Tea and coffee are more than drinks to many people; the beverages create social circles and individual habits. For many, being a coffee or tea drinker is part of their identity. Regardless of how strongly you feel about either beverage, there are health benefits to each, suggesting the apparent cult followings are not as out there as some may believe. Coffee and tea can make a person feel better physically and mentally. The aromas and mixtures of antioxidants and caffeine affect the drinker in usually positive ways.
Despite both drinks having identifiable benefits, proponents for each cannot help but argue their drink of choice is the best and healthiest option. Who is right? Is coffee or tea the healthier and more beneficial drink?
Coffee Versus Tea
Studies suggest coffee can benefit heart health. According to one recent report, people who drink caffeinated coffee are less likely to experience heart failure compared to those who do not drink coffee.
Tea may also benefit heart health, but with limited research on tea and heart failure, it is impossible to state equivalent benefits to coffee. Therefore, coffee is a better choice for people with severe heart conditions.
It is crucial to note that researchers tied the heart health benefits of coffee to caffeine. Coffee has nearly two times the amount of caffeine as tea, which some may view as a benefit because the substance can improve mental alertness and athletic performance.
Finally, while coffee and tea contain antioxidants, coffee has a specific compound, chlorogenic acid or CGA. Studies show that CGA can slow the growth of particular cancer cells.
Tea Versus Coffee
According to a 2019 study, tea can reduce the risk of chronic disease. The study focused on people who consume two to three cups of tea daily. The results indicate that frequent tea drinkers experience a reduced risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and premature death.
Also, tea contains more antioxidants than coffee. While it may not have CGA like coffee, it still has several beneficial antioxidants, which can lower the risks of cancers, chronic diseases, and inflammation.
Finally, tea has less caffeine than coffee. Caffeine can improve alertness and athletic performance, but too much of it can increase anxiety, stress, and sleep disturbances. Also, doctors often advise pregnant or nursing mothers to limit their caffeine intake.
No one can deny that coffee and tea have similar health benefits. However, the benefits pertain to the plain drinks. What people add to their coffee or tea can eliminate or overshadow potential health benefits. Sugar, syrup, milk, cream, etc., can ruin the advantages of the drink.
Also, one must consider caffeine. The FDA suggests keeping daily caffeine consumption below 400 mg. A single black cup of coffee contains 95 mg. How many cups of coffee do you drink? Are they black or specialty coffees? Some coffee drinks can have as much as 500 mg.
Tea, in terms of overall benefits and caffeine, is the winner. It is a healthier option than coffee, especially when talking about green or black tea. An average cup of tea contains only 26 mg of caffeine.
Remember, both beverages are healthy choices, as long as you drink them as they are. Still, before making any drink a regular part of your diet, please speak to your doctor or a licensed nutritionist about its benefits and risks.