A study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that tea is a healthier drink even compared to plain water.  Tea seems to rehydrate the body as well as water but it also contains antioxidants, which are generally beneficial for our health as they help to control free radicals, which are linked to premature ageing, heart disease and cancer.  Exercise itself creates free radicals so by having tea containing good levels of antioxidants; it helps to control any damage these free radicals may do.

The benefits of tea

The tea that has the most beneficial effect for exercise is green tea.  It not only contains high levels of antioxidants called catechins but also has been shown in clinical trials to improve exercise fitness.  The catechins in green tea help to stimulate the use of fatty acids by muscle cells, which can help to increase exercise time. The use of fatty acids reduces carbohydrate utilisation and helps to control lactic acid production, resulting in an increase in endurance.

For post-exercise choices, I would suggest using chamomile tea, which is very soothing and calming and also has an anti-inflammatory effect.  Yarrow tea can also be helpful after exercise as it helps to prevent cramps.