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10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee

10 Benefits of Drinking Tea Over Coffee

Tea is one of the great uniters. There’s no problem or crisis that can’t be solved (or at least abated and eased if not solved) without the help of a cup of tea. However, coffee seems to overtaken as the hot drink of choice for a lot of people. That’s not to say we don’t mind the odd mug of Joe every so often, but really, tea has been an institution for centuries for a reason.

1. Tea is fantastic at hydrating the body and replenishing your fluid intake.

While coffee can do the same, tea has the added benefit of generally being just pure H2O with that awesome tea flavour, 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 fantastic for your skin and getting it hydrated quicker.

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2) Tea has been shown in studies to help reduce the chances of developing certain kinds of cancers and tumours.

As to why, the scientific evidence remains a bit unsure, but the fact that tea has been linked to improving your health since legendary Chinese emperor Shennong wrote about it almost five thousand years in an almanac surely means something.

3) Tea will keep you going for longer.

While it’s been commented on that tea has less caffeine than coffee when given in the same amount of servings, this isn’t actually true. Tea has the same amount of caffeine as coffee, and while both are stimulants, coffee has a much bigger depressing effect (not making you sad but reducing your energy levels) than tea, meaning that while both tea and coffee will give you a bigger rush of caffeine, with coffee, the high will also last shorter and drop quicker. If you’re wanting something to keep you going through the work day, tea is the best choice.

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4) It’s easier than making coffee.

A churlish note perhaps but one worth noting: in the modern era, it’s much easier to just brew a cup of tea. Place teabag in a cup of hot water, remove after a few minutes, and you’re done. Admittedly the era of instant coffee makes coffee much easier to brew too, but in our world of gourmet coffees, it does seem much easier to plonk a teabag into a mug of hot water and have some instant relief.

5) There are a ton of antioxidants in tea, much more than you’re likely to get in coffee.

Antioxidants are fantastic for keeping your body ticking over and looking and feeling fantastic, hence why a lot of companies have jumped aboard the bandwagon of sticking antioxidants into products. In short, antioxidants keep you looking fresh, feeling great and tea has an abundance of them.

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6) Tea can help you shed some unwanted pounds.

Relatively recent research (try saying that five times really quick) has indicated that green tea might be a great aid in helping people who want to lose weight. It might down to the fact that green tea helps kick start your metabolism or simply that tea is a better substitute as a practically calorie-free drink as opposed to downing soft drinks to quench your thirst. Plus you can’t really add much to tea to give it extra calories. Check out your nearest coffee house next time and see how many options there are that can be ultra-fattening to put on top of your coffee.

7) Tea is also pretty good for your teeth.

That is, when managed in comparison to coffee. Drink too much tea, and we’re talking a lot here, and you’re getting too much fluoride in there. Drink a reasonable amount and you’re fine and unlike coffee, you don’t have the unwarranted side effect of discolouration when it comes to drinking a lot of your favourite cup of coffee.

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8)  It can also protect your bones.

An Australian study recently found that people who drank tea on a regular basis had stronger bones and actually were less likely to develop osteoporosis thanks to the high levels of tea catechins. In addition, another study a few years earlier found that drinking tea helped promote healthy bone formation. While I would certainly not recommend drinking too much (that well-publicised story about a woman who developed skeletal fluorosis after consuming 150 bags of tea a day rings true), having a cup of tea can be beneficial to keeping your bones strong.

9) Tea can help reduce stress

An advantage we can all use from time to time.. While the physical cause behind this remains unknown or murky at best, it’s a well-known fact that tea is used cross-culturally as a bonding tool as well as refreshment, which goes some way to explaining why some cultures have tea so deeply ingrained as part of their customs (e.g. the British). Tea, or rather specifically, green tea has also been found to work as an anti-depressant, meaning that taking a cup next time you’re feeling a little low might just help boost your mood.

10) Last but certainly not least: tea can help strengthen your immune system.

While it probably won’t help out a huge amount while you’re battling a bout of intense flu (apart from the benefits of just drinking something and helping to flush the bug out of your system), drinking tea can really help set up and improve your immune system for next time. It’s kind of like setting up a security software on your computer – it might not help you when you’ve just been infected and installed it, but it should really help you the next time something mean and nasty appears on the horizon.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, all this tea talk has got me hankering for a cup. I hope you’ll join me.

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Chris Haigh

Writer, baker, co-host of "Good Evening Podcast" and "North By Nerdwest".

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Last Updated on November 9, 2020

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

2. No Motivation

Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

5. Upward Comparisons

Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

6. No Alternative

This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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7. Stress

As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

8. Sense of Failure

People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

9. The Need to Be All-New

People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

10. Force of Habit

Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

More on Breaking Bad Habits

Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
[2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
[3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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