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Could Green Or Black Tea Reduce Post Workout Muscle Soreness?

I’ve recently reviewed a an interesting study on the potential benefit of green or black teas on reducing muscle soreness after a workout. We’ve all heard about the health benefits of drinking green and black tea, but could their high antioxidant properties actually lessen the discomfort from intense workouts?

While I’ve yet to experiment with this myself, there may be something to this. At the root of muscle soreness is inflammation in the muscle fibers and elevated cortisol levels. This is the result of micro-trauma from small tears in the muscle fibers which occurs during intense training.

Good post-workout nutrition can certainly go a long ways towards improving the recovery process as we don’t want cortisol to be elevated for an extended time. Let’s take a look at how the properties of tea may due the same.

More after the jump…

Here is the research study that I came across:

Arent, S. Senso, M., et al. The Effects of Theaflavin Enriched Black Tea Extract on Muscle Soreness, Oxidative Stress, Inflammation, and Endocrine Responses to Acute Anaerobic Interval Training. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010. 7(11).

In this study a group of trained adult males took a dose of black tea extract prior to completing a sprint interval test to exhaustion. Data was collected over a nine day period with blood samples taken from the test subjects following the workouts.

The results showed those taking the black tea extract demonstrated less DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), higher antioxidant levels, and lower cortisol levels.

It’s uncertain the amount of polyphenols needed to see this benefit, but it’s intriguing none-the-less. I’ve got a hunch that the antioxidant properties in tea may be playing a role in reducing oxidative stress, which would have a direct impact on reducing inflammation and cortisol.

While the test was conducted with black tea extract, there may be similar benefits with green tea.

I’m going to test this myself for a couple of weeks by looking to consume several cups of green tea during the day, with no particular timing, just adding them in and seeing what happens.

I’ll do a follow up on this post and let you know what I found. I believe it’s worth experimenting with as it certainly won’t hurt. I’m going to continue using Advocare Spark for my workouts, but will drink a cup or two of tea in the hours before and after training.

To be continued…

Shane Doll CPT, CSCS is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides personal fitness training in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation for middle age adults. Sign up today for a no obligations consultation.

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Category: Fitness Training.