5 Reasons To Drink More Tea

5 Reasons To Drink More Tea

Based on last week’s blog on coffee I decided to discuss another great beverage. I get a lot of questions about what people should drink and the only options I ever recommend are the choices I adhere to myself in coffee, tea, water, unsweetened almond milk, and yes occasionally alcohol.  So lets talk about tea and all the great benefits that come along with it’s consumption.

Tea Statistics
Pounds of tea imported to the U.S. each year 519 million pounds
Total amount of tea consumed in the U.S. every day 1.42 million pounds
Number of men and women who drink tea every morning 2 billion
Total projected sales of tea for U.S. in 2012 $15 billion

Although not as popular as coffee in the US, tea is still widely consumed and is a staple for many americans. Lets look at some of the benefits.

1. Tea Is Loaded With Antioxidants

  • Tea is loaded with phytonutrients such as antioxidants.  Antioxidants in black and green tea, called flavonoids, may help to maintain healthy cells and tissues as well as contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. Antioxidants are natural plant based biochemicals that prevent oxidation or “rusting” of living tissues.
  • Tea can also help strengthen your immune system because its attack on bacteria, free radicals, viruses, and fungi.
  • A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School found that people who drank five cups of a tea were able to beat a cold five times faster than coffee drinkers were.

2. Tea Is Calorie-free And Helps Promote Fat Loss

  • So many people “watch what they eat” but ruin there otherwise healthy diets with sodas, loaded coffees, juices, shakes, smoothies, and energy drinks.
  • Tea is naturally calorie free and gives you your flavor fix while not costing empty calories found in most other beverages
  • Research indicates that substances found in green tea known as catechins and EGCG may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.
  • Recent research in animals show that catechins and EGCG found in green tea may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

3. Tea Increases Your Metabolism.

  • Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple hours.
  • Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories than normal during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.

4. Tea Reduces Risk of Stroke, Cancer, and Heart Disease

  • One study shows that Eight hundred elderly Dutch men consuming 3.4 cups of tea per day decreased their risk of death from coronary heart disease by 58 percent compared to those who consumed lesser amounts of flavonoid rich foods.
  • Flavonoids in tea may also decrease the tendency of platelets to stick together that cause heart disease and stroke.
  • Studies suggest that both black and green tea may help prevent or delay the formation of tumors-specifically in the skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
  • Green tea, according to Harvard Health Publications, has cancer inhibiting components called catechins. Specifically, studies have shown it to reduce the risk of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer.

5. Each Variety Contains a Unique Blend Of Health/Nutritional Benefits.

  • Green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.
  • Black tea a potential heart tonic,cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighterand cholesterol detoxifier.
  • White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels, protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke, strengthens the circulatory and immune systems as well as bones and teeth, and builds healthy skin.
  • Red tea contains magnesium, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system,  increases the absorption of iron in the body, contains potassium and copper minerals that are necessary for several metabolic functions, helps nervous tension and mild depression as it makes a relaxing sedative.

Conclusion

While I am a big proponent of caffeiene and specifically its impact on health and performance, tea offers a lower caffienated alternative to coffee with the typical cup containing about 10-60 mg of caffiene. Besides the obvious health benefits tea is versatile in that you can drink it both hot (winter) and cold (summer) and reap all its benefits. Like I stated earlier, anytime you can substitute a beverage that contains numerous health benefits for a sugar loaded juice, pop, or sports drink, is a no-brainer.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
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Top 5 Reasons To Drink More Coffee

Top 5 Reasons To Drink More Coffee

Are we coffee addicts?

  • 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day.
  • Americans drink over 3 cups of coffee per day on average (regular 8 oz. cup)
  • 65% Americans drink coffee with breakfast
  • The U.S spends $40 Billion on coffee every year
  • Coffee is the second most valuable commodity in the world behind oil

Why is this beverage so popular and is it healthy? Here are some reasons to continue to have a cup of JOE. 

