As regular readers of FitnessOnToast will know, I love my green tea for so many reasons (metabolism-speeding, anti-carcinogenic, antioxidant-loaded, packed with vitamins & minerals etc), but above all else, for being a wonderfully warming, calming, natural ‘pick me up’. It contains materially less caffeine than its big brother (coffee), and it’s actively hydrating whilst coffee delivers the opposite result. This post focuses on the ‘superfood’ variety of green tea, called matcha, which is part of a 900-year old Japanese tea ceremony, and is an even older Buddhist monk ‘pro plus’-equivalent! It’s far stronger than normal green tea because you end up drinking the entire leaf rather than just a cup of pigment-coloured teabag water…
Since I gave up coffee last year, Green Tea has become my caffeinated new-best-friend! I probably drink 2 cups a day, on average – it warms me up, has plenty of flavour (especially with a sprinkle of cinnamon) and most importantly gives me that extra boost to keep me going throughout the day! I wouldn’t recommend drinking much more than that though, as too much caffeine can increase blood pressure, cause you to shake, induce headaches as well as stain the teeth – so perhaps don’t start your day with a triple shot of green tea!
This ancient wonder-brew has its origins in China and has been consumed (and used medicinally) for thousands of years. It’s said to have several health benefits including potentially lowering the risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer as well as lowering cholesterol. However, for me, the main plus is that green tea contains not only caffeine to wake me up (!), but also plant extracts called polyphenols which have been shown to stimulate thermogenesis and fat oxidation, & therefore increase metabolic rate. That’s short-hand for ‘burn more calories, quicker’.
This green tea that I had earlier today weighs in at a featherweight 1 calorie/200ml, with no saturated fat, no sodium, no cholesterol etc. and only 0.2g of total carbs! So it’s a pretty safe pick me up, whilst simulating the sensation of being full, and ultimately hydrating! So instead of starting your day with a vanilla latte (c. 250 calories, 12g sugar and too much fat) make it a far healthier caffeine choice!
Drink up 🙂 Faya x
(P.s. If you’re wondering why black tea isn’t as healthy as green tea, it’s down to the production process. Making black tea involves fermentation, however green tea skips this part and therefore retains maximum polyphenols and antioxidants!)