To Tea Or Not To Tea
Tea has many benefits. It has less caffeine than coffee. It aids in digestion. It is rich in tannins, compounds that bind to other substances and prevent the body from absorbing them.
This characteristic is great for its antioxidant effect, preventing the body from absorbing harmful compounds. But it can also block the absorption of vital minerals, such as calcium, zinc, and iron.
It's no mystery that athletes need to be mindful of what they eat and drink. Today we understand the impact of proper nutrition, hydration, and micronutrients in ways even experts didn't fully understand just 20 years ago. But as we strive to maximize our health and athletic performance, we also need to be aware of hidden challenges that can hide in our dietary choices.
Avoiding sugary sodas and coffee drinks is a great step toward better nutrition, but be careful what you replace your daily drinks with. If, as an elite athlete, you're drinking large volumes of tea instead, you could be setting yourself up for a different set of problems.
Tea is a diuretic- it signals the body to expel water. While that's not necessarily a problem, it can lead to under-hydration and lowered performance if left unmanaged.
Tea may not have the caffeine levels of an energy drink or a cup of strong coffee, but the caffeine in tea is considerable. And a heavy caffeine load can lead to a rollercoaster of up and down energy levels, trouble sleeping, and even mild symptoms of addiction.
Tea is also rich in tannins, compounds that bind to other substances and prevent the body from absorbing them. This characteristic is great for its antioxidant effect, preventing the body from absorbing harmful compounds. But it can also block the absorption of vital minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc.
What To Do About It:
Wait an hour before & after drinking tea to take vitamins or supplements.
Variety- Water is always best. But juice, milk and sports drinks are also good ways to stay hydrated.
Be aware of your risk factors- such as calcium , iron or zinc deficiencies.
Keep a food diary to better monitor dietary challenges that may impact your health.