Are you a coffee person or tea person? Whatever your preferences this two beverage is what get us out of bed in the morning.
But have you ever thought which of this two caffeinated drink is healthier? Here’s what Victoria Drake, Ph.D., Manager of the Micronutrient Information Centre at the Linus Pauling Institute at America’s Oregon State University says about the tea vs. coffee.
Most of us drank coffee or tea because of its health benefits but sometimes, we go overboard to our daily cups with the excuse “it’s healthy.” And most of the time we get hooked up in the advertisement we see on TV and social media about the health benefits of drinking coffee or tea. But despite what headlines on Facebook might lead you to believe, unfortunately, coffee and tea aren’t miracle ingredients.
“These findings come from observational studies instead of controlled intervention trials, so it is difficult to say which of these effects are due to coffee or tea drinking alone, or which effects are stronger than others,” Drake explains.
For example, the antioxidant benefits of tea and coffee are probably not as big as the commercial for your favorite brew brand claims.
“Some components of tea (catechins, theaflavins, ECGC) and coffee (chlorogenic acids, trigonelline) have shown antioxidant activities in vitro [in a test tube], but the extent of these antioxidant activities in vivo [in a living organism] is not clear,” says Drake.
“Most of these compounds don’t make it into your bloodstream, and when they do, your body often works hard to remove them. They often don’t spend enough time in the body to play a big role in antioxidant defenses.”
This news sounds disappointing for coffee lovers or tea lovers because it sounds like the health benefits of this caffeinated beverages is just placebo effect.
However, don’t lose hope because, based on reviews of the research, it’s reasonable to conclude that coffee and tea do have some purported health benefits, Drake says.
“Regular coffee consumption has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease and some types of cancer: oral/pharyngeal cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma), prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and melanoma,” Drake says.
In this case, coffee appears to be a better choice than tea. So, we can rejoice now coffee lovers, but of course, always remember to drink your coffee moderately because drinking too much coffee has also negative side effects on the body.
“Regular tea drinking has been linked with protection against cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease,” explains Drake.
A recent study in China found a link between tea, especially green, and a lower risk of cardiovascular-related mortality – it appears they have the same benefits to coffee that drinking tea can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
But as Drake points out, animal studies are needed to determine if this would prove true for humans.
“True longevity studies would need to be undertaken in animal models, and the results of such studies might not translate to humans.”
We usually have coffee or tea as our breakfast in the morning, but whether you drink black coffee or tea with no added milk or sugar are equally healthy choices. Remember that what you put in your coffee or tea determines the healthiness of your beverage.
“Coffee and tea have virtually no carbohydrates, protein, or fat and thus no calories,” Drake explains. “Anything you add – sugar or milk – will add calories.
“Amount is everything and makes the difference between something considered ‘healthy’ versus ‘a poor choice.’”
So if you love your lattes or whipped cream on top of your coffee, but if you drink you drink your tea with no added sweetener, then it’s obvious that tea has a lower calorie and a better choice.
But if you drink both coffee and tea with just a dash of milk, there is no difference between the two. Although, coffee is higher in caffeine, so if you’re trying to lower your caffeine intake, stick with tea
So which is healthier coffee or tea?
The health benefits of coffee or tea is a hot topic for the coffee lovers and tea lovers. But between this argument doesn’t have a clear winner. While research has indicated that coffee can lower some cancer risks and tea may prevent some cardiovascular diseases, there’s not enough evidence yet to prove the benefits for humans health.
So as long as you don’t exceed two to three cups of your favorite caffeinated beverage per day and keep it simple by not adding too much to it, then there is no problem enjoying our daily cups of happiness.