To some people, coffee is the only way to start the day off on the right foot. To others, a strong cup of tea does the trick. One of the common traits of these two glorious beverages is that theyíre both addictive, thanks to their caffeine content. Itís not unusual to find recovering coffee addicts drinking one of the many soothing tea varieties in a bid to suppress their coffee cravings.
Itís important to consider the pros and cons of each of these brews, no matter what camp youíre in so you know exactly what your morning cuppa is doing to your body.
Interestingly, there are more tea drinkers in the world than coffee drinkers (which I find hard to believe when my coffee shop has a line out the door every morning). In addition to this, tea is the most widely preferred beverage next to water! Here is a brief but comprehensive breakdown of the pros and cons of coffee and tea. Which side are you on?
Improves Bone Health Unknown to most people is that milk is not the only drink that can help develop strong bones. According to Nutritional Research Journal, taking one cup of green tea per day goes a long way to prevent age related bone loss complications in both men and women. It does this by improving bone mineral density as well as reducing bone from risk of bone fractures. Tea also helps to support osteoblastic activities.
Boosts Exercise Endurance According to the American Journal of Physiology, tea contains antioxidants that enhance the bodyís ability to convert fat into fuel when exercising. This in turn helps to boost one's endurance when taking part in physical events. Caffeinated tea is the most ideal if you intend to take part in exercise as it helps to reduce the rate at which glycogen is depleted. Your body is engineered to store energy in the form of glycogen, so the longer it lasts the better!
Promotes Weight Loss Drinking tea on a daily basis has been proven very effective in promoting weight loss. It does this by acting as a mild metabolic booster that when combined with caffeine, increases energy and oxidizes fat.
Calms the Mind Green tea contains poly-phenols that increases the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a special substance that promotes brain health by transmitting signals of motivation and reward as well as help muscles to relax. There are many types of tea out there nowadays so finding a brew that meets your health requirements may mean venturing a bit further than the supermarket aisle. If youíre unsure on what type of tea you want, take a look at my favourite herbal tea range to get you started!
Compromises Dental Health Tea contains a certain level of fluoride that promotes dental health. However, excessive intake of tea leads to accumulation of fluoride on the surface of the teeth leading to osteofluorosis and brittle jawbones.
Negative Effects of Caffeine Caffeine is a stimulant that causes tachycardia, insomnia, nausea, anxiety, heart palpitations, and restlessness.
Contains Harmful Elements Research studies show that samples of tea taken from India, China, and Sri Lanka contain high levels of lead and aluminium. Hence, it is paramount to consider the source of tea that you drink.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes Research experiments and studies have shown that coffee helps to prevent type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle disease that used to affect the seniors in society only, but now even teenagers are suffering from it. This has links to the high intake of sugar in the diet.
Reduce the Risk of Gout Drinking one or two cups of coffee per day can reduce your risk of developing gout especially if you are over 40 years of age.
Boosts Effectiveness of Painkillers Caffeine, one of the main components in coffee, increases the effectiveness of painkillers. This makes it a beverage of choice for persons who have a health condition that requires regular intake of these drugs and anyone who wants a souped up Panadol.
Prevents Liver Cirrhosis and Cancer These are two main complications that affect the liver; coffee can help you protect yourself from these two conditions.
Improves Concentration and Memory The caffeine found in coffee helps to increase alertness and this in turn improves concentration and memory. This is why itís the university studentís drink of choice during exam time.
Tooth Discolouration Excessive intake of coffee is known to cause tooth discolouration. The ingredients used to prepare it stick on the enamel overtime thereby distorting the general appearance of teeth.
This is caused by the acidity in the coffee brew. Opting for a less acidic brew method like pour over coffee brewing can help reduce the effects.
Lowers Blood Flow For your body to function optimally, all organs have to get a consistent supply of oxygenated blood. New research shows that coffee lowers the flow of blood to the heart. This can in turn affect your productivity and predispose you to numerous health complications.
The big elephant in room at this point is: which should you be drinking each morning?
From this summary of the pros and cons of tea and coffee, itís clear that both have health benefits and a few negatives too. To be on the safe side, itís wise to take one or both beverages in moderation (as with everything you eat/drink).
If you prefer tea, desist from adding milk as this lowers the benefits slightly. On the other hand, if you prefer coffee, try and limit your daily intake to a reasonable level to mitigate any harmful side effects.
I find hot coffee depressing and iced coffee uplifting. I also like iced tea. There is a good book you should read titled "The Ultimate Tea Diet" by Mark "Dr. Tea" Ukra. A really good book if you like hot or iced tea.