People often reach for a cup of coffee for the burst of caffeine or the soothing nature of tea. Over the years, there have studies that suggest that both coffee and tea have health benefits, yet which is better? Let’s compare the health benefits of these two popular drinks.
As indicated by What’s Better for You: Coffee or Tea?, having a cup of coffee on a daily basis may lower the “risk of Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, gallstones and type 2 diabetes.” Yet, since coffee has caffeine in it, those with high blood pressure should avoid too much. In general, a person should not have more than “four 8 ounce-cups” per day.
Health: Green Tea, Black Coffee states that coffee appears to help stop “age-related cognitive decline.” A study was conducted on men who were born between “1900 to 1920.” The end result was that the men who drank coffee had notably “less cognitive impairment.”
One of the benefits of tea is its antioxidants. White tea comes in first with the most antioxidants, pursued by green tea, black tea and finally coffee. In the end, due to these antioxidants, the ABC article found tea to be better for you than coffee.
In the related Time article, it has been reported that Japanese researchers have found a connection between green tea and life expectancy. There was also a relationship between people “who drank five or more cups of green tea” daily and a low “mortality” rate. These results were seen in “healthy adults ages 40-79” who drank at least “five cups” of the tea. The article suggested that the best green teas could be found at an Asian market, “specialty-tea shop” or on the Internet.
Be careful about tea drinks with added sugar. Even though tea is good for you, some of the drinks on the market have a ton of sugar. Take Snapple’s Green Tea. It contains 46 grams of sugar. Thus, not just any tea will do. Try freshly brewed tea and don’t add a lot of sugar.
While tea and coffee are suggested to have health benefits, pregnant women should be mindful of the types of teas and the amount of caffeine they are having. According to americanpregnancy.org, pregnant women should eliminate or reduce the amount of caffeine they consume. This is due to the idea that caffeine does “cross the placenta.” In turn, fetuses are unable to “metabolize caffeine” like adults. Additionally, due to limited studies on herbal teas and the effects on the fetus, the FDA says to use “caution” with these drinks. Some people say “pregnancy teas” are good. These often contain red raspberry leaf and are said to “prevent pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia, preterm labor, prolonged labor, and postpartum hemorrhage.”
In the end, while there is not an abundance of definitive research, it appears that tea has more benefits than coffee. However, as the two drinks are researched more thoroughly, additional health benefits might appear. As for now, enjoy your tea or coffee. Realize that with proper use and with the exception of certain conditions, there are probably more pros than cons.
What’s Better for You: Coffee or Tea?, ABC News
Health: Green Tea, Black Coffee Time