So is it a good idea to drink green tea after a workout? Yes! Green tea is a very healthy post-workout beverage.
According to health experts, drinking green tea within 60 minutes after a workout is a very effective and low-calorie way to rehydrate and replenish your body – especially for those who exercise daily.
In the following article, we delve into the benefits of drinking green tea after a workout, providing answers to all the common questions – backed by science, of course.
The health benefits of green tea after exercise:
Green tea offers a long list of supportive health benefits regarding exercise and fitness.
You've probably heard that as a naturally caffeinated beverage (learn more about matcha caffeine here), green tea is a popular pre-workout drink that boosts energy and focus before breaking a sweat. But did you know that a cup (or two) of green tea is a fantastic way to recover from a hard workout?
Studies have shown that having green tea after a workout:
Promotes faster muscle recovery: Green tea is packed with antioxidants that help combat exercise-induced free radicals, helping reduce muscle soreness and inflammation.
Rehydrates your body: Studies have shown that even though it contains caffeine, green tea can actually help rehydrate the body when enjoyed in moderation! Plus, if it tastes good, you may hydrate more than you usually might post-workout. Compared to water (due to your taste), you may find green tea easier to drink than water, which – if you are drinking more – will, in turn, increase your overall hydration.
Boosts your metabolism & calorie burn: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) – AKA the very healthy compounds found in abundance in green tea – help boost your metabolism and increase caloric burn following a workout.
- It helps you unwind and relax after an intense workout: Unlike other caffeinated beverages, matcha also contains l-theanine, which helps slow down your heart rate and encourages relaxation post-workout.
When should I drink green tea to maximize muscle recovery after a workout?
Wondering when you should drink green tea after your workout?
To reap the maximum health benefits from exercising, timing your post-workout nutrition is key.
Try to have your post-workout green tea within 60 minutes of finishing your workout.
It's essential you get a combination of protein, carbs, and hydration back in your body – so we often suggest adding 2 grams of matcha green tea powder to your post-workout protein smoothie.
How much green tea should I have as my post-workout recovery drink?
The question to this answer depends on various factors (ie what time you are working out — for example, if it is later in the day past 5 pm, we'd suggest having just one cup of green tea or 1.5 grams of matcha). Though matcha contains l-theanine, which has relaxation-promoting effects, the caffeine in matcha may cause disruptions in sleep if you are having it a few hours before bed.
If you are an early bird who works out right when you wake up, then we suggest enjoying 2 grams of matcha — or three cups of green tea after your workout along with your breakfast.
As a general rule of thumb, we would suggest opting for 2 grams of matcha — or two to three cups of steeped loose-leafed green tea.
If you are just enjoying your green tea with plain filtered water, we recommend using 1.5 to 2 grams of matcha green tea powder.
Interested in learning more about the best time to drink matcha and how much you should have in a day, Click here.
Is Green tea good for endurance athletes?
After relatively light exercise, your muscles can often recover fully in just 24 hours. However, higher-intensity workouts may lead to two to three days of recovery — and crazy-strenuous long workouts (imagine running a marathon or iron man) may take your body even longer to recover from — making your post-recovery nutrition choices all the more important in order to stick to a given training program.
Studies have shown that green tea is especially beneficial for muscle recovery following strenuous workouts. Therefore, green tea is an especially appealing post-workout supplement for professional endurance athletes or those training for marathons or triathlons.
What is the best green tea to drink after a workout?
In particular, matcha green tea – a concentrated, high-quality form of green tea from Japan – makes an especially good post-workout drink that aids recovery and boosts metabolism.
Matcha is a very fine green tea powder with a sweet yet earthy flavoring, making it easily enjoyed with filtered water or seamlessly added to any post-workout smoothie recipe. Matcha powder also quickly dissolves in hot or cold water, so its bioactive compounds are readily available for your body to soak up.
Click here to learn more about the differences between loose-leaf green tea and matcha green tea.
Could green tea help me stay in shape on my off days?
Did we mention green tea is also effective at helping you maintain your fitness levels on your off days? That's right! Drinking matcha not only helps enhance but also helps mimic the therapeutic effects of exercise on the days you don't make it to the gym.
Learn how on workout or recovery days, drinking matcha green acts can act as an exercise mimetic — helping amplify your natural fitness level without breaking a sweat!
Are you interested in matcha green tea and weight loss?
Wondering how drinking green tea may help you lose weight and reduce your body's fat percentage? Unlike other post-workout recovery drinks, matcha green tea is sugar-free and has hardly any calories (less than ten calories per serving when prepared just with filtered water, which means it's good to have while fasting too!)
And most people don't realize how excellent green tea is for fat oxidation – the process where your body breaks down fat molecules and uses them for energy. Please read our guide outlining common questions and answers on matcha green tea and weight loss.
Ask your healthcare provider about drinking matcha before and after your workouts
If you want to lose weight and get more out of your time spent exercising, matcha green tea may also be an excellent natural pre-workout drink. Studies have shown that ingesting green tea 90 minutes before your workout may help support healthy weight loss.
In fact, a study published in the National library of medicine found that when participants (all of whom were considered overweight and/or obese) had green tea every day for 12 weeks, daily green tea consumption led to an average 7lbs higher weight loss in participants than those who took a daily placebo for the three-month study. (5)
The bottom line: drinking green tea may help you reach your fitness goals
Studies have shown that having matcha green tea or regular green tea after your workouts can help improve your overall fitness level with limited side effects to almost non-existent downsides, though much research is still needed on the effectiveness of different exercises (ie running vs. CrossFit) with green tea supplementation in physiological contexts, cell signaling, and molecular pathways.
So go ahead and sip on some green tea after your next workout. We bet you will see some improvements in your fitness level in a very short period!
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- Nobari, H., Saedmocheshi, S., Chung, L. H., Suzuki, K., Maynar-Mariño, M., & Pérez-Gómez, J. (2021, December 25). An Overview on How Exercise with Green Tea Consumption Can Prevent the Production of Reactive Oxygen Species and Improve Sports Performance. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(1), 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010218
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