FOOD & FITNESS / NOV. 07, 2013
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Tea vs. Coffee: What Should You Drink at Work?

Americans prefer coffee. It is estimated over half the adult population drinks coffee every day.

In Britain, tea is the clear winner. Tea accounts for 70% of the morning “cuppa”. 

Don’t get me wrong. Tetley is a perfectly acceptable tea. There’s nothing better than a milky tea on a horribly English day. It has a medicinal effect, shielding you against the damp.

Tea is great for rainy days, but what about when you really need a jolt of energy? What should you be drinking and why?

Packs a Punch

If you are looking at potency, we all know coffee is the clear winner. Coffee is decidedly stronger, if you are comparing it to traditional black tea brews. It has nearly double the caffeine content for every cup of tea. We all know this, but here’s a piece of news, which might surprise you.

Starbucks announced that it just bought up Teavana, the American tea bar chain. The company opened its first branch in New York City.

If Starbucks is diversifying, should coffee lovers be thinking about making a change too?

The Truth About Coffee

Aesthetically, coffee has some downsides. It is much more likely to stain your teeth with long-term consumption. There is also a debate concerning coffee’s health effects on the heart. If you suffer from heart problems or palpations, it is probably best to avoid drinking coffee or limit consumption to one cup a day.

That’s not to say, coffee doesn’t have any health benefits. It naturally contains trigonelline, an anti-bacterial compound, which some studies have linked to reducing diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver and colon cancer.

Truthfully, black coffee isn’t bad for your health as long as you don’t consume more than two cups a day. When you add sugar, this changes the equation. Suddenly, coffee becomes a health risk, especially when you load it with cream and syrup flavoring--the kind of calorie intake most desserts contain.

The same goes for black tea, once you add milk and sugar, black tea’s health benefits decrease.

The Power of Green Tea

Green tea doesn’t have the same side effects as coffee. If you suffer from nervousness or headaches (that's most of us on a stressful day), green tea is the best choice for you. The effects of caffeine are offset with green tea’s natural properties. Green tea contains theanine is an amino acid, which offsets or diminishes the "hyper" effect of caffeine.

Green tea has also been proven to reduce appetite. The EGCG and caffeine help reduce fat cells, encouraging muscles cells to be more active. Green tea is also thought to reduce breast cancer. Studies show both black and green tea lower risk for ovarian cancer.

Verdict

Coffee isn’t strictly bad for you. When you are really short on energy, coffee can give you that much needed boost to help you get through the working day. Just be aware too many cups of coffee can leave you feeling nervous with a bad headache. In other words, if you are feeling stressed, coffee can make you feel even more stressed. Black tea is marginally better, only because it has less caffeine content per cup.

Green tea is the ideal drink. Unlike black tea, it doesn’t necessitate sugar or milk. Packed with health benefits, it leaves the drinker feeling calm, but alert, thanks to its unique composition and amino acids.

Also, its fat busting properties tip the scale in its favor.

So, maybe Starbucks is really on to something. Perhaps, tea is really the future of healthy living.

We’ll see…

I don’t know about you, but I’m not totally converted. I’ll limit my sugar and milk intake before I go “tea total”.

 

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