Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Are your taste buds bored with plain H2O? What if you could hit your daily water quota while taking in tons of antioxidants, boosting your metabolism, and even improving the appearance of your skin without a single calorie? We’re not talking about a magic potion — in fact, you probably have it in your pantry right now.
It’s tea, and this ancient drink has been making a huge splash in the modern world recently for its variety of flavors and potent health properties.
Drink To Your Health
Green, white and black teas (without milk or sweeteners) are ideal fluid replacements for fit women, says Carol Greenwood, PhD, a professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto, and a scientific advisor for the Tea Association of Canada. “It has no calories, plus it carries healthy plant-based compounds not found in water.”
See Also3 Tea-Infused Recipes
The power of tea lies in its high doses of catechins and other flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants, says Greenwood. Researchers say tea has about eight to 10 times the antioxidants found in many fruits and vegetables. These compounds can help your body burn more fat, protect against disease, and keep you looking younger longer. Just remember to keep your caffeine intake in check by having no more than eight to 10 cups of green, white or black tea a day.
Fight Fat & Inflammation
Battling stubborn fat? Arm yourself with a few daily cups of green or white tea. Preliminary data has shown that green tea may help melt fat, especially around the belly, while research out of Germany shows that white tea can also crank up your fat-torching engines. Green tea has also been shown to provide the bonus benefit of reducing inflammation, which is at the root of a number of disorders, including diabetes and heart disease. “Green tea protects the good bacteria in your gut, which in turn increases your body’s ability to control inflammation.”
Steep Some Disease Defense
Your regular workouts are already helping to protect your body from cardiovascular disease, cancer and arthritis, but sipping both green and black teas can reduce your risk even further. A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants who consumed the highest amount of flavonoids from various food sources (including tea) had a lower risk of death from heart disease than those who consumed the least. But it doesn’t end there. Research is revealing that tea may help prevent a slew of diseases and health issues, including high cholesterol, stroke, osteoporosis and even some cancers. More recently, one study showed that green tea can boost brain strength by improving your memory.
If you’re concerned about the look of your skin, get glowing with green and white teas. Researchers have long known that green tea improves the overall look of skin by rejuvenating older skin cells. White tea — even in low doses — protects against the breakdown of elastin and collagen, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging. And you can smile about the fact that both promote oral health and help nix bad breath by killing plaque-causing bacteria.