The Zest Part of Waking Up Is Green Tea in Your Cup

    Photo: Julie Dean

After autumn maliciously robs the warmth and daylight from your morning workouts, there's only one thing left to lure you out from under the down comforter: a steaming cup of high-octane java. Well, sorry, but we're taking that away as well—wise athletes should switch to green tea. Why? Like your beloved French roast, it packs a caffeine punch. But more important, the brew's overall health benefits continue to emerge. Preliminary research published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition shows that polyphenols similar to those found in green tea help post-workout muscle recovery. Still leery? Here's a highlight reel of green tea's recent accolades.

2001 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Green tea's polyphenolic compounds (antioxidants) are shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

2001 International Journal of Oncology: A University of Alabama study declares that drinking green tea inhibits growth of skin-cancer tumors.

2000 National University of Singapore: Scientists find that green tea plays a key role in delaying the onset of stomach, colon, and rectal cancers.

1999 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: A Swiss study finds that consuming green-tea extract caused subjects to burn 3.5 percent more calories per day—equivalent to about one and a half Oreo cookies.

1999 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Research shows that green tea lessens the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.

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