Coffee is undoubtedly one of America’s favorite beverages. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t start their morning with a hot (or cold) cup of Joe. Not only does it give us the caffeine boost we need to tackle work, but its vast variety of flavor concoctions makes it one of the most versatile drinks available on the market today. They’re a staple after you gorge yourself on delicious pasta at your favorite Italian restaurants and they’re the pick-me-up you need to make it on a long drive. Entire first dates revolve around grabbing a cup of coffee to get to know your potential new sweetheart. Coffee has really become an integral part of our lives.
The same can be said for tea. Between the different tea leaves that give us our favorite flavors and the multitude of serving methods, tea is a close second to being America’s favorite. However, this beverage has taken the rest of the world by storm and it’s impossible to visit another country without seeing a delicious tea shop on every street. Most lunch specials offer a cup of tea to go alongside your sandwich. England even has designated tea times to indulge in their favorite flavors. While you can’t have a cup of coffee before bed (it will make you jittery), many people have incorporated a hot cup of herbal tea into their evening routines. As the tea industry becomes more competitive in the United States, more tea companies than ever are advertising their products by mentioning the slew of health benefits that the simple drink can offer.
These two beverages are often held in opposition to each other, but they’re both some of the best drinks that we can add to our diet. In fact, the majority of Americans hope to focus on their wellness goals at the start of each year. Whether they’re interested in working out more, investing in self care, or adding healthy changes do their diet, most people want to better their health.
Are there health benefits to coffee and tea? While every good thing should be drunk in moderation, small to moderate amounts of both coffee and tea can encourage healthy habits and change our lives for the better.
Are you interested in drinking coffee or tea? Are there health benefits to coffee in the first place? Let’s dive into why these popular beverages are among the healthiest additions we can add to our diets.
Are there health benefits to coffee?
It seems like each year, doctors and researchers are confused. Are there health benefits to coffee? It turns out, it’s mostly up to the individual.
Coffee has been shown to have some great benefits to your health, but when folks load it up with sugar, creamers, and syrup to change the flavor, it’s creating an unhealthy beverage. It’s almost like when you fry green beans. You’ll still get some of the health benefits from eating beans, but you’ll also be confronted with a layer of bread, fat, and salt.
On top of that, some coffee drinkers lead unhealthy lifestyles already. It’s common for smokers to indulge in a daily cup of Joe and some of these people might already lead sedentary lifestyles. When analyzing the benefits of drinking coffee, a multitude of factors can play a role.
However, there are certainly some benefits to drinking coffee. In fact, a recent report by the Mayo Clinic notes that there’s a strong association between drinking coffee and reducing mortality because of Parkinson’s disease, type II diabetes, liver diseases (along with liver cancer), and heart attacks/strokes. The next time you go to your favorite breakfast restaurant, it would behoove you to order a cup of freshly brewed coffee with your orange juice and omelet.
For those that lead an already healthy lifestyle, adding coffee to the mix can help. This is because coffee is also one of the best sources for antioxidants, but it also has a number of beneficial nutrients that can help your diet. Antioxidants have been shown to play a role in reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, as mentioned earlier. Paired with its moderate levels of caffeine, many people can benefit from coffee.
Still wondering are there health benefits to coffee? Here are a few ways that coffee can help your health:
- It can improve your metabolism: Your metabolism is defined by how quickly your body burns fat. Some people have a naturally high metabolism while others…not so much. However, some studies reported in Healthline show that taking caffeine regularly (like through your daily cup of coffee) has the potential to boost your metabolism by 3% to 11%. However, there is evidence that says these effects are diminished in long-term coffee drinkers. If you’re trying to boost your metabolism, talk to your doctor or nutritionist for tips to better meet your wellness goals.
- It gives you the boost of energy you need to start the day: Everyone can benefit from a little more energy in their life. Drinking a cup of coffee means that you’re also ingesting caffeine, a common stimulant that travels through your bloodstream and wakes up your sleepy brain. It does this by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine. In turn, this also boosts your dopamine and norepinephrine production, thereby boosting your mood and allowing your brain to fire more neurons. Keep in mind, however, that the mood-boosting properties are no substitute for healthcare counseling services. Not only does caffeine make you more awake but studies have also shown that it can improve some aspects of your brain’s functioning, including boosting your memory, improving your reaction time, and making you more vigilant.
