Have you ever wondered why some people drink coffee and others drink tea?
And heck, some people even drink both.
At first glance, it would seem that these two drinks are pretty much interchangeable, but the truth is that they’re actually quite different, which of course begs the question…
Which one is healthier for you?
That’s exactly the question I was asked yesterday morning when a long-time patient came in for his monthly visit. He had switched back and forth between the two several times over the course of the past decade and was looking to settle the matter once and for all.
If you’ve been wondering the same thing, then keep reading until the end of this article…
Because I’m going to give you a deep dive down to the bottom of both cups to show you how the benefits of each stack up against each other. In this corner, we’ve got…
Java, Go Juice, Cuppa Joe – It’s All COFFEE!!
When you reach for that first cup in the morning, you’re probably not thinking about whether it’s better than tea or not – you’re just looking for that quick jolt of energy that coffee provides.
As soon as the caffeine from those first sips of coffee makes it to your bloodstream, you already start noticing the effects:
- More alertness
- Focused concentration
- And a better mood.
And it’s that feeling of having more energy and being more mentally alert that makes coffee the most commonly used stimulant in the world!
Not only that, but the energy kick you get is stronger than you imagine.
When you drink coffee, it releases adrenaline into your blood. That’s why many athletes include coffee into their pre-game and pre-training routines.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I drink coffee on an almost daily basis, though not as the first thing in the morning. I’ll explain when and how I drink coffee a little bit later, but first I want to explain more about coffee’s positive effects…
The good news is that a dose of energy and a lifted mood are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to coffee’s health benefits…
And it’ll likely surprise you to learn that coffee actually has…
Yep, that’s right. Coffee doesn’t just contain caffeine – it actually has Vitamins B2, B3, and B5 (commonly called riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid). Furthermore, it’s also a notable source of magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
While the amounts may be small for a single cup of coffee, they add up if you’re a standard, multiple-cup coffee drinker.
But these are just surface-level benefits – let me show you where coffee really shines!
Live Longer With Coffee
Pure and simple, studies have shown that if you drink coffee, you’ll have a lower overall risk of death.
And it’s a considerable difference – 20% in men and 26% in women.
Just by having your morning cups of coffee, you could be actively extending your life.
The reason that coffee has such a profound effect on your life has to do with how it’s chock full of antioxidants. In fact, for most people, the majority of their dietary antioxidants come from coffee.
These antioxidants are what gives coffee some incredible health-boosting powers like…
- Gives you a 20% lower risk of stroke.
- 40% lower risk of liver cancer.
- Raises your metabolic rate for faster fat burning speed.
- Protects your mind from mental degeneration diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
And check this out – Coffee lowers your risk of Type 2 Diabetes, with a 7% reduction PER CUP YOU DRINK each day!
Okay, so you get the idea, right?
Coffee is good for you. Actually, it’s GREAT for you. But we need to take a look at the other side as well…
How about coffee’s number one competitor? Can it match the medicinal marvels of the world’s foremost morning drink?
Let’s talk about…
TEA! – It’s Black, White, Green, and Every Color In Between
While coffee has just a few main types, tea offers a selection that spans pretty much every color of the rainbow and a varied flavor profile to match, from citrusy and floral variants to Asian black teas with a leathery or smoked taste.
But is it good for you?
Well, I’ll start by going ahead and giving you the answer – tea is GREAT for your health and like coffee, I drink it nearly every day.
Now, let me explain why.
Tea does have many of the same benefits as coffee, but in lesser amounts. That’s because as a general rule, the coffee you drink has a decent bit more caffeine than tea (yes, tea has caffeine as well).
However, and this is a big however, they have something that coffee doesn’t – theanine.
What is theanine, you might ask?
It’s like caffeine in that it gives you energy, but is much less likely to cause the same anxiousness or jitters.
And the theanine, antioxidants, and flavonoids in tea have quite a few health benefits of their own, not the least of which are…
- Improved cholesterol levels
- 18% reduced blood sugar
- Lowered blood pressure
- Better digestion and gut health
However, the most significant way that tea helps your body is probably found in your brain – specifically, theanine provides a seemingly impossible blend of relaxation and focus at the same time.
Yes, you read that right.
When you drink tea, your body will likely feel relaxed, but you’ll have the same strength of focus as coffee (if not stronger).
It’s that same theanine that gives you unparalleled protection against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – which is why so many natural medicines against these disorders include theanine as a primary ingredient.
So, it’s clear that tea is truly a health powerhouse. But is it beneficial enough to stand up against coffee?
Before you ask, here’s…
Coffee Versus Tea: My Professional Recommendation
Now, I know this is going to sound like a cop-out, but in my professional opinion…
There is no clear winner in the battle of which is more healthy – BOTH coffee and tea are exceptional.
Both have clearly different uses and the apparent similarities between them are largely superficial.
However, I can tell you which is better in some specific situations…
Coffee is the Champ…
- When you’re trying to lose weight.
- When you want to improve your athletic performance.
- When you need a quick jolt of energy RIGHT NOW!
On the other hand, Tea is the Winner…
- When you want to protect your mind and memory against Alzheimer’s.
- When you want razor-sharp focus without jitters.
- When you want to improve your heart health.
So there you have it, folks!
Like most things, choosing a winner between coffee and tea is hard to do, especially when both are so beneficial to your health.
Now as promised, I told you I would mention my usual coffee and tea routine, so here it is…
For coffee, I usually wait until I arrive at the office before having a cup. That’s because I like to reserve mornings for water and breakfast. By having that cup of coffee right before I start working, I’m able to stay sharp through the morning hours.
And if coffee is for the mornings, then tea is for the afternoons.
My preferred type of tea is green, but I also have cups of oolong and white tea on occasion, generally around 2-3pm. In addition, I sometimes have a cup of tea when I get home from work as well.
I would love to hear about your tea and coffee routines – let me know what works for you!
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