Ive been a fan of GirlyJock since the inception of her blog. She’s smart, honest, raw, amazing, funny, insightful and GETTING MARRIED to her soulmate soon. As a result when she generously offered to write a follow-up to this post I leaped at the chance.
Thank you thank you Girly Jock.
I’ve been drinking tea since I was a kid: when I was sick, my mom would make some English Breakfast Tea, and load it with milk and sugar to get me to drink it. Since then, I’ve developed a passion for tea that surpasses most other passions (my favorite Christmas gift last year was a tea chest, and my favorite birthday present was two bags of loose tea, and a tea infuser). Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about teas, and have compiled a bit of a cheat sheet when it comes to the varieties of tea.
White, Green and Black Tea
All three of these come from the same plant. White tea is the least processed, and black tea is the most processed (black tea also has comparatively few antioxidant benefits). Green tea will give your metabolism a small boost.
There are conflicting studies about milk and tea: some say milk destroys the antioxidants, some say milk is neutral or beneficial to the antioxidant properties. I think that, as milk is not needed to reap the antioxidants in the tea, it’s best left out.
Further, if you leave your green or white tea sitting out too long, it can start to oxidize. This means that the antioxidants will start to degrade, and eventually (when your green or white tea turns brownish) there won’t be any antioxidants in the tea. However, adding a splash of lemon juice seems to slow the browning process (Vitamin C helps protect antioxidants. That’s part of the reason it’s so awesome). The easiest way to ensure that you’re getting the healthy goodness in the tea is to let it steep for about 5 minutes, then give the tea bag a squeeze, and pour over ice. 1-3 cubes will still leave the tea warm, but it will be drinkable. Then drink the tea quickly.
If you drink the tea quickly, you do not have to worry so much about tea quality (and there are some expensive teas that are poorer quality, so it’s not always a matter of price). In my opinion the store brand teas are on par with more expensive teas, provided they are consumed within a few hours of brewing.
In terms of waking up, in my experience nothing beats coffee (it’s the smell). However, when it comes to staying up, green tea got me through a 42 credit year at college, jitter-free.
These are dried herbs and/or dried fruit that do not provide the antioxidant power of green or white teas. However, they have their place: chamomile is great after a rough day (or the night before a day you know will be rough); ginger will settle your stomach; dandelion teas help prevent and get rid of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness; and the fruitier teas taste good, and are a better choice than soda. With the teas that claim stress relief or what have you, their taste can be hit or miss.
I’m talking about “blueberry green tea” or “raspberry white tea” here. They can be deliciously fruity and good for you, but you’ll need to check the ingredients: some teas use artificial flavors and colors to make the tea more appealing. Again, the taste can be hit or miss.
Usually, these teas will have a laxative/diuretic effect that will cause temporary weight loss. Drinking too much can mess with your body’s digestion/elimination.
(Some teas should not be consumed by pregnant or nursing women (usually these teas have extra caffeine). Check the ingredient list and the box to make sure that there are no warnings on the box before consuming any new tea.)
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