Saturday, February 05, 2005

Green, Green Tea of Home

Friday morning I headed up the UBC Hill and cranked out 15.5K in 1:31:38. When I stepped out of my front door it was a gloriously sunny day. I slipped a windbreaker over a short-sleeve shirt more out of habit than necessity and headed out. I was mightily glad for it within the first mile. I had a rude awakening when I turned to follow the beach along Spanish Banks.

The clear, sunny skies over 4th and McDonald had given me no inkling about the stiff breeze I soon encountered coming off the water. English Bay was frosted over with white caps and on the beach a group of para sailors was being pulled over the sand by the kites they had aloft. And when I mean pulled, I mean literally dragged as if they were attached to mules pulling a plow. I estimated that the wind was gusting to 25 and 30 knots and I had to lean in to it to make my way. An occasional gust that seemed hand-delivered from the Cnanadian Arctic would snatch the breath from me and I dreaded the thought of having to run home into the wind. But into the wind heading out meant that it would be at my back heading home, so off I went.

Every runner I encountered seemed to be relishing running in such conditions and I couldn’t remember being greeted by so many smiles. The wind was making everyone’s jackets flap and snap like flags and it just lent an infectious air of craziness to the whole proceeding. Nuts, of course we were nuts, but you had to appreciate the craziness of running through it all. And coming home, it was like I had my spinnaker up. I sailed home, feet flying, legs light, head held high. Heart rate a steady 148 BPM.

On Thursday I had checked out green tea supplements at several vitamin and supplements stores. After doing some comparison-shopping and double-checking of the labels, I made my purchase and headed home. My particular Green Tea Extract promised “High Potency”, “95% Polyphenols”, “60% Catechins” , each capsule 300 mg, and recommended 1 to 3 tablets per day with meals.

At 4:00pm, it was a little early for dinner, so I washed down three tablets with every expectation that thermogenisis was happily under way. Twelve hours later I was still up. And pacing my apartment. And my body gave no indication of wanting sleep any time soon. What was up? Usually after running hard on Tuesday and Wednesday nights I sleep like a baby. Or an old man.

I rechecked the bottle and read the fine print, ONE CAPSULE EQUIVALENT TO 8 TO 10 CUPS of GREEN TEA. Egad, I had consumed 24 to 30 cups of green tea. All the studies I had been reading had said, a minimum of four cups a day was required to get the benefits of green tea, and I couldn’t help but think I had gone a little overboard in all too typical fashion. But the Japanese study about the effect of green tea on fat burning had mentioned that participants were taking 625mg of catechins per day. Yikes! I’ll have to fire off a few e-mails to some nutritionists involved in the study and see what’s what.

I now take my green tea capsules (two), first thing in the morning, with breakfast and my vitamins. And I'm back to sleeoing at night.


Blogger Kathleen said...

Just wondering have you come across info on Matcha? and does it have the same good qualities of the regular green tea?

12:12:00 PM  

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