Americans favor coffee and British tea, but is one beverage better for you than the other? A cup of java alone has zero calories, while the average cup of tea will give you a measly ten calories per cup. So, which drink is tea or coffee healthier, and is there one that you should avoid?
All About Coffee
According to PBS, having a good cup of Joe has been around since the 13th century. The funny thing is that there is some controversy about how it was discovered. It’s believed that an Ethiopian man stumbled on it when his goats were eating the red, fragrant berries of this bush.
He noticed that the goats were energetic after consuming the berries, and he tried it for himself. He, too, felt the burst of energy that came from the fruit. Then the story states that a monk wanted to give it to fellow monks to see if they had a similar reaction.
The monks were awake all night long. Things progressed as word spread of this plant’s abilities, and eventually, it became one of the most popular morning drinks for these reasons.
So tea or coffee–which is the healthiest? Let’s start by looking at the benefits and drawbacks of coffee.
Today, coffee is one of the most traded commodities on the market, second only to crude oil. Here are some advantages to drinking Java:
1. Burns Fat
Everyone is fighting the battle of the bulge, it seems, but could drinking some Java be the answer to burning fat? It turns out that there is a component in this brew that helps to abolish fat cells, which leads to improved health.
2. Circulation Improvement
One of the least known facts about drinking coffee is the improved circulation that it provides. The benefits begin to work before it’s consumed, as just holding a piping hot cup in your hands improves blood circulation. The warmth from the cup spreads through the body from contact.
3. Weight Loss Aid
Did you know that many people drink a cup of Joe when they want to lose weight? Not only does it make you feel fuller for more extended periods, but the high levels of magnesium and potassium in it can increase the metabolism. It can also help regulate your glucose levels, which is a good thing if you’re struggling with diabetes.
4. Accelerated Hair Growth
Men and women have fought the battle of baldness for centuries. Who knew java could be the answer to their problems? Most shampoos that promote hair growth include caffeine, which is why it’s not a bad idea to rinse your hair with this elixir.
5. Lowers Risk of Premature Death
Would you be more inclined to drink coffee if you found out it could reduce your chances of premature death by up to ten percent? A study referenced in the National Institute of Health found that folks who consume three cups a day can reap these benefits.
6. Boosts Physical Performance
Since the red berries of this plant contain caffeine, it stands to reason that it has stimulating effects. Those who need a little enhancement before a performance can drink a cup of Joe for the energy boost they need.
While there are many advantages to drinking coffee, there are also some disadvantages to consider. The drawbacks are as follows:
1. Many Poor Processed Brands
As with most things, there are good brands, and then there are those that use lackluster beans to produce a more inexpensive product. When manufacturing companies use beans that are sub-quality, it introduces more toxins into what you consume.
2. Causes Restlessness
People who consume more than three cups per day may find it hard to sleep at night. Caffeine consumption causes restlessness, especially when you consume more than 400 milligrams in a day.
3. Heart Palpitations
Some folks experience heart palpitations when they drink java. Those who are prone to anxiety or are sensitive to the effects of caffeine should avoid this beverage.
4. Drinking Too Much Can Be Fatal
It sounds strange to hear that a cup of Joe can kill you, but it’s not just one cup, as it’s the overconsumption that can harm you. According to the New York Times, drinking 80-100 milligrams of caffeine can prove lethal.
5. Harmful to Fetus
The high levels of caffeine in this drink can be harmful to a fetus, which is why it’s recommended that expectant mothers only drink one cup per day.
6. Commonly Causes Bedwetting
Children may be inclined to want a drink of their parent’s Joe, but it can cause kids between the ages of 5-8 to wet the bed. It’s a drink that’s better reserved for the older crowd.
So let’s take the debate to decide between tea or coffee to the other side of the argument–tea.
During the Shang dynasty, the Yunnan region of China began using tea as a health tonic. According to Lipton, the history of this beverage is just as rich as its taste.
It all began when Emperor Shen Nung was boiling a pot of water. A leaf from a plant fell into the water, making it fragrant and delicious. Things progressed, and this beverage made its way around the world.
Have you ever heard of the famous afternoon tea times as often observed by the British? It was Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, who invented this time-honored treasure. During the 18th century, these beverage prices were heavily inflated and taxed by the British government.
Sir Thomas Lipton is responsible for marketing and bringing this drink to the masses. He was a young boy whose parents owned a grocery store. He learned that marketing tricks and determination could bring this beverage to the world.
You’ve heard that drinking some varieties like black and green teas is good for you, but here are some other advantages to consuming this beverage you may not have known.
1. Reduces Inflammation
Tea has polyphenols and Catechins, which have a natural ability to reduce inflammation in the body. As natural antioxidants, these compounds also prevent cell damage.
2. Boost Fat Burning
Both the caffeine content and the natural chemicals in this drink can boost your metabolic rate. According to a study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it can increase fat-burning abilities by up to 17 percent.
3. Reduced Cancer Risk
When there is oxidative damage inside the body, it increases the risks of some cancers. Thankfully, this drink has antioxidants that help to reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative damage, according to The National Institute of Health.
4. Reduces Bad Breath
Who knew that chronic halitosis could be combated with this hot drink? One of the most common bacteria found in the mouth is Streptococcus mutans, but drinking this beverage prohibits this bacteria’s growth. When you have fewer bacteria in your mouth, you won’t have that chronic smell. The National Institute of Health references many studies on this matter.
5. Increases Longevity
A study in Japan followed 40,530 participants to see if there was a correlation between drinking this beverage and having longevity. The 11-year period proved that women have a 23 percent reduced risk and men a 12 percent reduction. It seems that having a cup of this brew a few times a day is wise.
6. Prevents Type II Diabetes
Controlling blood sugar levels is essential for many folks. The caffeine content of this drink, as well as the ability to improve insulin sensitivity, shows that it’s a wise choice when you’re thirsty.
While there are many benefits to sipping tea, there are also some drawbacks to consider. The downsides are as follows:
1. Teeth Staining
One of the biggest issues with those who regularly consume this elixir is they will notice teeth staining. This is a major problem when people have pits and fissures in their teeth from poor oral hygiene. Additionally, it’s the tannic acid in this beverage that seems to damage enamel.
2. Causes Gastric Ulcers
If you drink too much of this hot beverage, then you could develop ulcers. This is especially true in those who already have issues with an overproduction of acid in their stomach.
3. Can Cause Anemia
It’s recommended that you consume this drink at least one hour after a meal due to the high levels of tannic acid. These acids tend to cause iron deficiency and anemia, reducing the body’s ability to absorb iron.
4. Increases Anxiety
Like a cup of Joe, drinking too much of this beverage can also increase your anxiety. It should be noted that the caffeine content in this hot drink is much less than java.
Some of the compounds found in this beverage can make many people nauseous, especially if you drink it regularly.
Though it’s not the most common side effect, dizziness has been reported by folks who have a sensitivity to caffeine. It’s believed this only occurs when people consume more than 6-12 cups in a day.
If you’re having a hard time deciding between a piping hot mug tea or coffee, it seems that there are many benefits. Thankfully, the cons of drinking either one of these beverages are mild and only experienced when people consume too much in a day. So, bottoms up as the health benefits cannot be ignored.