One of the best things about living in the DC Metro area is the size, access and sheer beauty of Rock Creek Park. New York City may claim grandeur with Central Park, yet for a more majestic urban park you can't beat Rock Creek Park in DC. In fact, it is more than twice as large as Central Park (1,700 acres vs. 843 acres).
With sections of the park being car-free on weekends, Rock Creek Park isn't just for hiking, picnics and nature trails but offers an amazing 20 mile loop around the park, partly along the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT), for bicyclists and runners who are training for local marathons like the spring USA Rock 'n Roll Marathon in DC on March 17 and the fall Marine Corps Marathon (both of which sold out this year!). Add to these two races, two triathlons in DC and a host of other races and events of shorter distances and it is easy to see how so many people are able to sustain high levels of fitness with outdoor exercise using Rock Creek Park and other regional parks from Baltimore, MD to Alexandria and points south in Virginia.
What does this have to do with tea you might be wondering? First is the correlation found in research between drinking tea and a wide range of health benefits which is of interest to many people. While there are many positive influences on the body from drinking tea, it can't overcome an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. Drinking tea is a positive change from drinking artifically or heavily sweetened beverages in reducing empty calories and the flavonoids found in tea help fight against heart disease while the catechin antioxidants help promote weight loss. Yet, tea alone isn't a substitute for some health benefits that can only be accrued through physical activity.
Which leads to the topic of which teas to drink as a healthier beverage to stay hydrated during those runs and miles on a bicycle along the Capital Crescent Trail. Tea hydrates as well as water and provides a host of other benefits, this is according to a new study which corrects the misconception that drinking tea dehydrates the body. An added bonus is that the moderate, easily digested levels of caffeine in tea are a boost to athletic performance. For recovery after exercise, the antioxidants in tea help soothe inflammation, whether in black or green teas or powerhouse botanical Hibiscus tea which is caffeine-free.
As you finish that next walk, stroll (or soon the viewing of the cherry blossoms during the Cherry Blossom Festival), or that long run or 20 mile bike ride into downtown Bethesda, remember to turn right for recovery and head to Zen Tara Tea, on the the right side of Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont and Wisconsin Avenues. With indoor seating and a long outdoor planter wall at seating height, we're the perfect alternative to the long lines and crowded benches that are right off the Capital Crescent Trail break at Bethesda Bagel and Quartermaine Coffee. Next time go right instead of left and relax a little with us, you deserve it!