It’s been out for a long time, many people have it on a daily basis, many others are skeptical of its benefits and I personally love it. Since childhood I’ve been drinking mate (an argentine infusion like tea) every now and then. Having tea was very common for me, but I never tried green tea until a couple years ago when I heard a really interesting speech at a convention and I started my own research.
First, let me clarify something about the tea leaf. All teas come from the same source. The tea plant is a member of the Camellia family (Camellia Sinensis). Black tea, oolong tea, and green tea are all derivatives of this one plant.
As you can imagine, my research was based on fitness and polo performance. Many players enjoy the power of green tea. For those of you who want to lose a bit of weight while playing polo, this type of tea is a great choice. Why? Research suggests that supplementing with green tea can raise your resting metabolic rate by 3 percent. Green tea enhances the body’s metabolism and adipose tissue oxidation when consumed concurrently with moderate to intense exercise over a period of a several weeks.
When it comes to finding the right Green Tea for you, there is a huge quality difference in products. Tea has been compared to wine when it comes to grading. I found one of the most peculiar green teas in England. Tea from Williamson Tea is not fermented or steamed, they simply dry it and crush the leaves, giving a distinctive flavor. The benefit of their manufacturing process is that it maintains higher levels of beneficial antioxidants in the leaves.
Caffeine is an interesting point of discussion and there is a common misconception that Green Tea contains less caffeine. It doesn’t, in fact black tea tends to have less caffeine due to the manufacturing process reducing the caffeine content. Theine and caffeine are the same molecule, but the action of the molecule differs according to the medium in which it is imbibed and its bioavailability. In coffee, theine is in a completely free state and therefore passes very quickly into the blood, whereas in tea it forms complexes with polyphenols (Polyphenols are phytochemicals, meaning compounds found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have antioxidant properties), part of which are not digested, the other part passing into the blood slowly. Theine is therefore liberated little by little into the blood when one drinks tea. The stimulant action of tea therefore lasts over a longer period than coffee.
Water temperature is a critical factor in bringing out the best qualities of green tea. If the water temperature is too hot, the tea will be too bitter and much of its delicate aroma will be lost; if the water temperature is too cool, the full flavor contained in the leaves will not be extracted.
I hope you start drinking this amazing tea and start reaping the benefits of it.
Until then stay active and keep healthy!
Your Fitness for Polo trainer,