Thursday, December 8, 2011

Feeling Sore From Working Out? Green Tea Extract Might Help

Green tea has been touted as one of the world's healthiest beverages. It is packed with antioxidants which can help boost your immune system and prevent cellular damage, as well as caffeine to maintain a healthy metabolism and also help with concentration and task performance. One other key 'ingredient' that makes green tea so special is an extract it contains which has demonstrated numerous health benefits. Now, Polish researchers have added one more bullet to the list of feats that green tea, more specifically, green tea extract, is capable of performing. Fitness buffs, new gym-goers and those who just want to stay healthy should take note.

According to a new study from Poland, published in the journal of Nutrition Research, a concentrated supplement of green tea extract providing 640mg of polyphenols might reduce oxidative damage caused by strength training, which can help speed muscle healing. This is particularly useful for individuals who are just starting to strength train and might be more susceptible to muscle damage from oxidative stress as a result. The researchers have noted that this stress has been associated with muscle fatigue as well as a decrease in performance.

In the study, 35 participants were randomly assigned to either the green tea extract group or a placebo group for four weeks. Both groups then followed a short-term exercise regime and the effects of oxidative damage to their muscles during that time was evaluated.

During the trials, signs of oxidative stress was markedly higher in the placebo group, while the antioxidant levels in the blood samples of the participants in the green tea group were significantly higher. The green tea extract group was also more tolerant of exercise but neither group showed increased muscular endurance.

For the best health benefits, enjoy a cup or two of green tea daily along with plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you're interested in trying supplements of green tea extract which are widely available, be sure to speak to your doctor about their safety and choose a reputable brand.