What do you drink before a race or training session? Tea or coffee? If you simply can’t head out of the door on a run or ride before you’ve had your dose of the good stuff, don’t worry, your caffeinated beverage of choice actually does have performance benefits.
Studies highlighted by the Tea Advisory Panel show that regular tea drinking can have positive benefits on brain health thanks to the combination of polyphenols, caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine. This magic combo can improve mood and a sense of calm by relaxing blood vessels and improving their function. Tea polyphenols have also been shown to have inflammatory properties and deliver a great hit of antioxidants that can protect and repair cell damage. In a poll conducted by the Tea Advisory Panel, more than half of Brits say they feel cosy, happy and relaxed – as well as energised – from just the aroma of a freshly brewed cuppa.
When it comes to coffee, discussion around the benefits of it has long been a point of hot (or iced, depending on your preference…) debate within the endurance sport community. More than two-thirds of Olympic athletes use caffeine to improve their running performance. Studies show that the caffeine in coffee boosts mental alertness, improves mood and can actually make you want to run harder. That simple cup of joe can reduce perception of effort making running feel easier, sounds like a win! On top of that, it can also increase the endorphins in the brain so you get a caffeine high and a runners high.
Whatever the science says around the health benefits of tea and coffee, sometimes a nice hot cup of the good stuff is just what we need (even better when someone else makes it!). It can get you going out the door on a run and can warm you up after a chilly swim session. Surely those cafe stops on long cycle rides are motivation in themselves?!
And at the end of the day, dreaming of a hot cup of coffee or tea might just be what pushes you to the finish line a little faster.
Whatever your drink of choice, give our premium membership for runners and triathletes a try with a 14 day FREE trial to discover training benefits far beyond your morning cuppa.
Use the code GRTWTB to get a lifetime 30% discount on the membership after the trial period has ended.