Should You Drink Tea for a Pre-Workout Boost?

Drinking Tea for Your Pre-Workout Boost

As the year comes to a close, like a lot of people I’ve started trying to get in a bit better shape before the inevitable dietary mess that is Christmas hits. I’ve begun to incorporate more walking and light weight lifting into my normal activity schedule that’s predominantly been just gardening and taking care of the family.

At the same time, I’ve started trying to understand how drinking different teas can uniquely support my current fitness aims and make me feel healthier and more energetic in sustainable ways.

I thought it might be worth sharing to see how you can maybe incorporate specific teas into your routine and why this might help you with your fitness goals.

Choosing Targeted Teas to Fuel Your Goals

Leveraging Green Tea to Help Me Burn Extra Calories

A man and woman talking on a tread machine in a gym.

As I challenged myself to get in a bit better shape before the holidays, I knew that green tea would end up playing a role in my pre-workout program.

I was looking for the metabolism-enhancing catechins and antioxidants found concentrated heavily within quality green tea varieties that are incredibly effective at burning excess fat for fuel while providing me clean focus and energy to push past plateaus.

By creating a consistent daily habit of drinking freshly steeped green tea both 20-30 minutes before walks and exercise and also consistently sipping the cooled down remaining tea afterwards to quench my thirst, I genuinely think that I’ve been able to burn more fat from even the moderate levels of exercise that I’m engaged in.

By rotating between different green teas like Sencha, Matcha, and Gunpowder varieties that all deliver their own distinct flavour and micronutrient profiles, I avoid flavour fatigue and still get the general benefits.

If you’re partial to Green Tea and you’re looking for a quick boost, then I’d highly recommend them – also, remember to leave a bit left over so that you can make yourself a refreshing cold drink with it after your workout by putting some crushed ice in it.

Black Tea Helps Reduce My Muscle Discomfort

In adding more strength training routines using resistance bands, free weights, and targeted muscle group activities with things like kettlebells, I quickly found myself dealing with muscle soreness during those first few weeks. I wasn’t leading a “sedentary” lifestyle, but weights and training were a bit different and I’ll be the first to admit, I suffered a bit for it in the early days.

Someone at the gym who knew I was a tea lover recommended black tea as it has been known to fight inflammation, stiff joints, and discomfort while also protecting muscles from cumulative damage or impaired recovery.

Sip on a warm cup of tea to soothe your muscles and relax your mind after a strenuous exercise session. Not only will it provide comfort and relief, but it will also contribute to your overall well-being.
TeaPot Kettle

The unique compounds in black tea varieties called theaflavins as well as prevalent catechins in these fermented teas work to not just buffer inflammation systemically, but also seem to guard muscle fibres against some level of microtearing that occurs from weight lifting in particular.

The science of it is great, but I just like the fact that it helps prevent some of the excessive aches while my body is recovering the day after.

If I know I’ve gone a bit harder at the gym than I normally do, I now try and start my day with a black tea and look to maybe even have a cheeky decaf black tea after dinner when I’ve started relaxing after my day and the workout.

Using Soothing Herbal Teas to Aid My Mind and Body Recovery

A Chamomile flower in the middle of a green field.

Fitness wise, I’ve always been pretty lucky to have a thin build, but one of the things I was not fully prepared for when I started actively exercising more was the mental strain it puts on you.

When I go out for an extra long walk or I’m sitting on a squat press between sets, my mind is still working overtime and a number of things that are unresolved flash into my mind.

I wouldn’t describe it as stressful, but my brain becomes pretty active while working out.

When mixed with everything else that life throws at me, I’ve made more herbal teas a part of my routine now as well. If my body and mind start desperately signaling that they need some active rest, I’ve begun to rely heavily on soothing herbal teas like chamomile and peppermint.

The light stimulative effect of morning peppermint brews replaces often jittery coffee, granting me clean calm energy to recharge. Later in the day, relaxing into the smooth floral taste of chamomile tremendously soothes accumulated physical inflammation and mental stress from overflowing cortisol.

These herbal teas work beautifully to calm both overexerted muscles and anxiety-prone minds.

Customise Your Pre-Workout Tea Strategy

With the variety of tea offerings available to us now in just about every grocery store, you have endless options to design a personalised pre-workout and recovery tea sequence strategically suited to bolster your unique fitness objectives, current exercise load level, flavour preferences and corresponding nutrition needs.

I suggest you start by closely logging your perceived energy, tracking some standard workout measures like heart rate patterns, and then carefully tracking recovery duration and muscle repair progress with a diversity of isolated teas and synergistic blends.

By incorporating tea into your routine, you can enhance your workout performance and achieve your fitness goals.
TeaPot Kettle

If you’re so inclined, maybe go wild and create a spreadsheet or something to track stuff… or just use Notes on your iPhone like I do. This methodical approach will allow you to properly tailor your tea intake and selection order to give you the most bang for your buck with respect to your body’s circadian patterns, fitness level, micronutrient requirements, and your broader health goals.

As with any lifestyle experimentation aimed at health and wellness, it behoves me to tell you to be mindful about what you’re doing, behave with a level of moderation, and don’t do anything where someone might suggest it is a good idea to sue me. Talk to a doctor if in doubt and avoid lawyers… they’re bad for the soul.

Overall Improvement in Exercise Results

I’m obviously someone who loves her tea and I’m constantly trying to find ways to incorporate it into my daily rituals and habits… I’m a bit like one of those cat people but with tea. I’m not really, but it’s funny to say.

With that somewhat embarrassing and self-effacing disclaimer out of the way, I do think it’s worth you trying to figure out if tea can help you with your physical and mental recovery process as part of your exercise regime.

If you’re like me and aren’t really a Gym Jane but have just started to dive into fitness and training, then having something like tea as an adjacent hobby to add a bit of extra interest and fun can be really beneficial. Aside from actually helping me physically and mentally feel better, being able to think about and experiment with the teas I’m drinking in preparation for my workouts has kept me motivated as well.

As anyone who’s started working out will tell you, staying motivated when everything hurts and you’re not seeing immediate results is a big part of the hill you have to climb… and what better way to celebrate climbing that hill than with a nice cup of tea.

Photo of author
A self-proclaimed tea explorer, Jess began her journey with tea as a hobby and it quickly blossomed into an enchanting love affair. From the rich, historical tapestries of traditional Chinese blends, to the modern twists of herbal infusions, there’s no leaf unturned.

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