Birthday wishes for a runner, an extra boost

I recently turned 23, I know, I’m still very young (or at least I hope that’s what you’re thinking). Yet still, no matter the age, birthdays always get me thinking about the past and what I want to happen in the future, before the next tick mark, 24. And as so, I’ve created a system, perhaps stolen from another, 23 things to do before 24.

It’s a list I put heavy thought into, much differently than my usual daily to-do jots. Among this year’s list: learn more about tea, become proficient in Spanish (as I’m moving to Spain next fall), keep studying Chinese, maintain target weight, run a marathon.

Perhaps I’m a goal-oriented nut, I’ll admit it. But as I can see, whether New Year’s resolutions (or birthday), it never hurts to have that extra boost to accomplish them. As I was searching for motivational training programs, I found the perfect one, runner or not.

Hidden within Runner’s World’s online site, an article zinged my attention: Fall Marathon Guide: A Better Buzz. Its tease—a boost without a burn. I clicked without a pause.

The focus was tea and its energy boost, for the runner, a great motivational force. In fact, as they state, caffeine found in tea helps enhance performance—increasing endurance, improving alertness, and simply making running feel easier. Plus, tea, unlike coffee or energy drinks, lacks acid or carbonation, and therefore is easier on the stomach pre-race and always. This, in addition to the many other health benefits tea brings over other caffeine-stimulants; in my case, helping aid me in another bonus resolution, my campaign to maintain target weight.

What else? As Runner’s World states, the way you prepare your tea also helps determines the ultimate benefit of your brew of tea. In terms of antioxidants, loose-leaf fares better than bagged, plain tea over that with milk has more benefits, surprisingly, and hot is better than cold for your health, though all are small and negligible.

However, as Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D. a nutrition professor of Tufts University said in the article and seems pertinent here, “The best tea in the world is the tea you like the best because then you’ll drink it often, and the more tea you drink, the better it is for your health.”

So, a toast to resolutions, kept or not—I raise my mug of green tea. And if you’re looking for more, Runner’s World included something beyond, a smoothie recipe with tea. Drink up!

Green Goddess smoothie

Though if you’re going to go that extra mile (perhaps literally), why not choose the best for you, loose-leaf!

2 heaping tsps green tea

1/2 cup boiling water

1/2 cup cold, filtered water

1/2 teaspoon ginger, peeled and grated

Juice of 1/4 grapefruit

1/16 Serrano chili, diced

1/4 medium ripe avocado

1/2 cup simple syrup

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup ice

1 Comments

    • Avatar
      Apr 20, 2011

      Great article. Happy Birthday!!

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