What tea is good for sore muscles?

5 teas that can help ease inflammation and muscle pain

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S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
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15 April 2021

What tea is good for sore muscles?

There are several kinds of teas that can benefit sore muscles, including ginger, cinnamon, nettle, green tea and turmeric flavoured teas. These are helpful for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they boast anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, as well as their natural pain-relieving qualities.

1. Ginger

Ginger has been shown to benefit sore muscles, particularly when the problem is caused by exercise. In research, muscle soreness caused by arm strengthening exercises reduced by as much as 25% when ginger was consumed regularly. (1) This has been linked to the anti-inflammatory effects ginger has to offer.

There are also some positive links between ginger and other types of pain. Regular consumption of ginger improved symptoms of osteoarthritis, though the strength of ginger consumed here was fairly high. (2) As well as its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger is antioxidant and slightly analgesic in nature, hence it may have a positive impact on pain and stiffness.

Fresh extracts of ginger are the best way to get the benefits of this spice. So, peel and chop your own and add it straight to hot water with a little lemon, if you enjoy this combination.

2. Cinnamon

Athletes consuming cinnamon powder for six weeks saw a reduction in their muscle pain. In this same study, one group of athletes also consumed ginger and saw similar benefits to their muscle pain. So, when ginger is paired with cinnamon, there is the potential for an even greater reduction in muscle pain! (3)

To make your own cinnamon and ginger tea, boil one cup of water in a pan with one cinnamon stick and one teaspoon of finely grated ginger. Allow to boil for five minutes and then sieve into a cup and enjoy your brew!

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3. Nettle

Nettle has anti-inflammatory benefits and so it too has the potential to improve muscle pain. (4,5). It is also loaded with nutrients, including iron, so is good for energy!

It's not just muscle pain that nettle can benefit, though. In those suffering from pain due to the likes of gout, nettle may help by addressing the build-up of uric acid which is at the root of symptoms like pain and stiffness.

Fresh nettles may be used to make your own tea or there are lots of nettle teas on the market now as well.

4. Green tea

Inflammation can be caused by various factors, including injury or infection, and may contribute to symptoms such as pain and stiffness. With its anti-inflammatory properties, green tea is another option for those experiencing sore muscles, to help bring some relief. (6)

A natural chemical called theanine which is found in green tea may also cause it to have a relaxing effect on the muscles. This is particularly beneficial in times of stress when muscle tension and pain is common. (7)

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is yet another powerful ingredient to look for in your tea to help support sore muscles. It boasts anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain-relieving properties. In research, it's also been seen to ease Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, which is the muscle pain that sometimes occurs in the muscles after trying out a new or particularly intense activity. (8)

Turmeric's benefits come from a compound within the spice called curcumin. This is what provides the noticeable orange colour of the spice. It is also the focus of much of the research surrounding turmeric and muscle pain.

Turmeric tea can be found in many varieties and is readily available from health food stores and supermarkets. You can also make your own turmeric tea by allowing ground turmeric powder to diffuse in boiling water for five minutes or so. Next, sieve the water into a mug.

Adding other ingredients to your turmeric tea, such as lemon, honey, ginger or orange, adds a sweetness to the drink as well. Enjoy!

Is breakfast tea good for sore muscles?

Unfortunately, the nation's favourite brew does not make it on the list of specially selected teas for sore muscles. Breakfast tea has a higher caffeine content than the teas listed above, including green tea which is known to have a little caffeine. A high intake of caffeine can contribute to dehydration which means it is likely to worsen muscle pain. There's also no research to connect breakfast tea with a reduction in muscle pain.

So, stick to fresh herbal teas and keep breakfast tea to a minimum if you are dealing with sore muscles.

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