Back in 1994 I made a conscious choice to switch from drinking soda (Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper) everyday to drinking tea. I didn’t want to go to coffee because it tastes way too bitter and I liked the fact that tea was the cheapest alternative, besides water of course.
So, I was pleasantly surprised to read about this story in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition about the benefits of tea. It turns out that drinking all this tea may actually help my joggling efforts and achieve my dream of living until 107. Here are some of the key findings from the article.
1. Tea re-hydrates you as well as water. It is a myth that caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee are dehydrating. In very high doses, caffeine is dehydrating but the levels from these drinks are much lower than the amount of fluid they contain.
2. Tea is good for your teeth. It contains fluoride so it can protect against plaque and help prevent tooth decay.
3. Tea can help prevent heart attacks. It has something to do with the flavonoids in the cup. You gotta love flavonoids.
4. Tea strengthens your bones. As a runner / joggler you’re going to put on a lot of miles. All that pounding can be hard on your bones. The ingredients in tea help make those bones stronger.
5. Tea prevents cancer? Well, there is some flimsy evidence for this but it hasn’t been verified yet. But heck, I’m willing to delude myself if I have to.
The authors recommend drinking 1.5 to 2 liters of fluid a day. That’ll be a lot of trips to the bathroom! Actually, I easily drink 3 liters of tea a day. My most common choice is plain old Lipton Tea , although I enjoy flavored teas too. Green, white, and red are not ones I seek but I’ll pretty much drink anything.
So next time you come home from a long run, don’t go right for that sweet flavored colored water sports drink. Chug down 32 ounces of iced tea. You’ll be rehydrate, re-energized and repairing yourself all at the same time.