Tea, Health & Sport
The beneficial effects of tea« If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you’re hot, it will refresh you. If you are depressed, it will comfort you. If you are excited, it will calm you.» William Gladstone
Fine teas combine palatable pleasure with a variety of beneficial aspects.
Buds and leaf shoots are necessary for the finest quality tea and contain most of the active elements which determine these effects.
Phenols and poly-phenols in tea are powerful antioxidants. They are abundant in tea and dissolve in water. They are active in aqueous areas of the body. They prevent oxidative action of free radicals by neutralizing them. Thus they avoid the destruction, alteration of cells (in particular their walls) by oxidation.
Thus it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other diseases.
Certain amino acids, rare in natural form, are found in tea. They have a calming effect on the brain and support the immune system.
Caffeine / Theine
All the tea families (green, oolong, black and pu-erh (puer, p’uh-ehr) ) contain theine (caffeine). However, its effect on the human body is different to that of caffeine found in coffee.
The caffeine (theine) present in tea is bound to phenolic compounds, resulting in a steadier release, stimulating the brain and central nervous system. It is therefore best to differentiate the effects of caffeine following the sort of beverage consumed.
The calming effect of tea
The amount of caffeine/theine depends on the kind of tea and its preparation. Green and white tea contains less theine than black tea.
The method of preparation may also make a difference. With quality whole-leaf tea, theine can be reduced by throwing away the water of the first infusion after 45 seconds and re-infusing normally afterwards. This method allows a reduction of the theine without too much loss of flavour. Poly-phenols are dissolved more slowly. Their beneficial and calming effects are therefore preserved. Please do not use that method of preparation with Japanese green teas, you would lose a large part of its first infusion great taste.
Tea has both a preventive and curative effect on arteriosclerosis. All teas reduce the “bad” cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increases the “good” (high density lipoprotein). The most effective are white, green and pu-erh teas.
Fermentation / oxidation
Fermentation causes a chemical transformation of phenols / poly-phenols and alters certain substances. It is basically an oxidation.
Green and white tea (non-oxidized) have therefore several additional beneficial health effects. Pu-erh teas are fermented as well but without oxidation (see specific paragraph further down).
Caffeine restrains the absorption of iron. It should therefore generally be avoided by those having iron deficiency. For such people however, tea can still be enjoyed between meals.
For people who have too much iron, drinking tea during meals is recommended.
Complementary effects of Green Tea
Green Tea has a particularly high content of vitamins C, A, B and P as well as oligo-elements and phenols / poly-phenols. It increases concentration, physical ability, improves blood circulation, protects teeth (good source of fluorine). It has anti-inflammatory, digestive, antidepressant effects and helps regenerate the skin.
Several studies suggest that green tea prevents certain cancers (especially cancers of the stomach, colon and possibly the lungs). Scientists are studying in particular the main active component of green tea EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate of epigallocatecol). EGCG destroys better than vitamin E free radicals, toxic molecules involved in cellular ageing.
These protective effects are observed in regular green tea drinkers.
Complementary effects of pu-erh (puer, p’uh-ehr) tea
Fermentation without oxygen gives this tea its specific properties. In particular, it develops over time particularly effective digestive substances. It helps to stabilize the liver.
In China, pu-erh has been known and appreciated for centuries. It relieves diarrhea and indigestion. It soothes sore throats and helps fight colds.
It can be very effective against headaches.
For diets, it is effective only on certain constitutions. We can nevertheless consider pu-erh as a good complement in an effort to lose weight.
It also has a mildly euphoric effect.
Tea & Sport
The athlete can take advantage of many beneficial aspects of tea.
Green tea is good for the joints
The anti-inflammatory effects of green tea are helpful in reducing joint inflammation. It can be combined with the effects of other plants such as horsetail (silicon nourishing the cartilage) and ash (anti-inflammatory). You can find this in our composition “Patte de Velours“
Green Tea helps purify and recovery in general and in sport in particular.
Sport generates free radicals and other substances which the body needs to neutralize and eliminate. Green Tea with its purifying action accelerates the cleaning and therefore directly supports the recovery.
Puh -ehr tea in endurance sports
During long sporting endeavours proper and sufficient feeding is critical. Sometimes, after a while, the energy food becomes difficult to bear .
To restart the digestion process, pu-erh is an ideal natural aid. Many elite athletes have discovered that drinking a small quantity of pu-erh at these key moments allows them after ten minutes to eat normally again.