Monday, August 29, 2011

BT Likes Green Tea!

What makes green tea so powerful and why do we think it makes such a great companion for training? Recently, green tea has been getting A LOT of recognition for being a powerful metabolism booster and fat burner; however, the true powers of green tea are far greater than just a tool for fat loss. Green tea is also used as a powerful tool in disease prevention and in maintenance of optimal health. Here are 5 reasons why we regularly use this beverage as a powerful antioxidant and immune booster:

1. Green tea boosts the immune system: The antioxidant compound in green tea known as "catechins"have been shown in various research studies to have a profound impact on immune function. Specifically, green tea contains something called "theanine" which has been shown to have an impact on boosting T cell activity which helps to strengthen adaptive immunity. This is important to people engaged in intensive training because high stress workouts can cause an inflammatory response in the body. As a result, drinking green tea can help support immune function and thus speed recovery.

2. Green tea fights allergies in the body: The highly acclaimed "EGCG" (epigallocatechin gallate) is in green tea. This compound has been shown to help block the two compounds that are responsible for allergic reaction in the body: histamine & immunoglobulin E. This means that drinking green tea can help to reduce reactions such as watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing that occur from allergy to external stimuli.

3. Green tea lowers risk of cardiovascular disease: Research has shown a reduced occurrence of death from cardiovascular disease amongst people who drink green tea regularly. This is in part due to green tea's ability to help stabilize cholesterol levels. Green tea does this by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the digestive tract and increases the rate in which it is excreted from the body. Green tea also helps prevent LDL cholesterol from being oxidized which prevents it from turning into the sticky plaque that adheres to artery walls which increases risk of heart attack or stroke.  
4. Green tea promotes fat loss: Green tea is very beneficial for metabolizing fat. Specifically, the polyphenols in green tea help to dissolve triglycerides (substance made up of mostly fat and sugar) in the intestines and liver. Another benefit in aiding fat loss is the combination of EGCG with caffeine as this combination stimulates the central nervous system to release fat into the bloodstream to be used as fuel.

5. Green tea helps prevent tooth decay: Green tea has antibacterial properties that can help to reduce the accumulation of plaque on your teeth. Green tea has been shown to lower the risk of gum disease due to the ingredients responsible for improved immune function and also it contains fluoride which is helpful in preventing cavities. Preventing gum disease and tooth decay also has a two fold effect as periodontists are now beginning to find links between gum disease and other health disorders like heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.

So we say when it comes to green tea - drink up! It's a simple way to integrate a powerful and healthy addition to your current dietary strategies.

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