You want to be healthy.

You want to eat right, exercise regularly, but you just don’t have the time to do it all properly.

working out that Buddha bellyWhile this sounds like what you’d hear at the beginning of a dubious infomercial, there actually is a natural product that really could help you exercise better and stay healthy. That is, of course, tea.

I always talk about how the chemical compounds in tea help keep you healthy, but did you know that tea could actually help to improve your exercise performance?

That’s right, according to a recent study from the good folks at the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, drinking just a few cups a day has been shown to help to not only give you the endurance to work out longer, but also the strength to work out better. The study found that, over 10 weeks, for an athlete weighing approximately 165 pounds and drinking four cups of tea a day, exercise endurance and performance were boosted up to 24%.

The researchers believe that the reason that tea helps you work out better is because certain compounds in tea (known as catechins) encourage the body to increase lipid (fat) utilization, boosting your energy. This means that, by drinking tea before you work out, you actually burn more fat in your exercise!

So put down that sugar-laden energy drink and pick up a delicious cup of tea!