1. Coffee Can Lessen Your Risk Of Diabetes 

  • 25.8 million children and adults in the United States(About 8.3% of the population) have diabetes.
  • Antioxidants such as chlorogenic acid and magnesium found in coffee can improve sensitivity to insulin and may contribute to lowering risk of type 2 diabitie.s
  • In a recent study conducted by the Harvard school of public health subjects  who drank more than six cups of caffeinated coffee per day reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by more than 50 percent compared to men in the study who didn’t drink coffee.
  • In 2009, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that people who drank the most coffee seemed to have the lowest risk of developing type 2 diabetes. That study reported that with each cup of coffee consumed daily, the risk of type 2 diabetes dropped by 7 percent.

2. Coffee Can Boost Your Metabolism

  • Caffeine, the best know ingredient in regular coffee, can raise blood sugar and increase energy expenditure in the short-term
  • Some studies suggest coffee can increase metabolism by 10%
  • Be aware that  a sugar-filled, flavored coffee can up calorie count and might actually slow down your metabolism (thanks to the sugar), shich seems a bit counterproductive.

3. Coffee Can Enhance Fat Oxidation

  • Caffeine increases the level of circulating fatty acids. This has been shown to increase the oxidation of these fuels, hence enhancing fat oxidation.
  • Caffeine has been used for years by runners and endurance people to enhance fatty acid metabolism. It’s particularly effective in those who are not habitual users.
  • Coffee can also enhance lyposis-the ability to burn fat. (see study below)

4. Coffee Boosts Performance And Can Decrease Fatigue

  • Caffeine is the most versatile and effective ergogenic aid (i.e. something that enhances exercise performance).
  • A prominent exercise physiologist, David Costill, Ph.D., performed the ground-breaking study on caffeine and exercise 26 years ago.He took nine competitive cyclists (two females and seven males) and had them bike until exhaustion at 80% of V02 max. (Note: V02 max, also known as maximal oxygen uptake, is a measure of how well your cardiopulmonary system functions).
  • Each subject consumed coffee containing 330mg (between 1-3, 8 ounce cups) of caffeine 60 min before the exercise or a placebo (decaffeinated coffee). Following the ingestion of caffeine, the subjects were able to perform an average of 90 minutes of cycling as compared to an average of 76 minutes in the placebo trial. This reflects an 18% increase! They also found that subjects burned more fat (aka lipolysis) as shown by measurements of plasma free fatty acids, glycerol and respiratory exchange ratios. In fact, fat oxidation or burning was significantly higher (107% greater) during the caffeine trial (118 g or 1.31 g/min) than in the placebo trial (57 g or 0.75 g/min). Also, the perception of effort was much less in subjects after consuming subjects indicating that exercise felt easier.(3)
  • Caffeine, which helps muscles use fatty acids for energy and blunts the effect of adenosine, can extend the time before muscles fatigue.

5. Coffee Can Increase Mental Alertness

  • Coffee contains a significant amount of caffeine, a widely used central nervous stimulant.
  • Our brain is the first organ affected by caffeine, where it interferes with the action of the neurotransmitter adenosine. Adenosine has a calming effect on the brain, so the result of its interaction with caffeine is increased alertness and wakefulness.
  • Caffeine affects the adrenal glands, stimulating the release of two adrenal hormones, cortisol and adrenaline — also known as hydrocortisone and epinephrine. These two hormones act to increase alertness and awareness.

What to drink

  1. Medium roast/filtered coffee
  2. 100% Arabica Beans
  3. Unflavored
  4. No additives
  5. No Sugar and No Cream

Conclusion

As you can tell, most of coffee’s benefits come in the form of antioxidants and its number one ingredient, caffeine. I have always been a proponent of eating and drinking things in their most natural state. That is why I will always suggest or recommend black coffee over a caffeine supplement such as an energy drink, energy shot, or energy powder. With little to no research about the energy drink market and their side effects, ( especially the long-term health effects) your best bet is to stick with coffee.

