Ani and I believe in a healthy balanced lifestyle. We work out multiple times a week, eat naturally low-fat and low-sugar foods and of course drink our daily tea!
I've noticed a lot of popularity with caffeine and working out lately. This caffeine popularity got me researching caffeine medical studies and apparently drinking caffeine while working out increases endurance and allows you to 'go the extra mile' during your routine. The conflict I notice though is I see people drinking so-called 'energy drinks' and coffee during their workouts, but the studies I read say that moderate caffeine such as 50mg during workouts is ideal. Coffee and energy drinks have closer to 150-300mg of caffeine and the caffeine in energy drinks is typically not natural. This got me thinking that since tea is completely natural, has many health benefits other than endurance and has about 35-50mg of caffeine (depending on the type) that tea may be the perfect workout drink.
Last week, Ani signed us both up (without warning) to climb Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Having only 2 1/2 months to get ready for this, we need to jump our endurance workouts into high gear. We decided to supplement our weekly workouts with one or two weekend hikes or climbs. I had read a great article in Los Angeles Magazine called ‘Stair Walks’ about these 8 scenic stair climbs that exist throughout Los Angeles. We decided this series of stair climbs were the perfect weekend workouts to prepare for the Mount Whitney climb. To boost these workouts and test the benefits of drinking caffeine with working out, we decided to pair a tea with each of our climbs.
So today was Day One of the Los Angeles stair climbing - tea drinking - prepare for Mount Whitney workout series. Ani and I chose the classic scene of the Glendower Steps in the beautiful, old neighborhood of Los Feliz. I got to choose the tea for this one, so I chose one of my favorite teas, our Big Red Robe Oolong. I didn't want to drink hot tea nor have melted ice in our tea, so we brewed the tea last night, put it in a stainless steel thermos and put it in the refrigerator overnight. If you are planning on trying this yourself, make sure you use a stainless steel thermos without a liner and no plastic as the chemical BPA used to make the plastic bottles and liners has estrogen mimicking effects which can cause breast and prostate cancer.
I have to say, I thought this hike was going to be really hard on me as I work out a lot, but I mostly lift weights and it's been a long time since I've done any endurance training. We actually had so much energy that after climbing the stairs, we searched out historical homes in the area, like the Ennis House by Frank Lloyd Wright, and then pressed on to hike to the Griffith Observatory with some amazing views of downtown Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. Then on the way back we decided to go back up the first half consisting of 181 steps and do them again, bringing Day One to a total of 1,510 steps plus the Griffith Observatory hike. I know this hike was far from being anywhere near the shape we need to be in to be prepared for climbing Mount Whitney, but I was proud of us. I do believe combined with incredible views and having a summit as nice as Griffith Observatory that the Oolong tea did give us a very noticeable boost in endurance and energy. Throw in the fact that Oolong tea is good for your skin, hair and helps natural weight loss, I'd say the first tea exercise experiment was a success. I hope you enjoy the images we took while on our hike.