Three Teas for Cycling Performance

In case you missed out on one of the greatest sporting moments certainly of 2020, UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogačar pulled off a stunning win against Tour de France leader Primoz Roglic in the penultimate stage of cycling’s greatest race to secure the overall title and place both himself and UAE Team Emirates into the history books. It’s an amazing achievement for such a young team (and indeed rider as Pogačar himself is only 21 years old!) and we thought it would be a great time to highlight the perfect teas for cycling performance.

Pogacar winner of 2020 Tour de France

Hydration is key especially in endurance cycling, and generally cyclists turn to water and electrolyte-boosting sports drinks to meet their hydration needs. But they're not the only options – tea is a satisfying, hydrating drink that can keep you in top form.

“The great thing about tea is that it can help you take in adequate fluids,” says Nigel Mitchell, RD, author of Fueling the Cycling Revolution and previously a Dietitian with British Cycling, Team Sky, and Cannondale-Drapac. A hot cup of tea is an especially good choice before early-morning rides—when the thought of rolling out of bed and downing cold water or a sports drink might not be appealing he says.

Typically coffee is the cyclist's drink of choice, but we hope that by outlining the multiple benefits of tea beyond hydration, and by showcasing our unique, tasty blends, more people will be inspired to drink tea!

Different varieties can increase your energy levels, help you stay focused, and even help you bounce back after a tough ride in the desert.

Here are Mitchell’s suggestions about which teas are tops, and how they can benefit your performance on the bike:

Green Tea

Green tea cup and teapot

If you’re looking to increase your endurance – this is the tea for you!

Green tea contains phytonutrients, plant chemicals that can improve how your body processes fat, says Mitchell. (Japanese researchers have studied the effects of green tea on athletic performance and found that it may help boost stamina by improving fat utilisation.) It’s not about burning more fat, but rather becoming better at using fat as fuel, “which is critical when we’re doing a long, steady-state ride and want to go hard at the end,” says Mitchell. He notes that green tea’s bit of caffeine can also benefit cyclists by helping with muscle contraction.

In another Japanese study, researchers found that consuming green tea extract regularly can boost endurance by up to 24 percent; so researchers recommend drinking around four cups daily to see these benefits.

BRW Society Recommended Blend:

Ginseng Upbeat – not only does this tea contain Sencha Green Tea, it also contains Ginseng Root, a key functional ingredient which is one of the most-studied adaptogens out there.  Ginseng is said to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, reduce stress, promote relaxation and treat diabetes.

Matcha

This finely green powder has increased in popularity in the recent years – and you can find a matcha latte on just about any café menu.

Think of it as Green Tea’s Big Brother. “It’s a more concentrated version—in effect, it’s a purer form of the tea, with more of the antioxidants in there than in steeped green tea and more phytonutrients,” says Mitchell.

These higher concentrations of nutrients means it’s great for speeding up post-ride recovery and expediting muscle repair.

BRW Society Recommended Blend:

Organic Superfood – this SUPER blend contains Matcha AND Sencha, to give you that natural energy boost that is FULL of the good stuff! But we didn’t stop there – we threw in some organic ginger, beetroot, raspberries and elderberries to make sure you have a well-rounded superfood beverage that packs a punch!

Rooibos

Loose Rooibos leaf

This herbal tea gets its colour (and name) from a South African shrub. Rooibos is high in antioxidants, says Mitchell. Studies have shown that this type of tea can reduce inflammation, which may help you make a speedy recovery after a tough ride. “We need some damage, some inflammation, for the adaptation from exercise,” says Mitchell. “But if we have a high amount of muscle damage, we’ll take longer to recover. Rooibos tea will help manage excessive damage.” 

BRW Society Recommended Blend:

Organic Reboot – whilst this blend does contain delicious Rooibos, we’ve added in some other organic ingredients such as green mate (type of green tea – hello natural energy!), ginger, fennel, cinnamon, hibiscus, nettle leaves, spirulina to name just a few! Looking for an antioxidant packed drink that tastes as good as it makes you feel? This is it!!

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