- It can improve your time at the gym: The caffeine in coffee can also boost your energy before you go to the gym. This means that you can work harder for longer. However, caffeine also helps you burn fat and use it for energy. As long as you’re not sensitive to caffeine, drinking coffee before your workout can help you make the most of your time at the gym.
- Let’s talk nutrients: Brewed coffee naturally has a number of nutrients that can help fuel our body. Coffee is rich in riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. A single cup of Joe can make up as much as 11% of your recommended daily intake. Coffee also contains Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), manganese, potassium, magnesium, and niacin (vitamin B3) though these nutrients offer smaller percentages than vitamin B2.
The next time you go to your favorite diner, you should think about ordering a cup of black coffee with your favorite meal.
Are there health benefits to tea?
Tea also contains a slew of health benefits so long as it’s drunk in moderation. A daily cup (or two!) can deliver vital nutrients, caffeine, and water to your body.
We’ve already talked about some of the basic benefits of consuming caffeine, so we aren’t going to touch on those again. However, it is worth mentioning that most teas contain lower levels of caffeine than coffee. As such, those who have a caffeine sensitivity might be better off indulging in a cup of tea than a cup of coffee each morning. Since you can customize your tea just as easily as a cup of Joe, ingesting tea might be the right move for creative hands that want to craft a tasty drink.
Here are some of the top health benefits of consuming tea:
- It’s good for your heart: Recent studies of more than 100,000 people in China found that people who drank at least three cups of tea each week were less likely to experience heart attacks, according to Today.
- Tea (especially green tea) is rich in flavonoids: Flavonoids are bioactive compounds that can reduce levels of inflammation and reduce oxidant stress, which is good for the heart.
- Tea contains small amounts of healthy minerals: Some of the many minerals you can get through drinking tea include zinc, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. Some teas also contain fluoride which can help keep your oral health in check and help reduce the need for cosmetic dental care down the line when drunk in moderation.
Keep in mind that the aforementioned benefits of consuming caffeine also apply to tea, though tea does have less caffeine than your average cup of coffee. In fact, a cup of black tea has almost half of the caffeine seen in your average cup of coffee.
Nearly half of the American population enjoys tea every day and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re indulging in a cup in your outdoor kitchens or taking some on a long road trip, this beverage can be the pick-me-up you need to stay healthy and alert. The next time you’re wondering “are there any health benefits to coffee and tea,” consider these characteristics.
The cons to drinking coffee and tea
Like every good thing, both coffee and tea should be drunk in moderation. This is primarily because of the caffeine associated with both beverages.
In small to moderate amounts, caffeine can be good for your health. But when you drink too much caffeine, it’s been known to raise boost your heart rate, cause anxiety, lead to restlessness, and disturb your sleeping patterns. If you’re particularly sensitive to caffeine, opting for decaf options will help limit the amount that you consume while still giving you all the great flavors and nutrients that you love.
Additionally, many people tend to drink their coffee and tea with too much sugar, creamer, or other additives. Keep in mind that these health benefits are best achieved when these beverages are drunk black/without any of the sweeteners. While you’ll still experience the boost of caffeine, vitamins, and minerals, these benefits will be outweighed by the sugar, carbs, and other negatives that you added to the beverage.
One of the most egregious aspects of indulging in these drinks is their acidity and teeth-staining qualities. Coffee, in particular, is known to stain your teeth because of its rich dark color. As such, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth 30 minutes after drinking a cup of coffee to rid your mouth of the harmful coloration before they turn into stains.
But the acidity of these beverages will also play a factor. Acidic beverages are known to wear down your teeth’s enamel. You might need to invest in teeth whitening services if you drink a lot of coffee or tea and don’t brush your teeth afterward. Even swishing your mouth with water after drinking coffee or tea can help neutralize some of the acids that you’re worried about.
Too much of a good thing can inevitably turn into a bad thing. If you’re wondering are there health benefits to coffee and tea, you should also consider that there are cons to everything you put into your body. Listen to your body and plan against the frustrating aspects of drinking coffee and tea by bringing a toothbrush with you when you’re on the go.
Are there health benefits to coffee and tea?
So, are there health benefits to coffee and tea? The answer is mostly yes. But like all good things, drinking in moderation is the best thing you can do for your health. Take care of your oral health, drink a cup of tea on occasion, and don’t be afraid to order a coffee when you’re done with your meal at the closest Italian restaurant nearby.
Drinking coffee or tea won’t magically transform your life, but they can certainly give you the boost you need to thrive. Consider these benefits the next time you wonder “are there health benefits to coffee and tea?”