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Coffee vs. Tea: Which Drink Is Healthier?

coffee-vs-tea-comparison

The coffee vs. tea debate has raged for decades. Those who need a good cup of coffee each day want that daily dose of caffeine to get them motivated and keep them going throughout their day. For tea drinkers, the light energy provided is comforting and often used as a way to relax. For those who enjoy both, or prefer not to try either, it’s not uncommon to wonder what the difference is between the two beverages. That’s why we’re here to take a look at this age-old comparison. Scouring the pros and cons of each may not settle the debate, but it could help you decide which you’d prefer in your cup.

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Coffee vs Tea: Health Facts At a Glance

Coffee
  • Great for mental clarity
  • Provides energy
  • Can be used for multiple beverages
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Speeds up metabolism
Tea
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Has less caffeine than coffee
  • Good for the immune system
  • Fewer caffeine crashes
  • Can be used for weight loss

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Overview of Coffee:

Coffee, like tea, is one of the most popular beverages in the world. While many people still prefer their coffee black, over the years, different brewing methods and flavors have emerged to give people a ton of options when they step inside their favorite coffee shop. Whether you prefer a touch of cream in your coffee or drink one of the more popular coffee drinks like a cold brew or latte, most coffee fans admit it’s the taste and energy of coffee that makes them fall in love.

a cup of coffee on a table outdoor
Image Credit: Decha Huayyai, Pexels

The Healthy Pros and Cons of Coffee

The health aspect of coffee is another topic of mass debate. Some people feel the good completely outweighs the bad. Others are determined to see coffee as an enemy to the human body. Let’s take a look at both the good and the bad so you can make your own determination of coffee’s pros and cons.

The Pros of Coffee Consumption

One of the best things about coffee is the antioxidants it contains. These antioxidants are ideal for helping your body fend off certain diseases and medical conditions. Along with the antioxidants, coffee also contains caffeine. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that helps promote energy, speeds up metabolism, and enhances mental focus and clarity. With these benefits found in coffee, and the taste and ability to add sweeteners to enhance the flavor, it’s understandable why people fight for their right to enjoy coffee.

The Cons of Coffee Consumption

Most of the cons associated with drinking coffee come from the caffeine it contains. When too much caffeine is ingested it has side effects. Among these side effects are jitters and anxiety. Many people who drink a lot of coffee have found themselves suffering from nervousness thanks to the amount they drink and the caffeine content found inside each cup. Possibly the worst effect caffeine has on the body is dependency. With caffeine being a stimulant the body can become dependent on it. When this happens and the caffeine is taken away, withdrawal issues like headaches, fatigue, and nausea are possible.

Pros
  • Promotes energy
  • Full of antioxidants
  • Enhances focus and mental clarity
Cons
  • High in caffeine
  • Can cause restlessness

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Overview of Tea:

Most people associate drinking tea with relaxing and enjoying the day. Tea is enjoyed with meals, snacks, or while unwinding on the porch after a stressful day. Like with coffee, there are several ways people take their tea. Some add cream, sugar, or even honey to switch up the flavor of your tea. For a refreshing turn of the tables, the southern US is thanked by many for their introduction of iced tea to the world. Whether you’re a drinker of black tea, green tea, or matcha the enjoyment and love of tea aren’t surprising. Let’s take a deeper look at how tea affects your body to see where it lies in relation to coffee.

peppermint tea in a teacup
Image Credit: Mareefe, Pexels

The Healthy Pros and Cons of Tea

Tea, like coffee, offers both positive and negative attributes for the body. Unlike coffee, however, the debate over tea being healthy isn’t as intense. Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons so you can decide how you feel about tea’s effects on the human body.

The Pros of Tea Consumption

With the many types of tea out there, it’s easy to be exposed to the many varieties of emotions tea can provide. If you want the boost of energy the low levels of caffeine in tea can offer, there are types out there that are designed to be energizing. Other teas can provide you with a calming effect so many need their bodies to experience. Another tea benefit is its ability to help improve metabolism. This is why so many use tea as part of their diets when they’re trying to lose weight. Drinking tea regularly can also promote a healthier immune system and overall improvement of your digestive system.

The Cons of Tea Consumption

Like with coffee, the caffeine in tea is the biggest topic you’ll encounter when it comes to the cons of this beverage. While caffeine offers the mental clarity and energy our bodies want, the dependency and caffeine crash that can be experienced is extreme and dangerous. This can lead to mood swings, weight loss, and even the inability to sleep at night when someone suffers from it. However, on a whole, the caffeine levels in tea are usually about half or less than that of coffee.

Pros
  • Good for the immune system
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • Provides a stable form of energy
Cons
  • Can be habit-forming
  • May cause sleeplessness

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The Caffeine in Coffee vs Tea

Caffeine is the common denominator when it comes to coffee vs tea. Both beverages contain caffeine, which can have both positive and negative effects on the body. Coffee is well-known for its caffeine content. One cup of regular coffee has 95 milligrams of caffeine. For an avid coffee drinker who enjoys several cups per day, they can easily reach their recommended caffeine allowance of 400 milligrams per day by simply enjoying their favorite beverage.

Tea has slightly less caffeine in each cup. According to how the tea has seeped, on average, a cup of black tea has 26 milligrams of caffeine. This is far less than your average cup of coffee. Those who drink tea regularly, suffer less often from the effects of excessive caffeine intake. However, for someone who is a constant tea drinker, consuming multiple cups per day, can become excessive and cause side effects.

tea with coffee creamer and lemons
Image Credit: Joanna Kosinska, Unsplash

Here’s a look at the side effects you may suffer when consuming too much caffeine daily.

  • Jitters
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Upset stomach
  • Anxiousness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dysphoria

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Conclusion

With the similarities between coffee and tea, it’s understandable that the debate of which one is best will rage on. Luckily, when it comes to your health, these drinks are quite similar. The biggest difference is your taste buds. No matter what the outcome of one of the world’s biggest debates may be, keep enjoying the beverage you like best.


Featured Image Credit: Left – Gagan Cambow, Pexels | Right – Mareefe, Pexels

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Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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