Health Food Face-Off: Coffee vs. Tea

To warm me up (Critics Corner Group only)

Every morning my roommate wakes up and brews a cup of coffee to kick-start her day. I, on the other hand, reach for a mug of tea. We’ve never talked about this difference before but it got me wondering, with all the hype about catechins and chlorogenic acid, which drink is better? Well, I’m here to lay out the facts and prove once and for all which should be your drink of choice.

When you need energy?

Coffee is definitely the go-to for a quick burst of energy. Although tea also contains caffeine, coffee generally has higher levels, giving you more energy to finish that paper. However, caffeine can be addicting so it is wise to limit your intact of all caffeinated beverages.

When you’re trying to be healthy?

While some studies will tout one drink over the other, the truth is that coffee and tea both have health benefits. If you’re trying to increase bone density, go for a cup of tea, but if you’re looking to load up on some essential nutrients, including magnesium and potassium, reach for a cup of coffee.

When you need to boost your mood?

For an afternoon pick-me-up, reach for coffee. Its caffeine levels get the blood flowing and can reduce your risk of developing depression. But if you’re looking for some time to relax, replace coffee with tea, which reduces the cortisol levels and slows down blood flow for some rejuvenation.

When you’re trying to lose weight?

Although tea and coffee have roughly the same amount of calories, tea is the best option for weight loss because it contains a catechin called EGCG which helps boost metabolism. If you want to build muscle though, drink coffee. It raises cortisol levels, which stimulate muscle breakdown and regeneration.

When you’re looking out for your future?

Both tea and coffee are said to lessen the risk for certain chronic diseases, like diabetes and neurological disorders. In particular, the chemicals in coffee are thought to guard against heart disease and Alzheimer’s, while the antioxidants in tea fight free radicals and can help increase life span.   

Like anything else, excessive consumption can have adverse effects, so be sure to drink moderately and pay attention to the amount of creamer and sweetener you use. Whether you’re a coffee or a tea drinker, however, rest assured that either choice can be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet!

Photo Credit: Teensy-Weensy Pouchou

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