I’m a coffee gal, through and through. I love it, and even though it’s been low-key suggested by doctors that I cut my consumption down (and eventually entirely out), I’m still at the point in my journey where you’d have to pry my French press from my cold, dead hands. That being said, coffee definitely gives me the jitters, and I almost always have trouble sleeping, so the reasons to, say, start drinking tea instead of coffee seem to be piling up by the minute. One such reason is that drinking tea before a workout is said to help give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling less than ready to get sweaty.
Coffee tends to get a pretty bad rap, so before we throw it under the bus entirely, let’s acknowledge that there are actually many health benefits to drinking coffee, like promoting heart health, reducing the risk of Parkinson’s and liver disease, and the bev happens to be seriously high in antioxidants. Plus, you know, it just tastes freaking divine.
That said, coffee can be hard on your stomach, can cause restlessness and anxiety, and it increases your heart rate, sometimes to a fault.
Enter tea, which still provides that jolt of energy, but oftentimes without the jitters, partially because a single serving doesn’t usually have as much caffeine as coffee. And, as Christopher Ochner, PhD, a nutritional research scientist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, told WedMD, “it’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink.” That’s a pretty big compliment for a beverage, don’t you think?
All that said, here are a few reasons to swap your coffee for tea the next time you’re preparing for a sweat sesh.
1It’ll Help You Remember The Moves In Your Routine
Green tea just so happens to be really great for your memory — so great, in fact, that there are studies that support it might be helpful in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Make sipping the stuff a habit, and try having a cup to get you nice and alert before you hit a workout class that challenges your mind as much as your body.
2It Improves Your Focus While You Lift Heavy Weights
Yes, pretty much anything with caffeine will give you a boost, but even when coffee and tea have the same amount of caffeine in a single serving, studies show the latter gives you a more clear and focused sense of alertness, which you definitely need if you, for example, have 100 pounds to lift over your head at the weight rack.
3The More Antioxidants, The Better
A big part of what makes tea so darn good for you is something called polyphenols, which are chemical compounds that act as antioxidants and battle those nasty free radicals in your body.
And what do free radicals do, you ask? Well, they can actually alter your DNA, increase cholesterol, and change the moving course of cell membranes (in a bad way, that is). Green tea apparently has the highest level of polyphenols, but all teas have ’em!
4It Keeps Your Bones Nice And Strong
Research has shown that green tea not only improves the strength and quality of bones, but regular consumption can also reduce injuries like hip fractures in people over the age of 50.
That means you should definitely start sippin’ now, my friends, and you might just be doing your joints and bones a big favor for the future.
5It Keeps Your Blood Healthy, Too
In case you weren’t aware, you need a whole lot of oxygen in your blood while you exercise. Green tea has been shown to lower cholesterol, increase blood flow, and improve blood pressure, among its many other benefits.
6It Improves Your Sleep, So You Can Actually Commit To A Morning Workout Routine
If you want to show up for your morning workout all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, then it’s the perfect time to switch from coffee to tea.
Coffee drinkers across the board have a more difficult time falling asleep than tea drinkers do. Sad, I know, but if ditching the daily cup o’ joe (or three) and opting for some refreshing tea instead means sleeping through the night, it might be worth it, right?