It is important to comprehend that a healthy lifestyle is comprised of many different pieces. There isn’t one tip that can change a body for ever. A big picture mentality is important to maintain when reading and learning about health and fitness. Take the pieces of knowledge learned along the way and plug them into the exercise, sound nutrition, sleep, low stress puzzle where they fit and results will occur. Focusing on one tidbit of information will not lead to a healhier, happier you. Green tea is well known for having a high level of antioxidants and being good for the human body. But how exactly can they help when it comes to fitness? Drinking green tea on a regular basis will aid in muscle recovery and increase how much body fat is burned.
In a recent study published in the Scandanavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports tested the efficacy of giving trained, male endurance athletes a highly concentrated green tea beverage compared to a placebo every day for 10 weeks. The green tea group showed a higher degree of glycogen sparing and fat utilization for energy. The effects were measured through a marker called the respiratory exchange ratio (RER). When the RER is higher that indicates a higher carbohydrate utilization for energy, when it is lower it indicates a lower carbohydrate utililation. If carbohydrates aren’t being used then fat is being used for energy. The RER in the green tea beverage group was significantly lower than the placebo. Researchers theorize this is due to the antioxidants in green tea activating the beta oxidation of fats. Beta oxidation simply put is the breakdown of fatty acids into a whats called acetyl – CoA so it can enter whats called the Krebs Cycle to be metabolized, this step has to happen in order for fat to be used. Antioxidants are enhancing this initial step for faster fat utilization.
It is difficult to switch the body into a fat burning mode as it appears the green tea did in this experiment. It is also important to note that endurance athletes typically don’t tap into fat stores for energy until after 90 minutes of endurance exercise. The usual process is for the body to use muscle glycogen, then carbohydrates found in the bloodstream and other storage sites, then fat is used. From a performance standpoint this will spare glycogen for endurance athletes and will leave them with more energy towards the end of a race. This is a good thing. The green tea beverage that was used was a green tea extract mix with water.
In conclusion, understand that green tea antioxidants will spare glycogen and enhance endurance performance for competitive athletes. This glycogen sparing is also beneficial to exercisers seeking a leaner physique due to the increased fat utilization for energy. The fact that antioxidants from green tea reduce free radical manifestation in turn reducing oxidative stress are big health benefits as well. The green tea beverage used was a green tea extract containing the antioxidant power of 6 or 7 cups of green tea. It is suggested to either drink the required amount of green tea per day or consume a highly concentrated liquid or capsule form of green tea extract.
T. Ichinose1,S. Nomura2,Y. Someya1,S. Akimoto1,K.Tachiyashiki3,K. Imaizumi1. The Effect of endurance training supplemented with green tea extract on substrate metabolism during exercise in humans. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. Volume 21, Issue 4, pages 598–605, August 2011