Is it just me or do smoothies taste extra good after a workout? I’m sure it’s because I’m a little dehydrated so any kind of liquid sounds good, but the thought of refreshing fruit and creamy yogurt all combined in a cold drink really gets me excited after a big sweatfest! Even though it’s winter and there is almost a foot of snow sitting in my yard I still look forward to refreshing smoothies like this Raspberry Green Tea Smoothie.
One of my New Year’s resolutions, if you can call it that is to drink more tea. I don’t know what it is, but I just can’t get myself to like the stuff. I have no problem sucking down my coffee in the morning, but whenever I make a cup of tea I have about two sips then decide I don’t like it any more. In particular, I really want to like green tea because of all the great health benefits.
In case you aren’t familiar with some of the benefits of green tea, let me fill you in. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. These catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in stopping oxidative damage to cells. So why do we not want oxidative damage to our cells? Easy, oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer, and seriously, anything that helps stop the growth of cancer I’m all for! The best way to get these catechins into your body is through freshly brewed tea. Bottled, decafinated, and instant teas have less of these powerful compounds. To me this is one of the most important benefits, but I’m sure many of you are wondering about the metabolic or fat burning qualities of green tea.
So there are mixed results when it comes to whether green tea actually boosts your metabolism. Some studies have found that it does while others don’t show any change. My thoughts are that the fact that it contains caffeine will give you a small boost in energy which can help prolong and boost performance in physical activity, hence burning more calories. When I train for marathons I often need some sort of caffeine to give me a boost during long runs. While the extra energy the caffeine gives me doesn’t last a long time, I do find that it gives me the kick that I need for 30-45 minutes.
As with any food or drink that claims to have health benefits, take it with a grain of salt. There will always be cases for and against them. In my opinion though, adding green tea into my diet can’t hurt and will hopefully only benefit me. So, back to how I’m going to make myself enjoy a cup of tea…stick it in a cold refreshing smoothie of course! Instead of using milk or juice in this smoothie I substituted if for green tea. I added in one of my favorite berries, raspberries, a frozen banana, Greek yogurt for protein, and honey for sweetness. Not only was I having my cup of tea, but I was also enjoying the health benefits from the raspberries and banana! Until I find a brand of tea that I fall in love with I’ll remedy the situation by making myself this delicious Raspberry Green Tea Smoothie!
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