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The Health Benefits of Tea vs. Coffee

There has for years been a debate on which is the healthier drink. When it boils down to it, both come with plenty of benefits, but which one is the best one to drink overall? Carry on reading, and we’ll see if we can find out.

Living Longer

This one is a good one and a little muddled. In studies, it showed that a person who drank six or more cups of coffee per day stood a 10% less chance of death. This was compared to ones who drank no coffee at all. On the other hand, regular tea drinkers have been shown to live longer than average when they drink around two to three cups per day when they are in their older years. The reason it seems is a unique compound in tea which changes the genetic code in the body. Although it would be nice to say have a couple barista coffee in the morning followed by tea in the afternoon. It is tea which comes out the healthiest in this test.


We all know about the free radicals our bodies are bombarded with, and these antioxidants help to get rid of these. Which of the two has the most? Polyphenols are the secret, and both coffee and tea contain them. This being said, different brands of coffee and how they are roasted among other things can change the numbers of these polyphenols in coffee. To get the most, you should aim for beans which are grown at high altitude like in Kenya. Also, a darker roast has a higher content.Coffee is a winner here, but to make sure you get all the benefits, there’s nothing wrong with slipping some cups of tea into your drinking schedule.

Heart Health

Both coffee and tea have been shown to help reduce cardiovascular disease. Tea which comes out as the winner has been revealed to give up to a 36% reduction in the risk of heart disease. Coffee, on the other hand, shows a 20% reduction when drinkers consume 2 to 4 cups per day. Below or higher than these coffee figures and the risks are back to normal. The other thing with too much coffee is, if your body metabolizes caffeine slowly, it can increase blood pressure, so check the coffee content with the barista when they are making you a creamy latte.

Digestive System

There is still a debate if coffee triggers irritable bowel syndrome, however, researchers found the more coffee which is drunk and the less risk of colorectal cancer. This works with both regular and decaffeinated. Tea has no reports on this one, so coffee appears to be the clear winner. Although, if you find you have upset stomachs or indigestion when drinking coffee after meals, it’s well advised to try a cup of tea.

Losing Weight

For all the weight watchers out there. It appears there has been some false information. Black coffee is good for weight loss, or that is what has been mentioned for years. A few years ago, it showed after a high-fat meal a person’s blood sugar levels spike, if they drank caffeinated coffee, these blood sugar level spikes doubled. Not only that they were close to diabetic levels. There you have it. Forget coffee after meals and if you’re looking to lose weight, opt for tea (the winner here) and make sure it’s the green variety. Even more, drink up to four cups of green tea per day, and it’s highly likely you might lose more weight over a couple of month period.


Coffee might be raising cholesterol levels. One compound cafestol is the culprit, so if you use a cafetiere (French press) or espresso, you are receiving the highest levels. If you use paper filters in your coffee machine, then you’re catching most of this compound. To be safe, change to tea if you are at risk from high cholesterol. A healthy winner for tea.

Being Alert

Having a good cup of coffee as a pick me up might be an illusion. When you consume a great deal of coffee your body develops a tolerance. Back to the green tea again. Compounds found in this are thought to cross the brain-blood barrier and reach the neural tissue. This helps fight the decline of brain function. Also L-theanine an amino acid is found in green tea and matcha tea which are beneficial for the brain as we age.One other area is bone strength, and tea comes out on top as it does in 6 out of 8 areas. So there you have it. Tea is healthier than coffee, but that isn’t to say you need to stop drinking coffee. Moderation is the answer.

By: Mike Anderson 

Erica Key

Erica Key is the editor-in-chief and founder of Eating with Erica. She founded Eating with Erica in 2013 due to her love for the Atlanta food scene. Erica is an award-winning Atlanta-based blogger with a passion for all things dining, entertaining, and food.



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