by Dr. Will Cole
If you’re trying to stick to a new intermittent fasting plan, you’re going to want to see what we’ve learned about tea. Not only can tea make your fasting experience more enjoyable and manageable, but it will actually make your intermittent fasting more effective.
Yes really, tea! You know I’m a huge fan of tea. You also know all those incredible proven benefits you can get from intermittent fasting. Well, drinking the right kind of tea can actually contribute to the health benefits you experience.
Why should I be fasting?
Intermittent fasting is a surprisingly simple and sustainable diet, and it has something for everyone – improving hunger, metabolism, and blood sugar affecting hormones. The benefits are far-reaching and well-documented.
How Tea Enhances Intermittent Fasting
1. Reduces hunger pangs
Especially in the first couple of weeks of intermittent fasting, it can be very normal to experience hunger pangs. Those hunger pangs arise because your system is spoiled and used to being fed every few hours.
Tea can help alleviate these hunger pangs! Green tea catechins have been proven to lower your ghrelin levels. Ghrelin, known as the “hunger hormone,” is what causes these annoying hunger pangs. For many of us, lifestyle, environmental and biological stressors can lead to a hormone imbalance which will actually set off hunger pangs that have nothing to do with a true need to eat.
Tea helps normalize your ghrelin levels by lowering them, and will alleviate this problem and help you adapt to intermittent fasting with minimal discomfort.
2. Aids in weight loss
The fat that green tea catechins help burn is visceral abdominal fat, which is the most unhealthy (and potentially dangerous!) fat that your body stores. Visceral fat is a type of body fat that’s located near several vital organs, like the liver, stomach, and intestines. It is referred to as “active fat” because it can actively increase the risk of serious health problems such as increase insulin resistance. Now, this is the fat you want to get rid of, and green tea helps with that.
3. Promotes autophagy
Your body relies on a process called “autophagy” to clear out old and damaged tissues and cells. Autophagy is necessary to maintain muscle mass, reduce the progression of age-related diseases, and maintain mental health and function.
During a fast, your body is able to focus more energy on the repair functions of autophagy. Drinking tea has been found to enhance the rate of autophagy in your body. This enhanced autophagy is the scientific reason behind why both tea and intermittent fasting have been linked to anti-aging.
4. Detoxifies your body
What makes tea such a unique substance is the antioxidants known as polyphenols that are contained in tea leaves. Polyphenols help fight off free radicals in your body. Polyphenols can help you improve gut health, achieve healthier skin, sustained energy, improved mental clarity, and a stronger immune system.
Tea functions as a natural prebiotic, and is the richest natural source of polyphenols, but you do need to make sure you are getting them in sufficient quantity to experience these detoxification benefits!
Teas That Enhance Intermittent Fasting
Did you know that green tea is considered to be the second healthiest and most consumed beverage in the world, right after water? As mentioned above, the catechins in green tea are proven to aid in the reduction of body fat and LDL cholesterol. Green tea caffeine and catechins work together to boost your metabolic rate and ability to burn fat.
In fact, one study showed that your daily calorie expenditure could increase by up to 4% by drinking green tea. When that increase is happening on a daily basis, it makes more of a difference than you’d think!
The green tea catechins are also potent antioxidants also help reduce inflammation in the body, and moderate our ghrelin levels, so you’ll definitely want to grab a cup anytime you’re hit with hunger pangs or sugar cravings!
While green tea has always claimed the spotlight in the health world, black tea is finally starting to get the recognition it is due. Most people don’t realize that black tea is a very potent prebiotic, excellent for promoting a balanced microbiome and improved gut health!
This might make black tea a great choice for you, because caffeine can not only help give you energy if fasting is causing you to lag, but it also has been shown to increase the rate of autophagy in your body.
The compounds found in black tea have been linked to increased heart health, plus improved digestion and detoxification, and even reduced stress levels by naturally-occurring l-theanine. Black tea contains something called methylxanthine, which boosts your serotonin levels. Increased serotonin leads to improved mood and relaxation.
A tea with added ginger is an excellent option while fasting. Ginger is soothing to the stomach and can help quell your hunger pangs and cravings. Ginger also has the added benefits of improving your digestion and boosting your immune system.
Known to be a potent immunity and detoxification elixir, rooibos tea is an excellent herbal option. Rich in vitamin c (some actually say it has 10x the antioxidants than green tea!), rooibos is great for keeping you strong and healthy while detoxifying your body. Rooibos can also bring balance to cortisol – your body’s main stress hormone.
How Much Tea Do I Need To Drink?
So can you just add a cup of tea to your daily intake and reap these incredible benefits? Not quite. Doctors and nutritionists from around the world actually recommend drinking at least 3 cups of tea per day for reasons in my previous article.
My favorite type of tea is a tea that has been Cold Brewed. A cold brew process extracts all of tea’s polyphenols and catechins by eliminating all the heat so none of them gets destroyed. In fact, a cold-brewed cup of tea contains 2 to 3 times the antioxidants of a hot brewed cup.
I’ve talked about Pique Tea before simply because I love their Tea Crystals but also because of their proprietary Cold Brew Crystallization process that extracts up to 12x the antioxidants of regular tea. Their Tea Crystals have also been Triple Screened for mycotoxins, heavy metals, and toxic mold. So you’re getting the potency, purity, and convenience you deserve. Pique Tea has revolutionized the tea market by introducing the world’s first cold-brewed Tea Crystals.
If you want to learn more about your own health case please check out our free health evaluation. We offer in person as well as phone and webcam consultations for people across the country and around the world.