The famous debate of tea vs. coffee is still going on because new and ground-breaking studies which change our perception of both are revealed regularly. There is also a lot of misleading information and some articles that swear coffee is better while other hail tea. All of that can seem pretty confusing and makes it hard to come up with a definite opinion of which is actually better to drink and good for your health – tea or coffee?
Because people in general are more concerned about what they eat and drink, and are trying to be as healthy as possible, tea and especially coffee have come under scrutiny. Everybody is reviewing their diet and trying to come up with drinks and meal plans that are not only extremely healthy, but have an array of different benefits. Organic food and beverages have become a must while processed and unhealthy ones are avoided. The interest in health is understandable because the quality of our diet, especially in the west, has steadily decreased over the years. This has led to many serious conditions and health concerns including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature death. In order to avoid this type of health issues, we need to be more knowledgeable and careful about what we put into our bodies, as well as exercise regularly.
Along with food, different beverages have become an integral part of our everyday lives. Tea and coffee are certainly the two most popular drinks which most people drink daily. There are many reasons people drink at least one of those two beverages on a regular basis and some are related to different customs, habits, and morning routines. Coffee and tea are also consumed in order to get more energy, feel more awake, concentrate better, lose weight, and feel healthier. But the question is whether you actually get all those benefits you think you’re getting when drinking coffee or tea and are both of them really good for your health? If you’re committed to living a healthy life, you might be interested in which one of these famous beverages is actually proven to be better for your health. Many people have started replacing coffee with tea, but you might wonder is tea really a better choice and is coffee that bad for you or did it just get a bad rep? We’re going to try to answer all of those questions and more and give you a definite answer for the tea vs. coffee debate. So find out which one is better for your health!
Organic vs. Nonorganic
Before we get into which beverage is better to drink, it is important to talk about organic and nonorganic teas and coffee. Regardless of which beverage you drink on a regular basis, make sure it is organic. Organic teas and coffee have a far superior quality and are definitely much better for your overall health. Nonorganic tea leaves and coffee beans are inferior in taste and are often full of harmful substances that could have a negative effect on your body. We recommend that you stay away from those, and consume coffee and tea that is certified as organic and comes from a trusted source.
When thinking about coffee and tea, the taste is probably one of the first things that comes to mind. You might think that the taste is not as crucial in finding out which beverage is healthier, but you’ll be surprised to find out that the flavor can actually tell you a lot about how each beverage affects your body. For instance, we can all taste that coffee is much more bitter and acidic than tea and that can actually have negative effects on your stomach, especially if you’re prone to heartburn or acid reflux. Most teas have a much milder taste and are known to actually soothe the stomach. While herbal teas are made from the roots or flowers of different plants, all other teas (green, black, oolong, white etc.) come from the same plant known as Camellia Sinensis. So there are many varieties and all of them have a very unique taste.
Caffeine content is a big factor in making the decision whether to consume tea or coffee. Although caffeine is the main reason why people drink coffee and tea, more and more people are trying to reduce their caffeine intake or eliminate it completely. That’s a hard thing to do because caffeine is the main reason why that cup of coffee picks you up and gives you that much needed energy boost in the morning. But many studies have shown that caffeine is definitely not good for your health, especially in big quantities. So the question is which beverage has the higher caffeine content, coffee or tea? There is 100 milligrams of caffeine in a regular cup of coffee, while most teas have only 15 – 60. So if you want to decrease your caffeine intake or remove it completely from your diet, tea is definitely a better choice.
The amount of energy you get from tea or coffee is largely influenced by the caffeine content, but not in the way that you might assume. It seems logical that coffee would give you more energy because we have concluded that it has more caffeine that tea. But that’s not exactly right if you take some other things into consideration. Although coffee gives you that noticeable boost, after a couple of hours you come crashing down and feel more tired and exhausted then before. Unfortunately, this is the consequence of ingesting a lot of caffeine. It also works like a drug, the more you take, the more you need to keep that buzz. This is definitely not healthy and many people suffer from awful comedowns after drinking a lot of coffee, while some get depressed as well. So although it seems like coffee is a better choice for feeling alert and concentrated, it is much smarter to consume tea. It does not contain as much caffeine, but it still gives you that awake feeling. And since you’re not over energized, like with coffee, you won’t really feel that caffeine crash later on. Another good thing about tea is that it doesn’t make you jittery and shaky like coffee does, but raises the adrenaline levels only slightly.
