The age-old debate. Which is better? Tea or coffee?
Avid drinkers on both sides swear that their beverage of choice is the best. Coffee tastes better, tea is more versatile, coffee gives a better pick-me-up, tea offers more health benefits. Whatever the reason, everyone has a reason for preferring one over the other.
But what about your health? Is one really better than the other for your well-being?
Let's compare tea vs coffee side-by-side to find out!
Of course, both tea and coffee contain caffeine. It's generally known that tea contains less caffeine than coffee. But do you know how much of a difference there is?
There is a range, of course, depending on the type of tea or coffee that you're drinking. But an 8 oz cup of brewed black coffee contains between 95-165 mg of caffeine, while 8 ounces of black tea contains only 25-48 mg. The levels are even lower in green tea with only 25-29 mg. That's a big difference!
But how much caffeine is too much? The simple fact that coffee has more caffeine doesn't make it worse for you, right?
Well, if you're drinking more than 400mg of caffeine a day, you're going to want to consider cutting back. That means that depending on the coffee you drink, even three cups a day is too much. Alternatively, even at the high end of the black tea range, you can have eight cups of tea before you start getting an unhealthy amount.
While both tea and coffee contain the same stimulant, caffeine, it affects the body differently. The body absorbs the caffeine in coffee much quicker, giving you a jolt of energy virtually instantaneously.
Tea, however, contains an amino acid called L-theanine. This amino acid slows the absorption of caffeine. Thus, you receive a more steady flow of energy over a longer period of time.
This amino acid also helps reduce anxiety and make you feel relaxed, but not drowsy. In combination with caffeine (like in a cup of tea!), it can improve focus and attention.
Antioxidants are big news in the health world. There are many fantastic claims that antioxidants can do everything from preventing cancer to reversing the effects of aging. Regardless of how true some of the more far-reaching claims are, antioxidants are good for you and it's good to get them in your diet.
Both coffee and tea have antioxidants, but is one better than the other?
Tea is chock full of antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables are often touted as the richest sources of antioxidants. Tea, however, is estimated to have about 10 times the amount. This varies, of course, depending on the type of tea and fruit or vegetable being compared.
Coffee is also a rich source of antioxidants. In fact, many coffee drinkers decide that's a good reason to up their coffee intake.
But, remember the caffeine levels that we talked about? Upping your coffee intake for the antioxidants also ups the amount of caffeine you're getting. However, you can drink far more tea and enjoy the benefits of the antioxidants without getting nearly as much caffeine.
A surprising phenomenon that still requires more research is the relationship between bone density and drinking tea and coffee. There is some indication that drinking coffee can have a negative effect on bone density. In some cases, it can increase the chances of developing osteoporosis, especially in women.
One theory is that the caffeine in coffee is responsible for this phenomenon. However, the same results are not seen with drinking tea. In fact, there is some indication that drinking tea actually helps promote strong bones.
More research is necessary to understand the underlying causes. But tea is a winner over coffee when it comes to maintaining strong bones, whatever the reason for it.
Both coffee and tea seem to have an effect on weight loss but in different ways. The stimulants in a cup of coffee can give your metabolism a boost and give you more energy to exercise more throughout the day.
However, the effect seems to be short-lived. People who drink coffee daily tend to develop a tolerance and the effects drop off after a couple of weeks. Thus if you want to use coffee for weight loss you'd have to cycle your intake. For example, drink coffee for a couple weeks, don't drink coffee for a couple weeks and so on.
Tea, on the other hand, seems to have a more positive effect. Research indicates that tea drinkers tend to have less body fat overall. But the underlying reason is not crystal clear.
Some studies indicate that tea can help improve the metabolism of fat and even help prevent it from forming. Another theory is that people who drink more tea tend to drink less sugary drinks or sodas.
So, the jury's still out on why but if you want to bolster your weight loss efforts a few cups of tea seems to be a good way to do it.
What do you think? Which is the winner for you in the tea vs coffee debate?
Both offer some great health benefits, but tea seems to come out on top. The negative effects of caffeine cannot be denied. You can enjoy more cups of tea (and get more of the benefits!) than of coffee because of the caffeine levels. Plus, for strong bones and weight loss, tea is a clear winner.
Does all this talk of tea have you hankering for a cup? Us too! Check out our fabulous selection of delicious teas to find the perfect flavor for you!
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