Tea or Coffee: Which Is Better for Your Health?

by Robert James

Young woman coffee portrait.

Tea or coffee? When you ask this question you’re probably split between which drink will make you healthier at the moment or perhaps you want to make sure you drink the right stuff that give more perks in the long run.

While water will always be the healthiest thing we can swish inside our cups, it doesn’t hurt to try to see which favorite drink will help you get more each time you drink a cup or two. It also won’t hurt to find out which side should switch places too.

Which one would be the better drink? Tea or Coffee? Let’s find out:

Perks of Tea

1. Polyphenols

Tea is popularly known for its polyphenol content. Polyphenols, such as catechins, and flavonoids, function as potent antioxidants which can act as protection against cancer-causing cells.

Results from studies in rats, mice, and hamsters showed that tea consumption protects against lung, forestomach, esophagus, duodenum, pancreas, liver, breast, colon, and skin cancers induced by chemical carcinogens.

2. EGCG

Perhaps the most important polyphenol, EGCG or Epigallocatechin Gallate, is what separates tea from coffee when it comes to health benefits. EGCG has been proven capable of doing the following:

  • Fights cancer
  • Burns fat
  • Prevents heart disease
  • Protects the skin

Those and many other functions. To take advantage of this benefit, make sure the tea you get are white or green as these are the types of tea that underwent the least amount of processing. Chai Tea is pretty healthy for you too.

3. Brain function

Green tea can act as a stimulant. It contains caffeine just like coffee but in smaller amounts. It also has L-theanine, a substance known to increase brain activity. Caffeine and L-theanine gives the tea drinker a “mild buzz” which is often enough to provide brain stimulation and improve overall brain function.

4. Diabetes

Studies confirm green tea’s effects on improving insulin sensitivity which helps reduce blood sugar levels.

Green tea significantly lowered fasting glucose and hemoglobin concentrations, and the results of our stratified analyses suggested that green tea may also reduce fasting insulin concentrations.

Perks of Coffee

1. Brain boost

When you think of coffee you almost instantly remember the word caffeine. Caffeine is the most consumed stimulant in the world and that’s mostly due to how everyone seems to can’t wait to get their cup of coffee in the morning.

Caffeine is an effective brain stimulant due to how it blocks adenosine, an inhibitory transmitter. By doing this, it inadvertently increases norepinephrine and dopamine levels in the brain which leads to a boost in brain activity and function.

2. Metabolism

Drinking coffee might help you burn more fat due to how it can boost the metabolic rate by as much as 11%!

Measurements of energy expenditure in a room respirometer indicate that repeated caffeine administration (100 mg) at 2-h intervals over a 12-h day period increased the energy expenditure of both subject groups by 8-11%

3. Nutrients

Coffee has the following nutrients in every cup.

  • Riboflavin
  • Panthothenic acid
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Niacin
  • Potassium

While these are available at relatively low amounts, not more than 6% for most and depending on processing of beans, drinking more than a cup or two can quickly make these nutrients add up in your diet.

4. Alzheimer’s disease

It seems stimulating brain function can do plenty of wonders as you age. Coffee has been shown to actually reduce the risk of acquiring dementia in the form of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Verdict: Tea or Coffee? Why not both?

Consuming both tea and coffee has been found to be healthy for the human body and has benefits far beyond what most people know. The only drawback is the possible side-effects associated with ingesting too much of any drink. Too much tea can mostly lead to similar effects of consuming too much coffee as they both have caffeine.

Some of the side effects include jitteriness, anxiety, sleeplessness, and irritability. People can also experience what we call “crashing” or when the caffeine finally subsides and you find yourself suddenly too sleepy or tired for no reason.

It seems the choice between tea or coffee all boils down to how much buzz you need. Tea can offer a mild way to stimulate the brain while coffee can be an effective way to not just wake you up but to get your body functioning in a more optimal manner.

Whether you drink tea or coffee, the health benefits will definitely be worth every cup. For best results, why not drink both?

(Robert James is  a food scientist, fitness and health aficionado as well as an investor who  likes to tell people how to grow their money and how to naturally lose body fat. Robert owns Fit And Write, a website catered to his passion to write about health and fitness. His main weapon against weakness is the kettle bell. His facebook page is facebook.com/fitandwrite.)

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