Coffee vs. Tea
To some, coffee is an essential part of the day, helping us to feel less tired, easing headaches and increasing our motivation. However, it is tea that is the most popular beverage in the world (after water). Tea from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis creates white, black and green tea originated in China in 2737 BCE. Coffee appeared much later, originating in the Ethiopian highlands and arriving in Europe in the 17th century. Both coffee and tea have been researched for their health benefits, but many of these studies are contradictory.
Coffee – Benefits
Harvard School of Public Health analysed the overall effect of coffee on health and concluded that it caused no serious health problems or had any specific health benefits.
Some studies conclude that coffee might have the ability to reduce the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, lessen the risk of dying from heart disesase and perhaps halt the development of type 2 diabetes.
Coffee is better for stimulating your muscles than tea, helping you power through more reps and so build muscle.
Coffee – Disadvantages
Over 1000 chemicals have been found in roasted coffee with 19 being known carcinogens
High amounts of unfiltered coffee has been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol, LDL.
Tea – Benefits
Tea from the camellia sinensis plant is known to contain polyphenol compounds, antioxidants with potential cancer-fighting properties.
Tea has often been considered a therapeutic or medicinal drink This may be due to the L-Theanine compound in tea that has both soothing and rejuvenating qualities. People who drink black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Tea may help repair the immune system and prevent prostate cancer.
If you want to lose weight then tea is your beverage of choice. Green tea is considered the most effective in helping shrink fat cells and making muscle cells more active.
Tea – Disadvantages
Tea contains fluoride, and while this is good for dental health, too much may increases the risk of brittle bones and osteofluorosis.
Certain tea blends from China, India, or Sri Lanka have been found to be contaminated with traces of aluminum and lead.
Adding milk into tea completely removes any health benefits. De-caffinated tea has significantly fewer beneficial antioxidants than regular tea.
Tea contains a large amount of tannin. Tania reduces the absorption of iron in the body which can lead to anaemia
Note: Herbal teas are infusions of flowers, roots etc. and so do not contain the health-promoting polyphenol compounds. The exception to the rule is Rooibos tea that contains quercetin, an antioxidant that benefits heart health and can act as an anti-inflammatory. Herbal teas are better than drinking soda and juice.
Caffeine – Benefits
Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, though coffee usually more than tea. Caffeine acts as a stimulant which may have a physical health benefit for people with asthma by relaxing the lung’s airways.
Caffiene has also been shown to constrict blood vessels in the brain helping to reduce migraines.
Caffeine – Disadvantages
Drinking too much tea or tea may increase anxiety, tachycardia, heart palpitations, insomnia, restlessness and nausea,
Your choice of coffee or tea is personal. Whilst each may have some suggested beneficial effects, they are unlikely to prevent any future illness. It is likely that the milk and sugar you put in your beverage will impact your health much more than the hot drink itself.