We've all heard the "drink at least 8 glasses of water a day" statement, and the health benefits associated with the same. Today, however, I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb and talk about another often ignored beverage that has possibly MORE health benefits than water - that being green tea.
First off, I'd like to clarify my stand by saying that I am in FULL agreement with drinking eight (or more, if you need more) glasses of pure water a day. I do so myself, and can personally attest to the gains associated with staying proprely hydrated.It is a fantastic practice, and should be followed by everyone. But, green tea is something which has also been of immense benefit to me, and I believe it is something YOU should be partaking of on a daily basis as well.
Let's hark back to 2004, during a "different life", when I was posted in China. I'd exercise after work then - not before - and my routine was an ardous (but enjoyable) daily hill climb in hot and humid conditions, followed by a tough bodyweight routine. I talk about this more in Fast and Furious Fitness. I'd usually get back home late, and was tired and cranky - not the ideal way to start a tough workout immediately after - but a mug or two of green tea later, I was raring to go. My mind cleared up, I got an instant energy "boost", and I actually felt like going out there and busting my backside to get a great workout in - and I usually did.
There were days I couldn't get a decent meal in throughout the day (I'll talk about more the reasons behind that in a later post) but I'd ALWAYS make sure to drink my green tea throughout the day. While it didn't quite compensate for missing meals, it did make me feel as if I'd put something healthy into my body - as opposed to filling myself up with endless glasses of water. And part of the credit for my progress in my exercise routines in China goes to green tea.
Green tea has tons of health benefits, and listing them all here would take all day for me to do - but for now, let's just say that drinking a few glasses of green tea daily is the best thing you can do for your overall health. Just make sure you get high grade, GOOD quality green tea. Also, make sure that you are drinking green tea as it is meant to be drunk- and that is simply adding water to the tea leaves - and not a bunch of sugar, mint, or other additives which completely destroy the flavor of the tea and negate most of the health benefits of this amazing drink.
Note also that green tea is NOT addictive, unlike coffee and other "pick me ups" that folks prefer these days. You will not need to it get out of bed in the morning, or get through the day - but note that if you do drink it on a regular basis (as opposed to craving it) - you will be better off for it.
And as always, make sure your getting enough water as well - and stay away from the nasty stuff (colars, sugary drinks etc). Combine this with a sensible diet, and you've taken care of the diet and hydration part of your routine.
Ok, that's all for today. Back again tomorrow!