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Is Tea Healthier Than Coffee?

Green tea is considered the healthiest variety of tea.
In general, tea is viewed as a healthier option than coffee.
Sugar cubes are used to sweeten tea.
A cup of coffee.
Tea comes in varieties that differ in texture, flavor, and appearance.
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  • Written By: A.E. Jaquith
  • Edited By: Jay Garcia
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2014
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For some people, nothing gets them ready to take on the day better than a hot cup of coffee. What many don't realize is that, although coffee is not essentially unhealthy, tea can be a better alternative. Although most tea does contain some caffeine, it is full of beneficial nutrients as well.

Extensive research has been conducted on the health benefits of tea and coffee. Although research has indicated that coffee does have some health benefits, these are far outweighed by the health benefits of tea. Almost all varieties contain high levels of anti-oxidants, which are nutrients and vitamins that help purge the human body of toxins.

Green tea, an extremely popular drink around the world, is perhaps the healthiest variety. Research indicates that it can help prevent cancer, fight plaque on teeth, and lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. In addition, some believe that drinking green tea may slow the aging process by giving the body large amounts of antioxidants several times more powerful than vitamin E.

Tea can also act as a mild pain reliever. This is due the high levels of quercetin found in it. Although not strong enough to treat serious pain, the quercetin can benefit victims of mild arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

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Although many choose to drink coffee for its strong taste and high levels of caffeine, the caffeine that is present can be its downfall with many consumers. People who drink too much coffee may feel anxious and jumpy. Often, this is followed by a "crash," or sudden loss of energy. This is because, with coffee, the body absorbs a large amount of caffeine quickly, and therefore processes it quickly. As previously mentioned, there is much less caffeine in tea, and it is absorbed into the blood stream slower, which may prevent the caffeine crash. Caffeine does have one saving grace, and that is its ability to relax the airways in the lungs, which can be a great benefit for those suffering from asthma.

In short, yes, tea is healthier than coffee. This is of course not to say that coffee is bad. The benefits of drinking tea, however, may outweigh the possible benefits of drinking coffee, unless the goal is to receive a large dose of caffeine.

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Discuss this Article

SarahGen
Post 12

Are all teas healthier than coffee or just green tea varieties?

I actually drink black tea, but black tea has a lot of caffeine too. And sometimes it gives me stomach acidity, probably because I don't add sugar.

So is black tea also better than coffee?

burcidi
Post 11

@MikeMason-- I think both tea and coffee are beneficial in different ways. I personally drink both, I have coffee in the morning and tea in the evening.

It's just that some people are negatively effected by the caffeine in coffee. Coffee has a different type of caffeine than tea and a lot more of it. In some people, coffee can have side effects like insomnia, jitters and anxiety.

It is better for people who have these symptoms to switch to tea because tea will not cause it. But if coffee doesn't affect you badly, then why not drink it?

stoneMason
Post 10

I used to drink coffee but after reading this, I will switch to oolong or green tea! Thank you!

profess
Post 9

I know a lot of people who try to talk people out of drinking coffee, but its really not so bad. I drink a couple of cups in the morning and it helps me get through my day. I feel alert when I sit down to my computer and I get a lot more done because I can chase away the fog of sleep.

Compared to lots of other things people do, drinking or smoking cigarettes and what not, coffee seems like a pretty mild indulgence.

backdraft
Post 8

It seems like green tea is everywhere these days. Does it have any real health benefits?

nextcorrea
Post 7

I tend to ignore the science on this issue and just go by how I feel. And I definitely feel better when I drink tea instead of coffee.

Coffee makes me jittery and wound up. Its like my whole body gets tighter in a really uncomfortable way. But I find tea really relaxing and refreshing. Its a pretty easy choice for me.

anon174344
Post 5

@ValleyFiah: You seem to be confused. No one is denying that caffeine can increase endurance and intensity in the short-term. However something being considered "healthy" has absolutely nothing to do with the things you are talking about. I am a former national champion body builder and even I will tell you that body building is a far cry from being healthy. I have done considerable damage to my own health during my career and was under no illusion to the contrary before.

You should step outside your bubble for a while and look at the big picture.

anon172298
Post 4

I would just like to note that blocking iron absorption (tannins) can be a good thing for men over the age of 25.

anon109177
Post 3

I'd have to add that each person's biology is different (sensitivity to caffeine being one example), and so both tea and coffee will have slightly different effects. I prefer to drink coffee due to its higher concentration of caffeine, but I also have to watch my coffee consumption otherwise I get heartburn. Tea, on the other hand, causes no such problems.

ValleyFiah
Post 2

The article discusses tea being healthier than coffee, but this is not necessarily true. Body builders, athletes, and anyone else who strength trains will see significant benefits from drinking coffee over tea.

Caffeine is one of the most effective pre-workout supplements, proven by scientists to increase endurance. This leads to higher repetitions and heavier weights.

You may be asking why is there a difference between the caffeine in coffee and tea...there is none. The difference is coffee has a higher concentration of caffeine, in the range of three to four times. You can drink 12-16 ounces of coffee pre-workout versus a half gallon of tea.

Alchemy
Post 1

Coffee is also graded by length and width, density, color and imperfections per 300 grams. For example, a coffee variety graded "AA 20 High Grown" would be a high-grade bean that is long and wide, and grown at high elevations.

Certain populations are confronted with some risks when drinking tea. Anemic people can make their condition worse by drinking too much tea, especially with meals. Tea contains tannins, which can block iron absorption causing further anemia. You can neutralize tannins with vitamin C, so taking some before drinking tea, or adding lemon to the tea is a solution for those suffering from anemia.

Glued teabags also contain carcinogens in the glue, so folded or pyramid bags are recommended. Non-organic teas are also sprayed with pesticides. Teas are not as hardy as coffee, so you may be ingesting many different fertilizers and insecticides when you drink tea.

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