Ever since I started getting involved with the health and fitness industry, the health benefits of green tea were something I heard about endlessly. In fitness magazines, from other personal trainers and nutritionists as well as many athletes. So what is it about green tea? Firstly, it is packed full of antioxidants. Green tea is full of polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants are beneficial for keeping the levels of free radicals caused by oxidation in the body low, and maintaining good health. Epigallocatechin Gallate (ECGC) is one of the most powerful antioxidants and is found in green tea. Various studies have shown the effects of ECGC have been up to 1000 times more beneficial than Vitamin E in fighting the harmful effects of free radicals in the body.
Drink or Supplement?
For me this was simple. After drinking green tea I quickly became hooked. It's natural and fresh taste is a great way to start the day and is great for staying hydrated. However, like any product, there are many green tea products that are far better than others. For example, head to your local supermarket and pick up the value brand of green tea, the chances are the quality of the ingredients involved won't reap the health benefits that others might. My personal favourite is from a company called teapigs. Teapigs offer a variety of different tea's and are passionate about inspiring the nation to drink real tea! Their tea is made in biodegradable tea temples and contains space to enable the tea leaves to infuse properly!
Teapigs Mao Feng Green Tea Temples have become an everyday essential for me! They contain fresh whole tea leaves instead to contain as much of the natural goodness possible! All you need is hot water and 3 minutes of infusion and you can enjoy the natural flavour of mao feng green tea! I highly recommend this product! To all green tea enthusiasts or to anyone who has never tried green tea before! I have tried many different types of green tea but so far this is my absolute favourite!
So what about supplements?
Some of you may be reading this, having previously heard about green tea benefits but just be thinking that it's really not for you. Maybe you tried it and weren't convinced with the taste, or maybe you just don't like drinking hot drinks. You want the health benefits of green tea but really don't want to drink green tea itself. Well there is an alternative. Green tea supplements contain all of the natural ingredients found in green tea and often contain them in higher quantities. I decided to put it to the test, and swapped my green tea drink for Mega Green Tea Extract supplements from My Protein. These supplements from My Protein contain 98% total Polyphenols and 50% ECGC, which can be as much as drinking 8-9 cups of green tea, all contained in one small supplement. The supplement also claims to be useful as a weight loss and fat burning supplement, due to the thermogenic effects of green tea.
My opinion? The supplement was a lot better than I expected it to be! Although I missed my daily fresh taste of a green tea drink, it still gave me the same natural feeling of energy I get from drinking green tea. It also seemed to be beneficial in aiding digestion as it claims to do on the website. However, I don't believe that these green tea supplements are enough to be labelled a fat burner. Although helping to feel fresh and energised, the green tea supplement is more of an antioxidant health additive than a fat burning supplement. If you don't like the taste of green tea, I would highly recommend these supplements as a way of encorporating the powerful antioxidants found in green tea into your diet. However, if you are looking to use this as a fat burner, you may wish to look elsewhere. Supplements aid fat burning, but the key to successful fat burning is much more likely to be found in the gym than in a pot of green tea extract supplements!
If you do one thing today, my advice would be to go green! I decided to and I have never looked back!
Teapigs Mao Feng Green Tea can be found at www.teapigs.co.uk
My Protein Mega Green Tea Extract can be found at www.myprotein.com
Monday, 30 December 2013
Shaun T's Insanity DVD is based on Max Interval Training and claims to be "the hardest workout ever put on DVD". It also comes with a 60 day money back guarantee, so if you decide to buy the programme and don't see results, you're guaranteed your money back. Some individuals have claimed to have lost 21kg in 60 days just from the Insanity DVD.
The Insanity complete package includes a nutrition diary and workout diary to keep you on track and to allow you to monitor progress. As part of the workout, it also includes a fit test that has to be done every two weeks, allowing you to record the results you get in the test and compare your performance every two weeks throughout the whole programme. To me, this is the most beneficial part of the Insanity programme. One major reason that individuals tend to drop out of exercise programmes is because they don't see themselves achieving their goals. They decide to head to the gym to "lose weight" or "tone up" without ever really realising how to achieve it. After a few weeks, the numbers on the scales don't show a lot of difference and they decide to drop out. Goal setting requires a lot of specificity, as well as breaking down your goal into smaller chunks to enable you to monitor progress. This is exactly what Insanity does, it provides you with a long term goal and then specific goals that can be assessed every two weeks to show you just how far you've come. Seeing improved results after two weeks will boost motivation and confidence, and inspire you to stick with the programme to see how much further you can go!
The complete package includes:
- Insanity Journal
- Insanity Workout Calendar
- Insanity Workout Schedule
- Fit Test Results Recording Sheet
- Fit Test
- Plyometric Cardio Circuit
- Cardio Power & Resistance
- Cardio Recovery
- Pure Cardio
- Cardio Abs
- Core Cardio and Balance
- Max Interval Circuit
- Max Interval Plyo
- Max Cardio Conditioning
- Max Recovery
- Insane Abs
- Max Interval Sports Training
- Upper Body Weight Training
As you can see from the extensive list above, the Insanity programme includes a lot of variation to keep you focused and differs from the repetitiveness of other workout DVD's. If done correctly, High Intensity Exercise is hugely successful in causing a reduction in body fat percentage. Take a look at Olympic Sprint Athletes, all you have to do is look at the bodies on all of the athletes to notice that the high intensity training they complete (along with other training) has allowed them to get their body fat percentage to extremely low levels, in order to compete internationally. I'm not saying that after 60 days of Insanity you're going to wake up and look like Jessica Ennis, but if you're new to high intensity exercise, you are bound to see results!
So far I've only completed a few days of Insanity, and I have to say I'm enjoying it so far! I'm used to a lot of high intensity conditioning, so I'm not sure about how effective the results will be for me, but I will post a review after 30 days and again at the end of the programme! So far I think it's a convenient way to workout at home, and to see results in a short amount of time! For more updates on progress and opinions on results, watch this space!
Gym. Training. Nutrition.