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After water, tea is the most popular beverage on earth. And though water is super healthy, tea may even be healthier. Rich in health-promoting substances, tea is over a thousand years old yet is still killing the beverage game.

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Antioxidants and tea are BFF’s, so the more you can incorporate these powerful leaves into your diet, the better. So let’s do it – it’s time to turn over a new leaf and start using these RAD plants in several fun ways.

Nothing beats curling up after a long day with a cup of tea nestled between your hands. However “tea time” is honestly pumped up “me time,” due to the amazing affects it has on the body. It can boost heart health, bone strength, metabolism and even mood and energy levels. In fact, one recent study showed that tea drinkers have improved accuracy and attention when switching between tasks. So beauties, before you energy dips, I suggest you take a sip.

#1 Heat Things Up With It

Speaking of which – there are some steep perks when it comes to sipping more tea beauties. Whether you like your herbal refreshment white, green, oolong, black etc. understand that one to three cups a day can lower your risk of high blood pressure, mental decline, cardiovascular disease and even breast cancer. So, if you’re ready to start drinking to your health here are a few things to know about hot tea:

Loosen Things Up.

Bagged tea is cool, but loose and free tea leaves yield the most health benefits and flavor.

Check The Temp.

Now that your kettle is boiling and ready the real question is – is it really? Simple rule when it comes to proper tea temperatures – the lighter the tea the cooler the water. So in proper order, white (155º) green (165º) oolong (200º) and black/herbal (212º).

Time It Out:

The tea is loose, the temp is right, now on to steeping time. Well, while each tea has a specific steeping time, three to five minutes is a safe universal guideline. But don’t freak out. If you over steep just add back a little more water.

#2 Chill Out With It

Hot tea’s not your thing? Well then, drink yours cold then lady. Iced tea still packs the benefits of hot tea, but the key is preparation. First of all, don’t use boiling water. This will cause a chemical reaction and is bound to turn your healthy treat into a not so flavorful concoction. So get yourself a cold tea infuser, go easy on the sugar and enjoy. No infuser, no problem. Just add cold water to your tea and chill for eight to 12 hours.

#3 Refuel With It

Move over sports drinks, green tea is totally the new pre-workout beverage. Naturally pumped up with metabolism revving caffeine and the oh so fabulous antioxidant ECGG, green tea is the perfect workout refreshment. In fact, one study showed that exercisers blasted more fat during a half-hour workout when they consumed tea beforehand. Can you say hello workout boo Earl Grey!

#4 Rub Things Down With It

Did you know you could use your favorite herbal treat on your meat. Yep, tea is great as a rub. Mix a couple tablespoons of your fave with some citrus zest, one teaspoon of ginger and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pow – your olive oil prepped protein is now on pro culinary level. Trust. Your friends will be wowed.

#5 Soak Things In It

Tired of bland (fill in the blank). Well then bring some fun back to your favorite food’s flavor by swapping out whatever liquid it calls for for some tea. For instance I love green tea in my green smoothies, whole grains cooked in tea is super RAD too, and when the time comes to rehydrate dried fruit or mushrooms, I call on some brewed herbal goodness asap.

#6 Bake With It

Add flavor without extra calories to your favorite baked goods by throwing in some tea here too boo. By adding one to two tablespoons of ground tea leaves per cup of flour, your muffins, cakes and other treats will be forever transformed. Or if you really want to jazz things up, add tea-infused milk to a batter by steeping two teaspoons of tea in eight ounces of hot milk for 10 to 15 minutes. Hello light snack to enjoy with that “tea time/me time.”

Robbie Ann Darby (RAD Experience) is a professional FitGirl, Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer in NYC. Follow her sweaty life on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more fun health and fitness tips!


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