When it comes to antioxidants, coffee and tea are pretty tied. Both contain a large number of antioxidants like polyphenols, theaflavin, hydrocinnamic acid, and phytochemicals. Those help the fight against free radicals in your body, as well as protect you against immune disease, inflammation, cancer stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. So there is no real winner here because both coffee and tea are pretty packed with antioxidants.
Coffee is an integral part of many diets and fitness programs who swear that it speeds up the weight loss process. Although coffee might make you feel less hungry, there are no studies that have proven that it has anything to do with losing weight. Not only that, but it was shown that coffee might have an opposite effect. The studies have concluded that eating a high calorie meal or sugar in combination with high levels of caffeine that can be found in coffee makes the fat and sugar stay in the body for a longer period of time, and raise your blood sugar levels. This can be very dangerous and having high blood sugar levels is everything but good for your body and general health. On the other hand, weight loss aided by tea has actually been proven by many studies. Green tea in particular is known to be the go to beverage for shedding a couple of extra pounds. But don’t think that just drinking green tea will get rid of that fat, you still need to eat healthy and exercise. Green tea simply speeds up the weight loss process and makes it easier. One study has shown that obese men and women who consumed four cups of green tea each day have lost more pounds than the ones that did not drink it. So if you’re looking for a beverage that will aid your weight loss efforts and not make it worse, remove coffee from your diet, and stick to delicious green tea (without sugar, of course).
While coffee has some positive effects on oral health like preventing plaque, it is known to stain teeth and produce bad breath, also known as coffee breath. Coffee contains tannin which is responsible for making your teeth yellow and those who have experienced it know how horrible it looks. Bad breath is also a huge problem when it comes to coffee and it’s really hard to eliminate it. If you are concerned about your oral health, tea is a much better choice. All teas are great for improving your gum health, preventing cavities and tooth decay, and reducing plaque. Some teas like mint, for example, actually give you nice breath. So coffee is really bad for your teeth, while tea has the opposite effect and is actually encouraged for maintaining pristine oral health.
How both of these beverage influence our sleep is another important factor when deciding which one is better. Studies have shown that people who drink tea find it much easier to fall asleep, and their sleep quality is also better. That makes a lot of sense and here’s why. Because coffee contains a lot more caffeine, it’s much harder to fall asleep. Drinking one cup of coffee in the morning might be fine, but consuming more than that, especially later in the day, can be very detrimental to your sleep. Caffeine needs time to get out of the body so forget about those afternoon or evening coffees. Tea, on the other hand, contains less caffeine so it doesn’t really interfere with sleeping patterns. And, of course, there are caffeine-free teas that you can drink right before you go to bed if you like. Most teas also have a soothing and calming effect which is perfect to get you in a relaxed state before going to bed.
There are some studies that suggest that drinking coffee might reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This is great news, but unfortunately, coffee can also have some negative effects on your mental health. Although it increases alertness and concentration, which is great, after caffeine has stopped working, people often find themselves in a depressed or anxious state. Tea, however, is known to have a very positive influence on mental health. Firstly, the caffeine content is much lower and you don’t get those extreme highs, but only a slight energy boost. That means there are no crashes afterwards and feelings of depression. Tea is also a perfect beverage for relaxing and relieving stress because it soothes your mind and body. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply drink a cup of your favorite tea and you will feel much better!
The studies that deal with effects of coffee and tea on one’s physical health are often quite confusing and contradictory, but there are some that have been confirmed by multiple studies. Coffee is very good for protecting the liver and lowering your risk of diabetes. It can also have positive effects on your digestive system and improve your metabolism. Drinking tea is great for oral health, reducing inflammation, preventing heart disease, and even lowering the risk of cancer.
The Bottom Line
When we weight out the pros and cons of coffee and tea, it seems like tea comes out as the winner of the long running tea vs. coffee debate. Although coffee has some positive effects, it is not really good for you in the long run. Tea has similar positive effects, and actually more of them, but without all the negative consequences. So if you want to take care of your health and choose a beverage that’s objectively better for you, we have to recommend tea.
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