Well, pick up that mug and take another sip, cause both tea and coffee are actually full of polyphenols and flavonoids—antioxidants that help protect healthy tissues from damaging free radicals and also assist with brain function. In fact, studies have shown that both brews have certain health benefits, so maybe you want to have your coffee and drink tea too!
If you’ve found that coffee gives you more of a jolt than tea, that’s simply because it contains more caffeine. An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains between 80 to 160 milligrams of caffiene, compared to the 30 to 70 milligrams in green or black tea.
Caffiene can make you more alert and give you a burst of energy, but it is also a stimulant that can make you dependant on its effects. According to the Mayo Clinic, you should not consume more than 500 milligrams of caffiene per day to avoid the negative effects of insomnia, anxiousness, irritability, stomach upset, increased heart rate and muscle tremors. If you find that you are experiencing any of these symptoms, trying replacing at least half of your coffee intake with a decaf version.
Also, studies have shown that coffee drinkers may be at lower risk of liver and colon cancer, and Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Research in 2009 also showed that “coffee-drinking men seemed to have a lower risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer than other men,” according to CNN.com, and “middle-aged people who drank moderate amounts of coffee—three to five cups a day—had the lowest risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life compared to less (or more) frequent drinkers.”
Black, oolong, green and white teas are all produced from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush, which are all full of the flavonoids and other polyphenols that work as antioxidants in our bodies.
Green tea seems to take the crown for the healthiest of the teas, since research has credited it with reducing heart attack risk and arthritic inflammation, as well as preventing memory-loss, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Since there is less caffiene in tea than in coffee, it is sometimes a better choice for those that find themselves very sensitive to the effects of the stimulant. With both beverages, however, it’s important to drink a lot of water to compensate for the dehydrating effects of caffiene.
You should choose the beverage that you enjoy the most, but don’t always just rely on it for a kick-start. Movement is often an even source of energy than caffiene, so rather than reaching for your mug in that afternoon slump, maybe try getting out and exercising to revitalize your mind and body naturally.
Also, coffee and tea on its own is very low in calories, but as soon as you start adding cream and sugar the caloric value increases rapidly. Wake up your mind to your tea and coffee consumption and enjoy them both in moderation!