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Health

Is Tea Better Than Coffee? 9 Benefits of Tea Over Coffee

Written by Chris Haigh
Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".
Reviewed by Zola Johnson
Zola Johnson is a Registered Nutritionist and Cosmetologist.

Fact Checked. Our dedicated editorial team tirelessly evaluates every article we publish to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date and free of bias.

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Tea and coffee are two of the world’s most popular beverages, with millions of people drinking them every day.[1] Both are popular choices for those looking for a quick pick-me-up due to their rich flavor and energizing properties. Is tea better than coffee? Or is it the other way around?

There is much debate about which is better for our health. While coffee is frequently lauded for its ability to improve alertness and cognitive function, tea has long been regarded for its health-promoting properties.

In this article, we’ll look at the evidence that suggests tea is better compared to coffee in terms of health benefits. So grab a cup of tea and let’s get started on the health benefits of tea.

9 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee

1. Hydrate the Body and Replenish Your Fluid Intake

While coffee can do the same,[2] tea has the added benefit of generally being just pure H2O with that nice tea flavor, meaning that when it’s a scorching hot summer day, it’s much more beneficial to sip down some tea (hot or cold) as it’ll replace any fluids you’ve lost through sweating. It also means that it’s good for your skin and gets it hydrated quicker.[3]

2. Lower the Risk of Getting Certain Types of Cancers and Tumors

While there is no conclusive evidence that tea can help in the treatment of cancer, green tea does contain chemicals known as polyphenols, which are antioxidants that may help to prevent DNA damage by free radicals. This is why some people believe tea can help prevent or cure cancer.[4]

Some laboratory studies have shown that tea polyphenols can inhibit the growth of cancer cells; however, human studies have yielded mixed results.[5]

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3. More Durable Energy Boost

While tea contains less caffeine than coffee when consumed in the same amount of servings, tea is high in L-theanine, which is a powerful antioxidant that also stimulates your brain.[6] According to research, consuming L-theanine with caffeine — such as in tea — may help you maintain your alertness, focus and sharpness.[7]

In fact, a study discovered that participants who consumed L-theanine and caffeine together performed better on an attention test than those who consumed caffeine alone.[8]

4. Rich in Antioxidants to Prevent Chronic Diseases

Antioxidants are molecules that help protect our cells from free radicals, which are harmful molecules.[9]

Free radicals are naturally produced in the body, but they can also be obtained from outside sources such as pollution, UV radiation, and certain foods. They can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s if left unchecked.[10]

The high antioxidant content makes tea an excellent choice for those looking to improve their overall health and lower their risk of chronic diseases.

5. Help in Weight Loss

When combined with a sensible diet and exercise, tea may help you lose a small amount of weight.

For instance, green tea contains catechins and caffeine, both of which can help boost metabolism to break fat down and burn calories more quickly. As a result, weight loss may eventually result from an increase in energy expenditure.[11]

6. Good for Your Teeth

Unlike coffee, you don’t have the unwarranted side effect of discoloration when it comes to drinking a reasonable amount of tea.

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Besides, tea may help prevent cavities by lowering the amount of bacteria and decay-causing acid produced in your mouth.[12]

7. Protect Your Bones

A study found that people who drank tea on a regular basis had stronger bones and were less likely to develop osteoporosis due to the high levels of tea catechins.[13]

In addition, the bioactive components of tea have been linked to increased bone mineral density and a lower risk of bone fractures.[14]

8. Help Reduce Stress

Research shows that after drinking tea for six weeks, there is a decrease in post-stress cortisol, and an increase in subjective relaxation.[15] For example, green tea’s antioxidants and catechins, for example, have been shown to reduce stress and depression.[16]

Besides, making and drinking tea can be a ritualistic and calming experience.[17] Taking the time to brew a cup of tea and enjoy its aroma and flavor can help in relaxation and the reduction of stress.

9. Strengthen Your Immune System

In addition to having antioxidants that shield the body from free radical damage that can impair immune function, tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that help to lessen inflammation and support immune function..[18]

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Furthermore, tea contains vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to immune function, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc. These nutrients facilitate the production and function of immune cells, which are in charge of protecting the body from infections and diseases.

Bottom Line

Tea has numerous health benefits, including the ability to reduce stress, aid in weight loss, and strengthen the immune system. Incorporating tea into your diet can be a simple yet effective way to promote overall well-being due to its high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

So, instead of a second cup of coffee, how about a warm cup of tea? With so many delicious flavors and varieties to choose from, incorporating tea into your daily routine is a small change that can yield big health benefits.

Featured photo credit: Miti via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Pew Research Center: Chart of the Week: Coffee and tea around the world
[2]Business Insider: This is what drinking just tea and coffee all day does to your body, according to a registered dietitian
[3]Everyday Health: Tea vs. Coffee: Which Is More Hydrating?
[4]Cancer Council: Does drinking green tea cure cancer?
[5]Nat Rev Cancer.: Cancer prevention by tea: animal studies, molecular mechanisms and human relevance
[6]Asia Pac J Clin Nutr.: L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state
[7]Pharmacogn Mag.: Theanine and Caffeine Content of Infusions Prepared from Commercial Tea Samples
[8]Oxford Academic: L-Theanine and Caffeine in Combination Affect Human Cognition as Evidenced by Oscillatory alpha-Band Activity and Attention Task Performance
[9]Harvard Health Publishing: Understanding antioxidants
[10]Int J Biomed Sci.: Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health
[11]Can Pharm J (Ott).: Can green tea preparations help with weight loss?
[12]American Society For Microbiology: Tea Fights Cavities, Reduces Plaque
[13]Oxford University Press: Habitual Tea Consumption and Risk of Osteoporosis
[14]Oxford University Press: Tea and bone health: steps forward in translational nutrition
[15]Psychopharmacology: The effects of tea on psychophysiological stress responsivity and post-stress recovery: a randomised double-blind trial
[16]Nutrients: Green Tea Consumption and Depressive Symptoms among Japanese Workers: The Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study
[17]World Tea News: How Starting a Tea Ritual Can Encourage Mindfulness and Elevate One’s Self-Care Routine
[18]J Adv Pharm Technol Res.: Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: A comparative in vitro study
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