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Myth Busted? - Coffee Is Not Healthy Like Green Tea

Both tea and coffee have caffeine and antioxidants. They help in weight loss and can make your mind calm yet, at the same time, attentive. Despite these known health benefits from both drinks, many still believe that coffee is not healthy like tea. Curious if this is true or not? We will see if coffee is overall just healthy like tea or vice versa. Coffee and tea can provide health benefits when consumed in moderation; put-ting too much sugar or condiments will make the drinks less healthy.

Coffee is healthy like green tea?

Let's talk first about tea’s benefits so we can tell later if coffee is as healthy as tea or not.

It is fun to drink a cup of tea when having an afternoon tea chat in a garden. This is the time to be calm and no need to rush decisions. No wonder tea does have its own ceremony, especially in Japan, because tea represents peace, harmony, enlightenment, and many more.

  • Less caffeine but can still boost energy levels and help you be calm because tea is rich in L-Theanine

L-Theanine in drinks is an amino acid that can be found in black tea and green tea. Some mushrooms have it. It helps you deal with stress and reduce anxiety; that's why you are not in a rush and can sit down and relax. L-Theanine in green tea helps insomniacs improve their sleep.

  • It helps to recover from stressful tasks because tea lowers cortisol, a stress hormone, making the drinkers feel more relaxed.

  • It can hydrate the body more than coffee because it is primarily pure water and can replenish the fluids lost from sweating.

  • Tea is for unwinding and relaxation. It is associated with meditation and concentration. It’s also a special drink when you have afternoon tea with your friends. It’s excellent to pair with healthy and a bit sweet delicacy.

Reasons why coffee is also as healthy as tea, but are they true?

Any powder and ingredient can make tea and coffee taste better. However, it is still best to consume plain coffee and tea or with healthier condiments to get the most out of the health benefits. Either of the two beverages can be consumed deliciously hot or cold; what is essential is that both can benefit your body more than drinking soda and consuming several shots of alcohol. Coffee is sometimes as healthy as tea.

Japanese Green Tea versus Japanese Coffee

  • It can process glucose (sugar), giving the drinker a lower chance of getting Diabetes.

  • It helps burn fat/weight loss by stimulating the brain to transfer signals to the body to break down fat cells. Just remember that your overall diet is still the primary factor when dealing with losing or gaining weight.

  • It lowers the risk of getting Parkinson's, Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease because coffee prevents plaques formation that causes brain-damaging illnesses.

  • It can fight depression – tea lowers stress levels since it is a drink for calming and meditation, while coffee boosts high energy because of the caffeine levels.

  • It improves memory and attention because of the caffeine in both drinks and catechins/EGCG found in tea, especially green tea. EGCG is the antioxidant responsible for giving tea drinkers a calm mood, sharper memory, and attention.

  • Can boost the immune system.

Drinking 2 cups of plain coffee (no sugar and milk added) every day can boost the immune system because of the antioxidants. Based on a study, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, especially Ceylon cinnamon, can add protection to your heart and brain.

coffee vs tea

Now, here are the reasons why coffee is healthier and better than tea

Be it in the workplace or a café, coffee makes our daily lives feel with energy, and we often hold a cup of coffee when we have conversations with our colleagues. Whether it's black coffee or coffee with a bit of cream and sugar, the following are its benefits:

  • Coffee has more caffeine that can give you more energy boost and alertness.

Just a reminder: Don't consume too much caffeine. The amount of caffeine that is safe is 400mg per day, 240ml coffee has 95mg caffeine, and black tea has 47 mg. Consuming too much caffeine will make you lose sleep and might cause heart palpitations or dizziness.

  • It lowers the risk of Type 2 Diabetes because of Cafestol, a coffee compound that increases insulin release and reduces glucose.
  • Coffee is for relaxation, especially at home or in a cafe, and for adrenaline at work so that you can charge and stay awake.
  • It improves physical and mental performance. Athletes and soldiers drink coffee as an energy supplement. Based on a study about cyclists and coffee, with naturally high caffeine levels, coffee is better than carbs and water in increasing cycling performance. When trained athletes and gym-goers are doing High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercise and bench press, they are more motivated and stronger, resulting in improved muscular endurance and training results. If a runner wants to take coffee to improve performance, It is advisable to take it an hour before the race.
  • Before and at the end of a workout, coffee increases heat, fat release, and metabolism leading to burning more fat effectively and safely.
  • Coffee and no other caffeine-containing beverages might lower risk in getting liver diseases, including fatty liver disease and cirrhosis.

Japanese black coffee

Is it true that coffee increases a drinker’s chance of having heart disease?

According to a study funded by British Heart Foundation and conducted by researchers from Queen Mary University of London, each day of drinking a significant amount of coffee does not increase the risk of getting cardiovascular dis-eases. Furthermore, they did not find any difference in the arterial stiffness on light (one cup a day, moderate (1-3 cups), and heavy (more than 3 cups) coffee drinkers.

Can I drink coffee when sick?

