Tea is a wonderful thing.
The health benefits associated with black tea, oolong tea, green tea and white tea have been under consideration for over 4,700 years.
If all you ever drink is a cup of good, old fashioned black tea, why not shake things up a bit? Here are five teas that can really deliver a fitness punch.
Made from the same plant as green tea, white tea has a higher concentration of EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), a potent antioxidant that can help fire up your metabolism and protect you against other ailments. Go for a high-quality white tea – if it still looks green in the cup, rather than a slightly brown but fairly clear colour, it isn’t the good stuff.
Information! White tea should be steeped for three minutes in boiled water and taken pure – nothing else needs to be added.
Native to many parts of South America, including Brazil and Argentina. Although there are no clinical trials available to support the claims, yerba mate appears to lower lipid levels, helping to reduce cholesterol. Other studies are beginning to show that yerba mate has more stimulants than coffee without the jittery side-effects, making it a great way to start your day.
Information! Yerba mate should also be steeped for three minutes in boiled water and is improved further by adding a small amount of cinnamon.
Gyokuro is a green tea from Japan, but it is different to most in that it is grown in the shade rather than in full sun. As a result of minimising the process of photosynthesis, the leaves contain more theanin, an amino acid that can help to relax you. This makes Gyokuro the tea of choice for anyone who enjoys meditation or yoga.
Information! Gyokuro should be steeped for 90 seconds in water that is around 60 degrees C / 104 degrees F, and drunk pure without additives.
Like yerba mate, guayusa is a great pick-me-up and an excellent alternative to black tea or coffee. It has nearly twice the caffeine of black tea – approximately 90 mg per cup – as well as twice the antioxidants of a regular green tea. A real powerhouse that can help with fat loss and give an energy boost.
Information! Guayusa should be steeped for five minutes in boiled water and requires no additives.
Pu-erh tea is more efficient than oolong at reducing your LDL (i.e. bad) cholesterol. You may also find it under the name of Po Lei or Bolay tea. Scientific studies have show that Pu-erh can positively affect the chemicals in your body responsible for fat storage.
Information! Pu-erh should be steeped for three minutes in boiled water and should be drunk pure.
What is your favourite tea? Will you give any of these five teas a try? Let us know in the comments below.