Is tea or coffee the healthier choice?
Millions of people consume coffee or tea, with some even enjoying multiple cups of these caffeinated beverages daily. Coffee is known to perk a person up in the morning, while tea is touted as a relaxing drink that can ease away stress. Some may wonder if one of these popular beverages is more beneficial for overall health than the other. Both, it turns out, have distinctive benefits.
Coffee and certain teas contain caffeine, a powerful stimulant for the central nervous system. Caffeine may improve endurance exercise outcomes and improve mental alertness. Healthline says that caffeine may reduce type 2 diabetes risk by improving insulin sensitivity. In addition, moderate caffeine intake has been linked to protective effects against dementias, metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Since coffee tends to have higher concentrations of caffeine than black tea (95 mg vs. 47 mg in an eight-ounce serving), it can provide more caffeine-related benefits than tea.
Both tea and coffee have high levels of antioxidants that can help people reduce their risk for certain illnesses. The National Cancer Institute reports that antioxidants in both tea and coffee have been shown to slow the growth of cancerous tumors. Tea may help lower cholesterol and the polyphenols in tea could boost good bacteria in the gut, according to Eat This, Not That! People may be more inclined to drink more coffee and tea so they can consume more antioxidants. However, excess coffee consumption can make people jittery from too much caffeine. Since tea has less caffeine, it might make for a better choice.
But tea and coffee provide similar health benefits, and one isn't necessarily better than the other.