People in Massachusetts have a favorite drink. It’s usually either coffee or tea. That choice is about personal preference, not necessarily the effect on the body. Which one is actually better for you ? Are there dangers from drinking either? To make it easier to debate, eliminate coffee with cream and sugar or other additives and tea with sweetener or cream from the discussion. No matter how healthy something is, if it has a lot of added sugar, extra sauces, or other extras, the extras will make it unhealthy.
Both tea and coffee have polyphenols.
Polyphenols are phytochemicals in plants and potent antioxidants. Tea contains catechins, flavonoids, theaflavins, and tannins. The drink with the highest polyphenol content is coffee. Green tea and black tea closely follow it. Coffee contains the polyphenols chlorogenic acid, gallic acid, and phenolic acid, among others. The health benefits vary. For instance, the catechins in tea provide antioxidants, while the polyphenols in coffee may be heart healthy.
Can both tea and coffee help reduce the risk of diabetes?
The answer is yes. Several studies show that people who drank either tea or coffee had a lower risk of high glucose levels that lead to diabetes. The studies found that the risk was lowered between 5 and 40%, based on the amount consumed and the type of tea or coffee. A 10-year Dutch study found that people who consumed at least 3 cups of coffee or tea, or a mixture of the two, lowered their risk of diabetes by 42%. Studies found that drinking coffee reduced the potential for insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. A separate study found drinking tea increased insulin sensitivity, which reduces the potential for diabetes.
It’s all about the caffeine.
If you want to improve your physical performance when working out, drink a cup of coffee an hour before exercising. Coffee contains about three times the caffeine as green tea and twice as much as black tea. Caffeine can increase alertness, reduce fatigue, improve reaction times and memory, and improve exercise performance. It’s been linked to improved brain health, lowering the risk of dementia and other degenerative brain diseases. Tea contains L-theanine, which provides a calming effect and can increase concentration for long periods. While coffee gives a bigger boost, tea is a better option for people who get the jitters.
- You’ll lower your risk of stroke by drinking either tea or coffee. Black tea has phytochemicals that reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke, while coffee reduces inflammation and controls blood sugar.
- Green tea contains EGCG, which works with caffeine to double the weight loss benefits. Coffee only contains caffeine. Both can be an aid to weight loss.
- Studies vary, but some studies show that the caffeine in tea and coffee may reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and help protect nerve cells. Some other studies show both may help prevent it.
- Coffee could lower your risk of heart disease by preventing calcium build-up in the vessels supplying blood to the heart. It can help prevent blockage and ultimately, heart disease.
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