

What makes Green tea so special?

Green tea contains polyphenols (catechins, flavonols, theaflavins and thearubigins) which have antioxidant properties.  “Catechins” in particular  have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to stroke, cancer and blood clots.  Green, black, white and oolong tea come from the same species of a plant called Camellia sinensis but they are all processed differently.  Green tea leaves are steamed and withered and not fermented or oxidized like black tea or oolong tea. The longer the leaves oxidize the greater the caffeine level.   Green tea also contains L-theanine which is an amino acid that helps to increase alertness, reduces mental stress, boosts your mood and improves cognitive performance.   A combination of L-theanine and a sufficient amount of caffeine increases alertness and mental energy but without the jittery effects which coffee can give you.

How much green tea should you drink to boost my energy?  Personally I drink at least 1 to 3 cups per day. I would drink more but since I am sensitive to caffeine I only drink green tea in the morning, otherwise I have a hard time sleeping at night. How much should you drink? It all depends on how your body reacts to it.  If you are pregnant or trying to conceive you should decrease the amount of green tea you consume since green tea decreases your body’s ability to absorb iron and frolic acid.

Buyer beware:

I prefer loose organic green tea.  I can control the strength of my tea and the taste of it. Loose tea gives you the ability to experiment with teas and add other herbs, spices and flowers to it.  Although, when I am in a hurry I prefer to use pre-packaged tea bags.  A recent article in the New York Times discussed a study conducted by  ConsumerLab.com, an independent site that tests health products, which revealed that not all green teas that you purchase are equal and may not contain the same quantity of polyphenols.  The study found that some teas such as Lipton and Bigelow which are produced in China contain substantial amounts of lead.  The article mentioned that this is due to the industrial pollution which causes the leaves to gather substantial amounts of lead.  Also, some bottled green teas such as Honest Green Tea contain high amounts of caffeine and are high in sugar.

Therefore, in order to get the most out of green tea, an energy boost and the value added health benefits, be mindful of where the tea comes from, how it is prepared and which leaves it is made from.  The best choice is loose green tea, choose green tea that is made from younger leaves which contain the most catechins and the most amino acids.  That way at least you will know you are getting the most out of your cup of green tea, not only an energy boost but also many other health benefits.

Sources:

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/23/whats-in-your-green-tea/

http://www.webmd.com/prostate-cancer/news/20121018/green-tea-cancer-prevention-new-clues

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02914/How-to-Boost-Green-Tea-Benefits.html

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-reasons-to-drink-green-tea.html#ixzz2XHZj5o3j

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/nutrition/nutrition+tips/white+tea+vs+green+tea,13045

http://teaguardian.com/tea-health/tea-catechins-tea-types.html#.UdDUgZUTvL8

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-ozs-3-day-detox-cleanse-one-sheet

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