I’m in recovery mode now after my third 50k and am doing all that I can to heal, physically and mentally. I’ve always loved tea and a nice cup of tea after a long day is a great way to wind down. I’m so excited to have Pamela Hernandez of Thrive Personal Fitness talk about tea as a recovery tool for runners. I met Pamela at IDEA World’s BlogFest this past summer and was so honored when she asked me to write a guest post for her. Check out my guest post for Pamela: 5 Reasons to Run with a Group on her blog. Pamela is a fitness and tea expert so I knew her guest post would have to combine the two! I hope you recover well from your training and the holiday madness with a lovely cup of tea!
With a few races under your belt you’re starting to get into a routine. You know about how many weeks you need to train for a half or full marathon. You know how AND when to refuel on the course. You’ve got your shoes, your timing and your before race dinner down.
Yet something seems missing. You feel like there is something some of the other runners are doing different. Something that helps them feel just a little bit fresher the day of the race. Something that lets them bounce back a little quicker after long runs and hill repeats.
You’re not paranoid. They are doing something better than you. It may not be a secret but few runners do it as well as they should. Not because it’s dangerous or expensive. It is just that most athletes don’t think about their recovery plan as thoroughly as they should.
Are you foam rolling after every work out?
Are you getting massages?
Are you eating the cleanest fuel you can?
Are you drinking your tea?
I’m going to let you in on a simple recovery secret that goes beyond foam rolling. The second most popular beverage in the world is also a simple yet powerful health drink. That is why tea is your new favorite recovery tool.
Tea has a host of documented health benefits due to its high antioxidant and flavonoid content. That means drinking any kind of tea will help reduce inflammation and help the body recover. However there are two types of tea that offer specific recovery benefits that you need to take advantage of.
The first is matcha. Matcha is a Japanese powdered green tea made of ground tea leaves. That means you are ingesting the WHOLE leaf, magnifying the intensity of green tea’s power. (Note: you’ll also get more caffeine than other green teas making it an excellent pre-workout beverage as well.) Research has shown that drinking green tea provides a protective effect against oxidative stress, the kind of stress we know as a good sweaty aerobic workout.
Matcha is easy to take post workout in a variety of methods. The quickest way is add classic grade matcha to a post workout smoothie. It’s more fun to make a matcha latte. If you need extra calm or you’re a tea purist, simple whisk up a small bowl of matcha. All of these methods will work to help support the body’s natural recovery process.
The second tea that will give your recovery a boost is turmeric. Turmeric, specifically its primary ingredient curcumin, has been used in traditional medicine for anything from digestive issues to relieving arthritis pain. A growing body of recent research supports its use to for many ailments including fighting inflammation and reducing pain. Both of these can be crucial in maximizing your recovery and improving performance. While you can simply add turmeric to your scrambled eggs or take a supplement, I think tea is a more soothing delivery vehicle for your daily dose. (Although you can still add it to your eggs too.)
You can buy any variety of turmeric teas but my personal favorite is Turmeric Recover blend from Amoda Tea. The combo of turmeric and ginger, another root with anti-inflammatory and immunity boosting property, makes this the perfect blend to drink on its own or in Golden Milk. You can also buy raw turmeric root at your favorite natural market, slice it up and add it to your loose leaf tea. (It’s quite delicious in a cup of jasmine green.) Whatever blend you choose you just need to make sure it includes or you add black pepper. The pepper aids the absorption of curcumin as does having it with a little fat. (Which is why Golden Milk makes so much since as soothing post run beverage.)
Now you’re in on the secret. So when you’re planning your next race or challenge make sure that you’re training plan is complete – with time to rest, recover and a good cup of tea.