by Tracey Pollack
While a mug of coffee can wake you up and a cup of tea can calm you down, they each offer many more benefits for your health, your mind and well-being. But which beverage is better for you? Well, both coffee and tea have received a lot of attention for their physical, mental, emotional and social benefits. Yet with so many studies and passionate drinkers defending their cups of choice, it’s hard to know which pot to pour. Let’s compare their healthy qualities to see which brews you should choose.
Get the Buzz on Coffee
More than a morning energy boost, coffee is brimming with healthy perks. A cup of joe gives you a shot of antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium and potassium to help you fight off sickness and control your sweet cravings. Plus, the strength of coffee’s antioxidants and other healthy compounds help protect you from developing a number of chronic conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Along with waking you up, the caffeine in coffee also amps up your physical and mental performance. See, caffeine increases your level of adrenaline, which improves how both your body and brain function. As a result, you get the physical benefits of higher energy, quicker response and longer endurance, along with the mental perks of a sharper memory, better mood, greater focus, and lower risk of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
See Why Tea Leaves an Impression
When you take a sip of tea, it leaves you with more than a cozy warmth and a soothing sense of calm. That’s because tea is overflowing with polyphenols, which work as powerful antioxidants to eliminate the free radicals in your body that cause damage and disease, including many kinds of cancer. As a result, tea is touted for its cancer-fighting ability to help prevent the growth of tumors and destroy certain cancer cells.
In addition, tea’s infusion of antioxidants help slow down the aging process, repair damaged cells and fight the inflammation that can lead to many diseases. Another reason to bone up on tea: it helps protect your bones. Studies have found that regular tea drinkers had stronger bones and a lower chance of developing osteoporosis than those who felt that the drink just wasn’t their cup of tea.
Beyond what tea can do for your body, it also benefits your brain. Research has shown that regular tea drinkers had a lower risk of developing many neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Tea has also been shown to help improve your memory, so remember to sip a few cups every day to decrease your risk of mental decline.
Coffee, Tea or What?
When it comes to whether coffee or tea is healthier, the choice isn’t black and white. Both offer impressive health benefits. You can feel just as good about drinking your espresso, cappuccino or nitro as you can about your herbal, green or chamomile. So whether you sit down for coffee talk or tea time, just opt for organic varieties, which are free of disease-causing chemicals, and whose practices reduce any side effects to both workers and the environment. And of course, think before you drink and keep moderation in mind.