Drinking coffee when you are sick is okay, but only in the morning because drinking it in the afternoon might result in inefficient resting time. It would be best if you had a long rest to recover. Also, drink lots of water so you won't be dehydrated.

According to the National Academy of Sciences in the US, tea boosts the body's defenses against harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi infection be-cause of L-Theanine.

Is regular coffee intake a healthy habit and not a form of addiction?

According to multiple studies, a daily coffee habit offers a myriad of health benefits. This is coffee itself that provides the good stuff. Like tea, it has various valuable vitamins and minerals as well as different phenolic compounds. However, the wholesome equation is somewhat compromised when less healthy ingredients such as sugar or creamer enter it. Without harmful additions, multiple cups of coffee a day may actually boost health.

Japanese coffee with milk

While there may be some truth to the claim that coffee is addictive, it shouldn’t present the danger that other addictions do. Since caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, regular consumption may lead to mild dependence. Notwithstanding, it poses no actual physical, social, or economic hazard to coffee drinkers. However, stopping a daily coffee habit cold turkey could cause the usual withdrawal symptoms like headache, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, but at a much milder level. That’s why experts don’t technically count caffeine dependence as a real addiction.

Tea itself has caffeine as well, of course, but much less than what’s present in coffee. So while green tea’s caffeine content is pretty negligible in terms of risk of addiction, the daily habit will undoubtedly lead to a sort of dependence as well, so much so that you need a “fix” to function well, especially in the morning. Not to worry though, health experts don’t see anything harmful in craving coffee or tea daily. On the contrary, with the host of benefits both drinks offer, the “addiction” can certainly work to your advantage.

Another Myth Busted - is it true that coffee causes insomnia?

Insomnia has some pretty serious complications. Besides poor daily performance, it can also lead to mental health disorders. There are also associations to ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. So if this claim is valid, it shouldn’t be dismissed as a minor issue.

Nonetheless, drinking coffee does not have to be linked to insomnia. Having coffee at night may cause some people to have difficulty sleeping, but coffee consumed during the day shouldn’t prevent anybody from having a good night’s sleep. Most people aren’t affected by drinking coffee six hours before bedtime. Sensitivities to caffeine vary, however. Those who are more sensitive may experience not only sleeplessness but other caffeine side effects as well, like nervousness and an upset stomach, but this would be true for tea drinkers as well.

Pouring black coffee

While green tea has less caffeine than coffee, the compound is still present and may have its stimulating effect on the drinker. On the other hand, it also has L-theanine, which gives green tea calming and relaxing properties. Therefore, consumers may opt for the decaffeinated version of tea and coffee to ensure that neither of these drinks will mess with their sleep.

Check out my article on decaffeinated coffee to learn more about it.

So, to summarize, drinking coffee does not cause insomnia. On the contrary, like tea, coffee has very relaxing properties. It promotes the production and release of dopamine alongside noradrenaline and serotonin. These are feel-good hormones that control stress response, ultimately leading to relaxation.

Because of coffee’s caffeine content, however, some difficulty sleeping may occur if drunk in the evening, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to insomnia, an actual sleep disorder. This hazard is easily dealt with by mindful consumption. Avoid drinking coffee or tea six hours before bedtime, and when it cannot be avoided, then getting a decaf is always an option.

More Myth Busted - Is it unhealthy for pregnant women to drink coffee?

Most studies on caffeine indicate that reasonable amounts of coffee a day have no association with difficulty in conceiving, miscarriage, premature birth, congenital disabilities, and other pregnancy issues. The operative word, however, is “reasonable.” A few studies did find that higher amounts of caffeine are linked to a higher risk for miscarriage, so it’s best for pregnant women not to exceed 200 mg of caffeine a day.

The same warning is issued regarding green tea. It should be safe for pregnant women as long as they don’t exceed the daily 200 mg caffeine intake limit.

Japanese Arabica coffee

200 mg of caffeine or an acceptable approximate typically equates to the following:

  • One mug of filter coffee (about 140 mg of caffeine).
  • Two mugs of instant coffee (about 100 mg per mug).
  • Two mugs of tea (about 75 mg per mug).

Find out more about coffee strength and caffeine levels.

On the other hand, there are actual studies indicating that drinking coffee or tea in the second trimester is associated with a 47 percent diabetes risk re-duction. Also, other findings state that drinking coffee or tea may improve energy balance as well as decrease fat mass. These benefits can be put down to elements in coffee and tea, particularly the phytochemicals, that impact insulin resistance and inflammation.

So, is coffee not as healthy as tea? 

Based on the medical studies conducted by different doctors and scientists, coffee is still healthy as tea. Either of the two drinks can be a winner. Tea is a better option if you want to sip all day or have acid reflux. Coffee is better for you if you want an energy boost and an alert mind. Just drink in moder-ation and avoid mixing too many sweets and oils into your drink. If you are like me, you can have both! : )

This post was first published in 2021 but it was updated in 2022 just for you. 


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