We live and work in the mountain of Colorado, and around here when Daylight Saving time begins and we get that extra light at the end of the day, we use it to play, play, play. Suddenly meeting your friends for a post-work hike or bike ride is the thing to do, and if you're not doing it, it's probably only because you're pushing your kids on the swings at the park.
So if you're going to fuel up for a bit of outdoor adventuring post-5 p.m., can we recommend some tea — black or green? Here are some good things about drinking a bit of caffeine during the day before you exercise:
- Improved circulation: Research shows that blood flow increases when you consume some caffeine, including in smaller blood vessels. Better circulation, better workout, since your muscles need oxygen!
- Less pain: Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming caffeine one hour before a 30-minute bout of high intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain, so maybe you can push yourself a little harder?
- Muscle preservation: Sports scientists at Covernty University found that caffeine helped offset the loss of muscle strength that occurs with aging, helping preserve overall fitness and reducing the risk of age-related injuries.
- More fat burning potential: Researchers at Penn State University found that the combination of green tea and regular exercise boosts fat-burning in mice, but it doesn't seem to matter when the tea in consumed during the day.
Of course, we also recommend drinking plenty of water, and if you're sensitive to caffeine, don't drink any within five hours of bedtime.
Otherwise, get out there and get active, tea lovers! You didn't lose that hour of sleep earlier this month for nothing.