Tea and Protein Absorption?

Fully oxidized tea leaves for a robust cup.

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Mar 21st, '09, 18:09
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Tea and Protein Absorption?

by joelbct » Mar 21st, '09, 18:09

So I am hittin up the gym more lately, trying to put on some muscle...

I know there are some medical/science professionals and educated laypeople who post here- What are thoughts on Black Tea and Protein Absorption?

Is it really going to hinder my protein digestion significantly if I drink high-Tannin Black Tea like Ceylon or Assam after my Whey or Brown Rice Protein, or paired with a protein-rich meal?

Here is an article published in 2000 with some observations from animal studies, but like most articles it states more research is needed to state any firm conclusion....

Mar 21st, '09, 22:57
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Tea catechins are good for you.

by Intuit » Mar 21st, '09, 22:57

Highly doubtful that your intake of tea is going to affect protein absorption.

Intestinal health is largely dictated by gut microbiota (biofilm) health - and that requires vitamins and nutrients that they use for growth and metabolism, in turn converting many of these substances into cofactors and bioactive vitamins that are needed for OUR heath and well being.

Those foods tend to be vegetable and fruits, consumed with protein, because humans are omnivores (a relatively recent change in diet from herbavorous primate ancestors, circa 1.8 million years ago).

While whey protein is a good source of amino acids, beware the heavily hydrolyzed versions because the amino acid content tends to step up peristaltic action - and that can work against your absorption, most of which occurs in the upper sections of the gut.

Do this: slow it down with a little bit of oil (olive) added to your protein shakes.

I wouldn't worry about tea consumption - use it to your advantage, by consuming it about 20-30 min before a cardio workout.

You want to use cardio as well as anaerobic (weight training) exercises, because they tend to work two different sets of muscle fibers, both of which constitute major skeletal muscle tissue.

Do make sure that you have adequate magnesium and calcium in your diet, in the form of supplements if necessary. Teas can cause loss of magnesium and low calcium will affect muscle tissue and nerve tissue regeneration, post exertion period.

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Mar 22nd, '09, 00:08
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by joelbct » Mar 22nd, '09, 00:08

Thanks Intuit. Yup I try to mix things up in terms of protein, have been taking Jarrow Whey, that brand seems to be pretty high quality. Says on the label that it is not hydrolized.

Usu use brown rice and hemp as well. And Glutamine, which I think everyone should take for all its uses in the human body.

Thanks for reminding me abt the minerals- I have read some studies correlating calcium/iron/magnesium digestion effects w/ tea intake.

And yes I'm aware that our ancestors were herbivores until relatively recently, supposedly our digestive systems are still much more geared more towards vegetable diets when compared to those of true carnivore predators such as lions, tigers, etc. I was a vegan for 4 years and still eat primarily plant-based diet, lots of whole grains+legumes, but not 100% anymore.

Anyway thanks for the info, I won't worry abt the Tea so much. Moderation...

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by silverneedles » Mar 22nd, '09, 12:25

Breakdown of proteins is dependent on enzymes secreted by pancreas and at the brush border of the small intestine.

Absorption of the aminoacids is dependent mostly on Na (sodium) cotransport, and some specific aminoacid receptors & endocytosis. Absorption of the aa will be in the small intestine. Colon is where most of the bacteria is and the colon's role is not absorb proteins, but water and electrolytes.

cant find anything that points out some major (wide-spread) issues inhibiting aa uptake due to tea causing malabsorption or malnutrition.

then again, i imagine you're taking excess protein over the daily required (that would keep the body from using its own proteins), so even if tea even complexes with some protein/aa, overall you'll have more than enough to absorb.

(i was just reading that there still is controversy if athletes really need more protein (>0.8g/kg/day) or not, the bodybuilding side saying of course there is need. This author tho pointed out that something like after about 12 days of same intensity exercise the need for protein stabilizes because the body becomes more efficient in utilization, unless you raise the exercise intensity again)

a couple months back i was working out more intently and gained some muscle fiber so i can lift more than 1 book at a time, but i still drank lots of tea around the day. i dont take supplements, but i do eat more meat (excuse for bbq :D). however, i think most of the gain was when i was doing the weights regularly (almost everyday, except weekend)

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by beecrofter » Mar 22nd, '09, 13:06

I think the problems of protein availability might be a concern if your diet consisted of tea bushes. Plants do produce more tannins and similar chemical defenses when they are under attack by the animals which eat them.
As for your consumption of tea as a beverage consider it a part of your rest, you cannot get strong by working out without sufficient rest.


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Mar 22nd, '09, 13:57
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by shogun89 » Mar 22nd, '09, 13:57

I have a home gym and am doing bulk lifting with protein shakes and all and tea has not seemed to affect me too much, I get about 5 pounds of muscle per month. But then again maybe without tea I could get 7 pounds per month.

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by silvermage2000 » Mar 23rd, '09, 12:35

Well this is really interesting. I am glad that I do not have anything to worry about with drinking the tea.

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Re: Tea and Protein Absorption?

by jayinhk » Nov 17th, '12, 17:23

Interesting thread! I'm getting back into martial arts and calisthenics after a hiatus of several months and I think tea is actually helping. It pretty much alleviates stomach ailments for me.

Raw pu-erh increases my appetite like crazy, so I could eat twice as much drinking sheng or even good traditionally-stored shu.

Dancong gives me a great workout boost (unbelievable)!

Liu an keeps me up all night if I drink it--might be another alternative for daytime drinking.

Shu settles my stomach.

High fire tieguanyin helps me sleep! Not sure what it is, but it really gives me a sense of sleepy wellbeing.

As an addendum, increased appetite, a more settled stomach (no more IBS), more energy and better sleep are all good things for me, so if anything, tea is one heck of a supplement!

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Nov 20th, '12, 20:59
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Re: Tea and Protein Absorption?

by wyardley » Nov 20th, '12, 20:59

I think tea can cause some problems with iron or calcium absorption, if you have strong tea in large amounts. I doubt it's a huge deal unless your intake of any of these nutrients is really shockingly low, or your intake of tea or other caffeine is shockingly high.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/29216 ... bsorption/

I personally try to avoid drinking strong tea with meals. Ideally, you should probably wait a few hours before / after meals, but that's not always practical.

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Nov 20th, '12, 21:11
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Re: Tea and Protein Absorption?

by jayinhk » Nov 20th, '12, 21:11

I think I'll up my whole milk intake: it's an excellent and cheap protein source, I'm not lactose intolerant and the calcium should help offset the absorption issues posed by tea consumption. I do drink a fair bit of tea every day.

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