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Is Coffee Better Than Tea?

Medical Daily logo Medical Daily 5 days ago Kristine Arbolario

a cup of coffee  

Find out if coffee is better than tea or if it's the other way around depending on their contents and health benefits.

The two most consumed daily beverages is found to provide the same health benefits although they differ in some aspects. 

As to how one is different and better from the other, find out below.

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Caffeine Content

Both coffee and tea is known to contain caffeine, the compound that is notable for its stimulating effect to the central nervous system.

The content in these beverages is also recognized to help enhance physical performance, lessen risk for certain chronic diseases, uplift mood and improve mental alertness.

According to one of 40 studies conducted, caffeine intake is shown to have improved physical endurance in people by 12 percent compared with placebo.

In nine studies, which involved 193,473 individuals, it was revealed that drinking coffee on a regular basis significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Other studies show that caffeine from drinking coffee or tea improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, which in turn can potentially reduce type 2 diabetes risk.

Also, caffeine in moderate consumption is acknowledged to protect against diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, nonalcoholic fatty liver and metabolic syndrome.

The substance found in both coffee and tea exhibited effects on mental alertness, too, by improved performance in carrying out simple and complex cognitive tasks.

An analysis of 48 people taking 75 or 150 mg of caffeine displayed improved reaction times. It has also enhanced memory and information processing in contrast with the control group.

Up to 400 mg of caffeine is considered to be safe to be consumed per day and coffee as mentioned has twice the caffeine content in the same serving of black tea.

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Antioxidant Properties

Coffee and black tea hold different sets of polyphenols each, which give them their characteristics, flavor and health-promoting properties. Even though, both drinks still seem to equally shield the body from free radical damage with their antioxidant properties.

Black tea contains catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins, which the latter two aid in inhibiting the growth of lung and colon cancer cells and ultimately eradicate them. The same benefit is discovered in cases of leukemia.

Coffee, on the other hand, has flavonoids and chlorogenic acid (CGA) that safeguard the body against gastrointestinal and liver cancer.

Both beverages is found to protect from breast, colon, bladder and rectum cancer for those who consume them, and their polyphenols reduce the rate of heart disease.

A 10-year-old study in more than 70,000 healthy people determined the association of drinking four or more cups of black tea daily with the 21 percent of lowered risk of stroke.

Drinking five or more cups of coffee per day lowered the risk of stroke by 23 percent compared with nondrinkers as shown in another 10-year-old study in 34,670 healthy women.

Effects On Energy

Caffeine in coffee stimulates the release of dopamine and blocks adenosine, thus the increased energy levels when the dopamine accumulates and reduces fatigue when adenosine is barred.

Dopamine increases the heart rate after drinking coffee and influences the brain’s reward system, which makes the beverage addictive.

Coffee elevates energy almost immediately after being consumed, where the body absorbs 99 percent of its caffeine content within 45 minutes or as early as 15 minutes at peak blood concentrations.

Tea may be low in caffeine but it is rich in L-theanine, which is an effective antioxidant that fires brain activity. It increases the alpha waves in the brain, which helps in maintaining alertness while being calm and relaxed at the same time.

Consuming L-theanine with caffeine like in drinking tea may help maintain attention, focus, alertness and sharpness as studies have found.

Weight Loss Benefits

It is no secret that coffee has high caffeine concentration, therefore it is effective in losing weight.

Caffeine increases the amount of calories burned by three to 13 per cent and keep this effect for three hours after drinking.

Some of coffee’s fat-burning properties were attributed to its CGA content as shown in several studies.

More than 400 people were observed in one study that revealed regular coffee intake was associated to lower body fat tissue. A review of 12 studies using mice yielded the same results - it suggested that CGA aids in weight loss and fast metabolism.

Tea induces weight loss too because of its polyphenols, specifically theaflavin.

Studies using rats as subjects showed a decreased weight gain despite eating a diet high in fats and a change in gut microbiota that also inhibits the animals' weight gain.

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