Health & Beauty

Recuperation Tea

Ingredients for self-care
Ingredients for self-care

Last time on the Tea For Fitness miniseries, we covered which teas can help inform your cardiovascular goals.

This is a dry, academic way of saying, “We went over which happy sippy drink goes with what kind of sweat, bro, so that you can continue to make gainz in the gymz.”

(In case you ever need to translate Teaspeak into Brocode, I gotcha covered. Comes with the profession.)

Now, on to the third and last installment of my recommendations for tea that best compliments your fitness practices. I find that it’s especially relevant now, at this time of the year. With winter hissing through the cracks in my window— because good New York apartments, bless them, are famously overheated so that even in the winter, you crave the fresh air that an open window brings— you can hear the city in the throes of holiday hustle, and it feels as if everyone is already thinking about New Year’s.

Some folks are vehemently against New Year’s resolutions, so I won’t get into that. The last thing anyone needs is an article preaching at them.

What I will get into, however, is how to take care of yourself.

Self-care is just as important to fitness as any physical exertion you put into it. There’s a great podcast with Jill Miller of Yoga Tune Up that goes into why you need to recover as hard as you train.

Luckily for us, tea can help with that. In fact, it should be as integral a part of your self-care regimen as brushing your teeth. (Which, I hope you do regularly if you’re drinking tea equally regularly.)

Let’s start off with Chamomile. What a classic.

Even if I wasn’t genetically and hereditarily inclined as an Eastern European-mutt to love chamomile, there’s no question that this should be a staple in your pantry for sleepless nights. Especially if you’ve done anything stressful during the day— both physically and otherwise— you need sleep to recover, plain and simple. I’m a firm believer that good, deep sleep can be as nourishing to the body as food.

Studies have showed its power as well. Just check out this article from Time Magazine, detailing the different forms of sleep and dreaming, and their various benefits to the brain, body, and nervous system.

That’s why you need a solid sleep tea. If there’s one thing that you don’t need to think twice about before steeping, it’s chamomile. Some folks may even find it as effective as melatonin, but that will depend on personal experience.

But what if you just don’t like the taste of chamomile, or you need to stay awake at the office where you’re currently procrastinating on that deadline by reading TeaMuse? No judgements there. I’ll give you another option: Daydream.

I’m a sucker for all the Adagio wellness teas, simply because they usually contain all my favorite ingredients without having to blend it myself. But Daydream is an underspoken masterpiece, and I love how Adagio included a guide to all the inclusions and their benefits. So rather than explaining to you all the less-interesting chemical and science stuff, let me just tell the tea like this:

It’s the equivalent of sinking into a meditation cushion in your favorite corner of the room, while gentle guitar music plays in the background and you can just. Be.

Last but hardly least, there’s Bella Luna Blue. Available only during the full moon, it is worth the wait. And I mean, very worth the wait. Just look at the ingredients: lemongrass, butterfly pea flower, and natural blueberry flavor. Focusing on the first two, I have to hand it to Adagio for crafting a tea that’s so simple and yet so full of goodness.

Lemongrass is a potent anti-inflammatory, with calming properties that can relieve stress and insomnia by sending you off into a blissful sleep. While you sleep, the intense anthocyanin action of the butterfly pea flower will help you clear out whatever oxidative stress has accumulated in your body over the course of the day. (Fun fact: you can tell if a plant has anthocyanins by its color. This compound manifests as a reddy-bluey-purpley tone, which we’re familiar with in the form of blueberries, blackberries, and the lovely color of fall leaves when they change from green to red and drift to the ground. It’s also in red cabbage, purple brussel sprouts, and red kale, but isn’t the falling-leaf image more satisfying?)

Hope you enjoyed this list of additions to your self-care arsenal. Catch you next month for more tea and fitness fun!