Green tea promotes healthy runners, according to a new study. The study, by David Niemann, Ph.D. and six other authors, examined the consumption of green tea and blueberry polyphenols and its impact on the ability of hard-training runners to resist upper respiratory infections. Other studies have indicated that hard-training runners are susceptible to upper respiratory infections.
“[Our] results indicate that polyphenol complexes containing blueberry and green tea have the potential to protect athletes from virus infections following rigorous exercise,” the researchers concluded. In the study, the blood serum of runners who consumed a daily supplement of a blueberry-green tea-polyphenol complex demonstrated superior anti-viral properties to the blood serum of runners who were given a placebo.
In an interview published by Runner’s World, Nieman said, “The runners on the blueberry plus green tea extract product, versus the placebo runners, had higher levels of gut-derived polyphenols in their blood. We believe that these exerted the anti-viral influences.”
The Runner’s World article includes a video with more information on how green tea helps runners.
The study, “The Protective Effects of a Polyphenol-Enriched Protein Powder on Exercise-Induced Susceptibility to Virus Infection,” was published in August 2014.