Green tea. Is it better than water?

Green tea has many of the same benefits as water, which you can read about here: The benefits of water according to science. But, it also has many other benefits.

Many of the plant compounds found in the tea leaves make it into the final drink, these compounds contain many important nutrients.

There are large amounts of catechins, which are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage as well as providing other benefits.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is found in green tea, and has been found to treat a number of diseases.

Green tea, like all teas, contains caffeine; this is known to increase brain function. Where caffeine has been shown to increase conditions such as anxiety in some, the amino acid L-theanine is known to reduce it. Green tea contains large amounts of this important amino acid, which negates this potential downside of caffeine.

The combination of caffeine and L-theanine has been proven to have synergistic effects. The combination of the two being particularly potent at improving brain function.

Much like water, green tea is known to aid in fat reduction. It has the added benefit of the physical performance improvement gained by the caffeine.

So, if you are after a healthy drink that is not just plain old water. Give green tea a try.

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Are there carbs in wine?

You often hear about the dangers of drinking alcohol when trying to control your weight, but is there actually any science behind this?

Of course, for a large variety of alcoholic beverages it is know to be the case that they contain a large number of calories. Beers and spirits being prime examples. But what about wine?

Check out this article from I love wine to find out.


This link is provided as part of a partnership between lessthanaverage.blog and ilovewine.com

I Love Wine Homepage

The benefits of Palm wine.

Palm wine has many recognised benefits in its pure, unaltered form. Although this is not a drink I have previously tried myself, it is one that I am willing to try in the future. Having read about many of the benefits of this drink, I am going to give this a go myself and will update here accordingly when I have done so. In the mean time have a look for yourselves at ilovewine.com for all sorts of great articles on wines, including this one on the benefits of palm wine.

ilovewine.com – Palm wine benefits


 

This link is provided as part of a partnership between lessthanaverage.blog and ilovewine.com

I Love Wine Homepage

The benefits of water. According to science.

The human body is roughly 60% water. The common recommendation is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. This particular figure does not have a great deal of science behind it, staying hydrated is however important.

Here are a selection of evidence-based health benefits of staying hydrated.

Maximum physical performance.

Physical performance can suffer greatly from a lack of hydration.

During intense exercise or while exercising in high heat this is even more the case.

Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can have a noticeable effect on you. It is not uncommon for athletes to lose anywhere up to 10% of their water weight through sweating, therefore adequate hydration is vital.

Even though the body as a whole is 60% water, muscle is around 80%, so water intake is far more important when the muscles are being worked hard.

Help with weight loss.

Drinking half a litre of water has been shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to an hour and a half after drinking it.

That means that drinking 2 litres of water a day can up your energy expenditure by almost 100 calories per day.

Drinking water half an hour before a meal has been shown to decrease the the amount of food you eat at meal times by making you feel fuller. In one study, dieters who drank half a litre of water before meals lost an average of 44% more weight over the course of 12 weeks.

For the biggest benefit, water should be drunk cold. This way the body burns more calories to heat the water to body temperature.

Brain function.

Fluid loss of as little as 1.3% has been shown to impair brain function. Especially affected are concentration and mood. Other studies have shown that similar levels of fluid loss have had a detrimental affect on working memory and increased feelings of fatigue and anxiety.

Loss levels this low are to be expected in just day to day life, if putting high heat and exercise into the mix it is clear that improper hydration can have big effects on your health.

Further reading.

Below are some links to some of the studies and evidence mentioned in this post.

NCBI – Hydration and physical performance

NCBI – Water, Hydration and health

NCBI – Dehydration influences mood and cognition

NCBI – water induced thermogenesis

Nutrition.org – Healthy hydration guide

The coffee problem

Whenever I feel myself getting stressed or anxious, one of the first things I like to do is get a cup of coffee. This is initially all I need to calm down. My level of attentiveness shoots up and my productivity increases dramatically. Unfortunately, this boost in energy and alertness comes with a major downside, the big increase in stress hormones such as cortisol. This coupled with the blocking of happiness hormone production tends to actually lead to an increase in my anxiety. The big issue is that when my anxiety levels increase, all I want to do is to drink more coffee, further fuelling these issues.

Scientifically speaking, there are studies that support this. The effects of caffeine on people with anxiety and depression have long been studied. There is evidence that in small amounts caffeine can be of benefit to those with these conditions. In larger quantities it can have the opposite effect, blocking the production of happy hormones and increasing the production of stress hormones. The issue I have is that caffeine doesn’t appear to be the problem for me, I can happily drink green tea all day without issue.

It took me a long time to work out that coffee, alone, as a beverage was the thing that was fuelling my problems. Despite now knowing this, I still have the problem because I cannot easily escape my dependence on coffee. Tea does not provide the same calming effect for me, even though I also don’t get the negative effects. All in all, I need to find a middle ground, it would be foolish to think I can completely give up coffee, but for my mental state, I need to try and cut back.