I have to admit, I’m not a big tea drinker, but for a lot of people, however, tea is the only beverage they drink. It’s virtually calorie-free, and different blends have been known to have a wide variety of health benefits. So, can you drink tea before yoga? Since tea is a good source of hydration and can help improve concentration, it’s a great idea before yoga.
What Does Tea Do?
While there are a lot of different blends of teas, it is possible to find blends that claim to do everything from encouraging relaxation and sleepiness to increasing energy and metabolism. The caffeine in the likes of black tea or green tea can make you feel alert. Meanwhile, a soothing chamomile tea or peppermint tea can leave you feeling relaxed ahead of an evening yoga session.
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Each person will have to use trial and error to judge for themselves how a particular drink affects their performance during yoga. Some people have found that certain blends can really enhance their performance, while those same blends will have no effect or even a detrimental effect on another person taking the same class. Tea is quite low in caffeine, but if you’re particularly sensitive to it, even a cup of matcha tea can leave you feeling on edge.
If you stop to think about it, tea is really nothing more than water with a few leaves. That means the most effective part of tea is that it is hydrating. While tea leaves may have some chemical compounds that can have other health benefits, the fact that tea can encourage a person to drink more water probably has the greatest effect on overall health.
While many yogis will insist that a person start yoga on an empty stomach, they will also stress the importance of being well-hydrated. This is particularly important for any yoga class that aims to increase the heart rate and is absolutely essential for hot yoga. Check out our explainer on can you eat before yoga.
Your body functions more efficiently when you’re properly hydrated. This means that the body will process waste at a higher rate, which can lead to improved digestive function and increased metabolism. It will also lead to an increase in neurological function, leading to an increase in concentration.
For many people, the health benefits that they experience when they drink tea can actually be attributed to the fact that they are drinking enough water. To this end, even if there are no real benefits to drinking tea, the simple fact is that a person who loves to drink is at least keeping hydrated.
Are There Downsides To Drinking Tea?
There have been a few limited studies that question the value of drinking tea, especially those with high amounts of sodium or caffeine. Consuming too much caffeine before yoga can interfere with the sense of calmness that many people gain during a yoga session. High amounts of sodium will interfere with hydration; it can increase heart rate and may have a damaging effect over time on liver function.
It’s important to note, however, that most tea drinks have relatively low levels of these substances. Of course, some people will be highly affected by these substances, while others may seem not to notice them at all.