Final Thoughts

I never used to be an early riser. Ever since I started drinking coffee about 3 year ago I have found it much easier to get out of bed knowing I am going to have a great breakfast followed by a cup of coffee. Beyond the health benefits, coffee gives people something to look forward to on those cold rainy mornings. There is also the social aspect of coffee drinking that is added bonus. With the prevalence of phones, internet, and TV, having a cup of coffee with a friend, family, or stranger gives you a chance to put your technology dominated life on hold and have a good ole fashioned conversation over a healthy beverage.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin

The Best Metabolism Boosters

The Best Metabolism Boosters

A high metabolism means that the body is burning calories at a greater rate than average. However, an elevated metabolism goes beyond helping you burn calories and lose weight. Benefits also include

  1. More energy
  2. Better disease prevention
  3. Improved brain function
  4. Ability to recover from exercise or injury faster
  5. Healthier looking skin… to name a few

You have a huge amount of control over your metabolic rate. You can burn an extra 500 to 600 calories a day by exercising properly and eating right.” John Berardi, Ph.D., C.S.C.S., author of The Metabolism Advantage

So how does one get an elevated metabolism to reap all of these great benefits? Here are a few things to jumpstart your metabolism and get you on track towards a healthy lifestyle

1. 16 Ounces Of Cold Water Every Morning

  • Dehydration is your body’s enemy. It slows bodily functions and metabolism.
  • Your metabolism will slow to conserve energy when you haven’t had enough water to drink, as your organs can’t and won’t function as efficiently.
  • Scientifically speaking, drinking water has been proven to contribute to your body’s ability to burn calories.
  • Your body will burn a few extra calories heating the cold water to your core temperature

2. Eat A High Protein Breakfast

  • If you don’t, your body goes into starvation mode and your metabolism slows to a crawl to conserve energy
  • A high protein breakfast can boost the metabolic rate up to 30% for as long as 12 hours and provide lower insulin release, while assisting with food cravings.
  • Aim for something high in protein, containing some complex carbohydrates, and  healthy fats.
  • Cramming protein into every meal helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest
  • My Example: I have a 2 egg omelette with chicken breast/mushroom/peppers and a serving of my Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe found here http://www.builtlean.com/2012/03/14/steel-cut-oats-recipe/

3. Drink Coffee

  • In a recent study the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over that of those who drank decaf.
  • Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing which will raise your metabolism and burn more calories.

4. Lift Weights In Place Of Cardio

  • Our bodies constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. To add more muscle you need to lift weights and perform resistance training.
  • Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily.
  • After a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

5. Drink Green Tea

  • The brew contains a plant compound called ECGC, which promotes fat burning.
  • In one study, people who consumed the equivalent of three to five cups a day for 12 weeks decreased their body weight by 4.6 percent.
  • According to other studies, consuming two to four cups of green tea per day may torch an extra 50 calories by revving up your metabolism.

6. Eat Spicy Foods

  • Spicy foods contain chemical compounds that can kick the metabolism into a higher gear.
  • It turns out capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also fire up your metabolism. Eating about one tablespoon of chopped red or green chilies boosts your body’s production of heat and the activity of your sympathetic nervous system.
  • One study suggests spicy food can provide a temporary rise in metabolism of about 8% greater than a person’s typical metabolic rate.

7. Eat Every 3 hours

  • Eating more often really can help you lose weight and boost your metabolism.
  • When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals.
  • Having a small meal or snack every 3 to 4 hours keeps your metabolism cranking, so you burn more calories over the course of a day.
  • Several studies have also shown that people who snack regularly eat less at meal time.

Conclusion

These 7 suggestions can help promote an elevated metabolism which will allow you to burn more calories and help sustain a healthy lifestyle. While each one may only promote a slight increase in your metabolism, incorporating all of them into a daily routine will surely provide noticeable changes and benefits. Even those of you that are inherently lazy can force some cold water down in the morning or add some spice to your lunch and dinner. Give these a try and find out which ones work the best for you.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin