Coffee Versus Tea: Background, Which One Has Better Health Benefits, And The Final Verdict

Ever witnessed or read a debate about drinking coffee OR tea?

Whether it is which one has more caffeine or is healthier for you, or even which does the trick in keeping you more energized all day.

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If you have or even if you haven’t, then rest assured that between coffee and tea, you will probably enjoy more or less the same health benefits and side-effects. 1

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1. The Beans Versus The Leaves

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Coffee is often seen as that essential drug that wakes one up from their nighttime or midday sleepiness or grogginess, with the added benefits of keeping that tiredness, laziness, and even those headaches away. But it is often followed up with signs like hand tremors, excessive energy to sudden crashes much later when its effects wear off, so people often change over to varieties of tea to get their caffeine fix without those after effects.

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This is not intended to tilt the scales of argument to the tea side, but coffee is often seen as an addiction while tea tends to enjoy a nicer reputation in terms of being healthier, but is it really?

In this article, we are giving both coffee and tea a fair chance to prove which one is healthier than the other.

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2. The Story Behind Your Cuppa Tea Or Coffee

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According to global statistics, tea is said to be the second most consumed drink alongside water and right before beer, while coffee is also hugely popular it ranks in the fourth place. Mainly because tea and coffee may not have not been around for equally long periods of time.

Legend has it that tea was first chanced upon by an Emperor of China in the year 2737 BC. While he was boiling water under a tree, the leaves happened to fall in and upon tasting it, he was surprised its enriching flavor.

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Since then, tea has become popular among the scholars, priests, and upper-clansmen of China and Japan, who drank tea to meditate better or just to stay awake. Which is why tea has enjoyed a historical reputation of being linked to tranquility, mental calmness, spirituality, and mindfulness.

Coffee, appeared way later, and was said to originate from the highlands of Ethiopia. According to legend, a goat herdsman named Kaldi observed a strange and hyperactive behavior among his goats, and soon discovered that it was because they ate the berries of the tree, which happened to be a coffee plant. Soon, coffee spread to the monks of monasteries, who drank it to keep their minds alert and focused when praying. It then travelled to the Arabian Peninsula, the East, and lastly to Europe in the 17th century. Centuries later the world now enjoys coffee and tea as their go-to beverages.

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3. The Upsides

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Nothing is perfect, likewise, both coffee and tea have their health benefits too. But because of the numerous conflicting studies out there, it is hard to ascertain exactly which is better. But here is a breakdown of the benefits of both:

Pro Coffee:

  • Latest research suggests that coffee can reduce one’s risk of cognitive disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • In fact, it has even shown effects in reducing one’s risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Since coffee has a higher caffeine content than tea, it proves to be more stimulating and has offset the asthma attacks in those who suffer from it, as it relaxes the air passages of their lungs.
  • In an everyday perspective, coffee has also shown to reduce constricting blood vessels in our brains, which cause headaches, migraines. So, you don’t need to pop a painkiller, just grab a cup of coffee.
  • Also, known to be a popular hangover remedy.
  • However, Harvard School of Public Health studies showed coffee to be nothing special, in a good or bad way. Drinking 6 cups didn’t raise or lower anyone’s life expectancy either.

Pro Tea:

  • Most types of tea are made from leaves of a plant called, Camellia sinensis, which first wilt and then go through oxidation (breakdown of chemicals) before being harvested. So, depending on the amount of oxidation that happens, the leaves are then graded as different types of teas from black, red, green, to white tea.
  • Tea’s natural antioxidants called polyphenol, contain potent cancer-fighting and preventing powers, according to the National Cancer Institute. Although further studies need to confirm tea to be an actual cancer risk reducer, it is still a recommended medicinal drink because of its cellular renewing and calming properties.
  • Polyphenols are commonly plant chemicals which are found in abundance especially in green tea, while black tea has theaflavins and thearubigins, which contain properties that protect cells from DNA damage.
  • The natural fluoride components of tea are also said to be good for your dental health and hygiene.
  • The teas with higher polyphenol levels are usually brewed as hot teas not those cold or sugary bottled teas you buy in a store.

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4. The Downsides

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As with anything, as long as it is taken in moderation, it remains healthy for your body. And when it comes to anything that contains caffeine, too much of coffee or tea can cause or increase heart palpitations, nausea, anxiety, insomnia, tachycardia, and restlessness.

Coffee Cons:

  • Unfiltered or processed coffee is said to increase the body’s level of bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

Tea Cons:

  • Drinking too much tea may overpower your bones and teeth, make them brittle and even lead to osteofluorosis (excessive fluoride in the body and bones).
  • Some tea fusions and blends from India, China, and Sri Lanka are said to contain trace amounts of lead and aluminum which can cause all sorts of havoc in your body and even poison you. So, knowing where your tea is from is very crucial to your good health.

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5. The Moment Of Truth

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Overall, tea and coffee’s detriments are said to increase because of all that sugar and cream being drowned into it. Both these favorite beverages are said to possess their own respective good and bad sides. So, enjoy your caffeine of both kinds in moderation and do take your calming coffee breaks and tranquil tea breaks not more than 5 times a day, each.

Let’s keep the tradition of drinking these beverages alive, as has been done for centuries before ourselves…