If you’ve been experiencing aching joints, you might want to give green tea a try.

June 25, 2009


Legend has it that tea was “discovered” by accident, way back in 2737 by Chinese leader and medical expert, Sheng Nong. Apparently, one day while he was boiling water under a tea tree, some of its leaves fell into his pot. Noticing increased vitality from his happy accident, he wrote of the curative powers of the tea leaf.

More than 4700 years later the positive effects of drinking green tea has been well documented by medical experts, Eastern and Western alike. Studies indicate that the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, from which green tea is derived, contain several polyphenolic compounds called catechins, which are also found in grape skins and seeds.

Catechins are the antioxidants credited by researchers and green tea aficionados as being therapeutic for a host of ailments, including cancer, heart disease, liver disease and obesity. In fact, green tea is so popular as a virtual panacea that it is sold in capsule form at health food outlets and drugstores.

For all its well-known curative properties, a recent study finds that the age-old beverage can benefit average Joe’s and hardcore trainers alike in a less commonly known way: as a joint protector.

Evidence suggests that the deterioration of joint cartilage associated with osteoarthritis can be slowed by the catechins found in green tea. In addition, clinical studies indicate that catechins also act as an anti-inflammatory.

So, the next time you find yourself seeing red over a sore elbow or a stiff knee, why not brew a hot cup of green tea? FLEX recommends two or three cups of tea per day, or 270 milligrams of EGCG (a form of the active catechins in green tea) a day in three divided doses. Keep in mind that green tea generally contains a small amount of caffeine, so it’s best consumed early in the day (or preworkout for an added boost).

Tasty, healthy, energizing and good for your aching joints; can you think of any reason you shouldn’t be drinking a nice, hot cup of green tea right now?