Coke vs Pepsi. Tom vs Jerry. Microsoft vs Apple. Right up there with these world famous rivalries has to a rivalry as old as time - The eternal tussle between coffee and tea! Each drink has its loyal supporters, with coffee drinkers being associated with that busy buzz of energy while tea drinkers are seen to be zen and restive. Obviously, there are benefits to both beverages but is one really better than another? Let’s find out!
For a morning jolt: Coffee
It’s no secret that coffee is the choice of drink if you want that sudden burst of energy. It only takes 10 minutes for your body to feel the effects of caffeine. One cup of coffee can easily pack about 80mg per cup ( almost 1/5 the recommended daily caffeine intake for men and 1/3 for women), so that’s a quick morning pick me up.
But, this could also be psychological. In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that daily coffee drinkers who were tricked into drinking decaf, still scored the same on tests as caffeinated coffee drinkers. We’re so used to associating coffee with energy that we intuitively expect it to provide a jolt, even if it isn’t there!
For morning zen: Tea
While tea can pack a fair amount of caffeine, it also contains an amino acid called L-theanine.This tiny chemical creates two reactions in your body; the first, it lowers the absorption speed of caffeine and the second, it stimulates the neurotransmitter GABA in your brain, which has anti-anxiety effects. This creates an alert but relaxed state, which explains why tea is popularly used to aid meditation.
For weight loss: Tea
While caffeine has been shown to slightly reduce appetite, we’ve all heard the good news about green tea. More than the caffeine, the EGCG in green tea can help shrink fat cells and makes muscle cells more active.
To build muscle: Coffee (But not too much!)
While tea might be better for burning fat, coffee is the drink of choice when you want more muscle. An article in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise discovered that men who drank 2.5 cups of coffee could sprint up to 9 percent more than when they didn’t have coffee. It is likely because caffeine stimulates your muscles, which can help you power through with more reps. However, the article was careful to state that the coffee had to be drunk a few hours before their workout.
To sleep better: Tea (If you really had to choose between the two).
While tea also packs some caffeine and can cause sleeplessness, too much coffee in your system makes it harder for you to sleep as each cup packs a significant amount in comparison to tea. Lesser known is that too much coffee can make it hard for your body to absorb magnesium. As it is, many of us don’t get enough magnesium. Having too much coffee, coupled with this common nutrient deficiency, can cause symptoms like muscle cramps and sleeplessness.
For overall well being: Tea’s clearly a winner (But coffee is not too bad either!)
The long list of health benefits of tea, especially green tea and white tea, is common knowledge. Long story short, green tea is loaded with antioxidants such as flavonoids, EGCG and catechins that make green tea such a great catch! These chemicals recharge the white blood cells and help prevent viruses from reactivating. They also help fight inflammation and prevent blood vessels from hardening. This is also why tea is associated with anti aging.