Coffee vs. Tea: The Face Off - Which is Better for Your Health?

By Christina Madera

How we start our day has the power to set us up in the right -- or wrong -- direction. Some of us start with a hot cup of coffee while others opt for a soothing sip of tea. If you’re like me, you sometimes do both (though I wouldn’t recommend it). For the most part, coffee and tea are both beneficial, especially when drunk first thing in the morning. However, there are some key differences that make us wonder which one is doing more for our wellbeing. Coffee or tea --which one is more beneficial?  

Coffee is one of our nation's most popular drinks-- and for good reason. It tastes good, smells good, and is good for you. Coffee has countless health benefits. It is filled with nutrients and antioxidants. In just one cup you’ll find significant amounts of vitamin B2, B5, potassium, magnesium, and more. 

An immediate benefit of drinking coffee is the boost of energy it gives. Each time you brew a cup, you’re intaking 95 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine makes you to feel more awake so you’re able to tackle your daily goals. It also helps improve cognitive ability. According to a study published in Nature Neuroscience Journal, a dose of caffeine after a learning session helps boost long-term memory. 

Coffee has been widely celebrated for its high amount of soluble fiber. Ever notice how quickly you have to run to the ladies room after drinking your morning espresso? The caffeine helps activate the colon and promotes bowel movements. According to a classic study, the urge to go after a cup of coffee is experienced by 29 percent of the population. Through regulating your poop schedule, coffee balances your metabolism and can even aid with fat loss.

Tea has many benefits too. Tea is well known for its calming effects. Drinking one cup is said to alleviate stress and produce feelings of zen. It is fairly difficult to focus on both physical senses and mental thoughts at the same time. While you concentrate on the smell of the tea, your mind is drifting further away from your stress. It’s a ‘woo sah’ in a mug. 

Like coffee, tea positively affects learning and memory. Although tea has less caffeine than coffee, 8 ounces of green tea contains about 25 milligrams of caffeine. Green tea may also reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. According to a study published in Phytotherapy Research Academic Journal, green tea obstructs the activity of beta-secretase, which plays a role in the production of protein deposits in the brain which are associated with Alzheimer's.

At the very least, tea is an easy way to hydrate your body. We all know how difficult it can be to drink the recommended 8 cups of water per day. Since tea is basically flavored hot water, drinking a cup a day can turn this challenge into a success. 

It is important to note that in order to reap the benefits of tea, one has to drink the right kind of tea. True tea only come in four varieties: green, black, white, and oolong. Green tea is associated with lower total cholesterol, while black tea has reportedly decreased risk for a heart attack. White tea can help protect your skin from aging and oolong tea promotes tooth and bone health. 

Coffee, as well as tea, can be beneficial when taken in moderation. Coffee is best if you’re in need of a pick-me-up. Drinking tea may be a better option if you’re in need of a stress reliever. Overall, both can help improve your memory, increase your energy levels, and elevate your wellness routine. 

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