Tea is just behind water in terms of being the world's most widely consumed beverage, reports the Tea Association of the USA, and green tea is one of the most popular forms of tea. Every day, more than 158 million Americans drink tea. If you're one of them, you'll be happy to know that sipping iced green tea during your bodybuilding workout can present health benefits specifically related to lifting weights and maintaining a ripped physique. However, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine.
Improve Your Energy Endurance
Green tea is a natural, plant-based source of caffeine. The American College of Sports Medicine reports that caffeine may help improve muscular endurance and muscular contraction, perfect for when you're lifting weights. In a study published in the "Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research," researchers found that caffeine helped study participants complete more repetitions of common bodybuilding exercises, such as squats, bench presses and deadlifts. That may be why an analysis in the "Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism" journal reported that three out of four Olympic athletes use caffeine to enhance their performance, making green tea and other caffeinated ingredients the most popular legal drugs in sports.
Enhance the Burning of Fat
Drinking green tea while you're pumping iron may help to improve your rate of fat burning during exercise. If you're a bodybuilder interested in increased vascularity and a "shredded" appearance with visible muscles and abs, burning more fat may be important to you. Research released in the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" found that the catechins in green tea may be responsible for increasing your body's ability to burn fat for energy instead of using up the glycogen stored in your muscles. Not only does improving fat oxidation help you drop your body fat percentage, but it may also enhance your exercise endurance since your body can more easily use fat as a source of workout energy.
Heat Yourself Up by Chilling it Down
While the stamina-boosting, fat-reducing benefits of drinking green tea while you're exercising may be obvious, don't forget that the temperature of your green tea may also offer distinct health benefits. By icing your beverage before you sip it, you can further rev up your metabolism and improve how your body burns energy. A group of German researchers, whose work was published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism," propose that simply chilling your fluids before drinking can raise your metabolic rate by up to 30 percent. A side benefit is that the cool temperatures of your green tea can help keep you from overheating as easily and sweating too much while you're lifting weights in the gym.
Help Yourself by Hydrating Yourself
If you want to push yourself as hard as you can in your workout, push more green tea and other fluids into your diet. A study in the "Nutrition Reviews" journal found that dehydration reduced overall exercise endurance. But if you're a bodybuilder, you don't want just endurance; you also want maximum muscle power and strength. Research published in the "Journal of Sports Medicine" found that maintaining proper hydration helped increase both power and strength for athletes. That may be because fluids help regulate the temperature of your body, flush away toxins from your muscles and transport crucial nutrients to your muscles. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 10 ounces of fluids every 10 minutes while you're lifting weights.
- Tea Association of the USA: Tea Fact Sheet 2013
- American College of Sports Medicine: Caffeine and Exercise Performance
- Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Acute Effect of a Caffeine-Containing Energy Drink on Mood State, Readiness to Invest Effort and Resistance
- Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism: Prevalence of Caffeine Use in Elite Athletes
- The New York Times Health: How Coffee Can Galvanize Your Workout
- Muscle & Fitness: 9 Fat-Fighting Supplement Combos
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Effects of EGCG on Fat Oxidation and Endurace Performance in Male Cyclists
- Science Daily: Green Tea Extract Boosts Exercise Endurance 8-24%, Utilizing Fat As Energy Source
- Men's Fitness: 5 Things to Know About Boosting Your Metabolism
- Nutrition Reviews: Dehydration and Endurace Performance in Competitive Athletes