High blood pressure or hypertension is a significant public health concern. Chronic hypertension is often asymptomatic and, if left untreated, can lead to serious health consequences such as heart attack and stroke. Hypertension is highly prevalent, and the CDC estimates that 47% of adults in the United States carry the diagnosis. In the United States alone, it was noted that in 2019, high blood pressure was a significant factor in more than 500,000 deaths.
It is well known that regular exercise and a balanced diet are critical factors in maintaining healthy blood pressure. However, less well known is the effect of green tea on cardiovascular health and high blood pressure. For years, many claims regarding the health benefits of green tea have been reported. Nevertheless, due to a lack of good quality evidence, many of these claims have been left unsupported or undetermined. In January 2021, investigators published the results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial reviewing the impact of green tea, with and without resistance training, on blood pressure.
Following the application of exclusion criteria such as pre-existing disease, a total of 44 women between the ages of 35 and 55 were included in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to a control group, a green tea consumption group, a resistance training group, or a group that received both green tea and resistance training. Results demonstrated significant reductions in metrics such as office-measured systolic blood pressure (SBP) and 24-hour SBP in those who only received resistance training compared to the control group. When green tea was added to resistance training, however, this group showed significant decreases not only in office-measured SBP and 24-hour SBP but also in average blood pressure.
There are certain limitations of this study worth noting, such as a small sample size. In addition, a percentage of participants were also taking beta-blockers at the time of the study, which may have confounded the results. However, taken together, these results suggest that there could be a measurable beneficial effect of resistance training in combination with green tea on blood pressure. Given the significant public health burden associated with high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, further investigation of this relationship is undoubtedly worthwhile.