Green tea consumption after intense taekwondo training enhances salivary defense factors and antibacterial capacity

PLoS One. 2014 Jan 30;9(1):e87580. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087580. eCollection 2014.


The aim of this study was to investigate the short-term effects of green tea consumption on selected salivary defense proteins, antibacterial capacity and anti-oxidation activity in taekwondo (TKD) athletes, following intensive training. Twenty-two TKD athletes performed a 2-hr TKD training session. After training, participants ingested green tea (T, caffeine 6 mg/kg and catechins 22 mg/kg) or an equal volume of water (W). Saliva samples were collected at three time points: before training (BT-T; BT-W), immediately after training (AT-T; AT-W), and 30 min after drinking green tea or water (Rec-T; Rec-W). Salivary total protein, immunoglobulin A (SIgA), lactoferrin, α-amylase activity, free radical scavenger activity (FRSA) and antibacterial capacity were measured. Salivary total protein, lactoferrin, SIgA concentrations and α-amylase activity increased significantly immediately after intensive TKD training. After tea drinking and 30 min rest, α-amylase activity and the ratio of α-amylase to total protein were significantly higher than before and after training. In addition, salivary antibacterial capacity was not affected by intense training, but green tea consumption after training enhanced salivary antibacterial capacity. Additionally, we observed that salivary FRSA was markedly suppressed immediately after training and quickly returned to pre-exercise values, regardless of which fluid was consumed. Our results show that green tea consumption significantly enhances the activity of α-amylase and salivary antibacterial capacity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / metabolism*
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Athletes
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Free Radical Scavengers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin A / metabolism
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism
  • Male
  • Martial Arts / physiology*
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides / metabolism*
  • Tea / metabolism*
  • Young Adult
  • alpha-Amylases / metabolism


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Free Radical Scavengers
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Salivary Proteins and Peptides
  • Tea
  • alpha-Amylases
  • Lactoferrin

Grant support

This study was supported by NSC 101-2628-H-028-002-MY3 granted by National Science Council, R. O. C. and the Scientific Research (A) 23240097 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports Science and Technology of Japan. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.