Green tea is full of antioxidant properties that can help protect your body from damage and free radicals. Green tea extract is the most concentrated form of green tea. For example, one capsule of green tea contains the same amount of nutrients as drinking a cup of green tea.
6 Potential Benefits of Green Tea
- Reduces Oxidative Stress
- Aids Muscle Recovery
- Induces Relaxation
- Reduces Muscle Soreness
- Boosts Athletic Performance
- Improves Alertness and Focus
Green Tea and Antioxidant Protection
Despite its many benefits, exercise causes oxidative stress within the body, and green tea’s antioxidant properties can help protect us from antioxidant stress. Cachetins are a potent antioxidant found in green tea. Cachetins reduce cell damage and post-workout muscle fatigue.
A study published in the Nutrition Research journal examined 35 men who took green tea extract and took part in strength training for 4-weeks. The study found that the men who consumed green tea increased their body’s natural antioxidant protection.
Another study by researchers in Poland examined the effect of green tea on 16 sprinters. The researchers found green tea extract protected the sprinters from the oxidative stress of intense sprints.
Research notes that taking green tea extract can help improve athletic performance and protect your body from antioxidant stress. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University confirmed this finding after studying 14 male runners who increased their running distance by 10.9% after taking green tea for one month.
Green Tea for Muscle Soreness and Recovery
Every athlete experiences muscle soreness at some point in time. Muscle soreness is often indicative of progress. After all, the body needs to go through change and stress to get stronger and develop.
Muscle soreness prepares the body for future athletic challenges. However, if you overtrain, you can find yourself dealing with muscle soreness more often than you would like.
When you start taking green tea extract, you will often notice a decrease in delayed onset muscle soreness after your workout. Green tea can increase the body’s natural antioxidant levels to help protect you from muscle damage. Without delayed onset muscle soreness, you will be able to make more progress with your workouts and exercise more frequently.
Safety and Side Effects
If you drink large amounts of green tea, you may experience some caffeine-related side effects that include trouble sleeping, headaches, irregular heartbeats, vomiting, nervousness, irritability, diarrhea, and dizziness.
However, green tea is safe for most adults when consumed in moderate doses. As a guideline, you shouldn’t exceed more than eight cups of green tea per day.
There are many different types of green tea available in health stores. If you’re using a liquid extract, the easiest way to consume green tea is to dilute green tea in water. Green tea powder extracts are also easy to incorporate into smoothies.
You can take green tea extract in capsule form or drink green tea on its own. Green tea extract has a strong taste, so you may prefer drinking actual green tea instead. Ideally, you should take between 250–500 mg of green tea extract per day. You can get this amount from three to five cups (not mugs) of green tea.
Some supplements contain more antioxidants than others. The most effective antioxidant in green tea is the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCGE), so it’s important to find a supplement that contains this catechin. It’s also a good idea to take green tea extract with food because green tea extract by itself can be hard on the liver and the digestive system.
Effectiveness of Green Tea
Due to its high antioxidant content, research indicates that green tea is an effective and safe supplement. Green tea is useful when it comes to reducing muscle soreness and muscle damage, as well as preventing oxidative stress that often accompanies intense exercise.
Furthermore, research indicates that green tea is effective for increasing energy levels, focus, and athletic performance.