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Coffee or Tea?

Updated on August 13, 2017

What is better for your body?

Every day, mass amounts of caffeine are consumed by humans. Caffeine is a stimulant of the nervous system. In other words, it makes us alert and feel “ready for the day”. It is most commonly found in coffee and different types of tea. When you think of coffee, you think of a pick me up in the morning or get me through the night to study; while thinking of tea, you would think of being sick, relaxing or going to bed. Coffee and tea are actually relatively the same, but they both have different side effects (good and bad) on the body. There is a debate on which one is better for you when actually, there really is not that much of a difference. Coffee and Tea are both beneficial and non-beneficial for your body.

Green tea is one of the most commonly consumed teas. It provides the body with antioxidants such as EGCG (one of the most common antioxidants to fight diseases), therefore helping your immune system. Some diseases and illnesses that green tea is known to have an effect on is: different types of cancer (breast, prostate, and colorectal), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease. It is also known to reduce the chances of getting Type 2 diabetes. Green tea is also known to help brain functions. While containing caffeine, which helps one stay alert, it provides enough to make you feel naturally awake. 100 mg of tea will have less caffeine than 100 mg of coffee. Not only does it contain caffeine to keep you awake, it also contains the amino acid, L-theanine. L-theanine is able to pass the brain barriers and has anti-anxiety effects. It also can increase dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain. Another thing that green tea does for the body is increase the metabolic rate. In a study of 10 healthy men, green tea actually increased energy expenditure by 4%. The catechins in green tea have a serious benefit to your dental hygiene. There have been tests that prove they can kills bacteria, like the influenza virus, strep virus as well as the bacteria that forms plaque. In the end, with all of the benefits of green tea, it can actually make you live longer.

Coffee is one of the most commonly consumed beverage with caffeine. Everywhere we look we see a coffee shop or someone with a coffee in their hands. Coffee actually has a lot of the same benefits that green tea does. The caffeine in the coffee increases your energy levels and helps your brain function to be alert, because caffeine blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine, leading to a stimulatory effect. If you have more energy and your body is working a little harder to be alert, coffee can also help you burn fat. It does the same thing as tea and boosts the metabolic rate. In tests, it is actually shown that it can burn up to 10% of fat in obese people and 29% in lean people. Although it is believed that those results may diminish in long term coffee drinkers. There is also many essential nutrients in coffee such as: Riboflavin (11% of the RDA), Pantothenic Acid (5% of the RDA) Manganese and Potassium (3% of the RDA) and Magnesium and Niacin (2% of RDA). Coffee can lower the risk of many of the same diseases that green tea can along with reducing dementia. It will even protect your liver against cirrhosis (scarred tissue on the liver). A test was done and showed that people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day will have 80% less of a chance of getting cirrhosis.

Coffee is not all that positive though. Many people say that if you drink coffee it will stunt your growth, which in reality, it won’t; but it can do some other negative things to a person’s body. If you actually drink coffee on an empty stomach in the morning, you are forcing your body to produce hydrochloric acid. This process is usually done when the stomach is digesting meals, if it is done when no food is in the stomach, it could be difficult to produce HCL later on when eating. It is also very acidic and can cause ulcers to form. Usually, people with really bad acid reflux will avoid coffee all together. It can cause IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) because it will irritate the lining in the small intestine. Eventually, in postmenopausal women, it can cause spinal bone loss.

Tea is generally good for your body, but it does have some negative side effects. Drinking more than 5 cups of green tea is actually gives you the same side effects as a person going through coffee withdrawals; like anxiety, nausea, headache, sleep problems, heartburn, dizziness, convulsions, tremors and even an irregular heartbeat. Also,It can actually cause an upset stomach and constipation. There has even been rare cases of people using green tea extract and developing liver problems. As well as drinking green tea makes anemias worse, by “tiring” the blood.

With everything that has been said, coffee and tea are good for us. They help get rid of bacterias and prevent illness. They have their downsides too, but the good news is that the chances of getting liver problems or bone loss are low, as long as you don’t drink too much of these beverages. Sometimes, we may get an upset stomach or a little nauseous, but in the end we are getting nutrients that we didn’t think we were. In the end, with moderation, there is no better than the other, coffee and tea are both delicious and beneficial for us.


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© 2015 Chelsea Dant

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