Debate Still Brewing on Whether Coffee or Tea is Best!

When we think unhealthy habits we often think coffee drinking is one of the bad guys in our everyday diets. The US government however, in their new dietary guidelines in January (2016) included some coffee drinking and so the debate renews and brews on whether coffee or tea is best for health.

An article in Vogue Magazine a while back by Monica Kim, reviewed this question, and tried to make some final sense of the ongoing debate. One of the most vocal of the coffee advocates is Bulletproof Coffee’s Dave Asprey. He claims that drinking a moderate amount of coffee per day with the addition of grass-fed butter boosts his mental prowess. Although some say he has a stake or, shall we say a coffee bean, in saying that- he may be right. Many people feel that a little coffee throughout the day keeps them alert and sharp. 

A study last year from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health showed that drinking coffee in moderation, (between 3-5 cups) has health improving benefits and will reduce your chances of dying prematurely from acquired illnesses. Co-author of the study, Ming Ding, adds that the benefits are likely due to the antioxidants in coffee, which can reduce systemic inflammation and lower mortality. And she added that it appeared caffeine had no noticeable affect on efficacy in these benefits. However, the studies have not fully examined if or how the effect of milk and sugar has on the findings. 

So what of tea? The benefits of tea have long been steeping shown in the well-known promises of green tea which has been claimed to increase mortality, health and even weight loss. Hasan Mukhtar, whose University of Wisconsin’s laboratory has been studying tea since 1989 holds that definitely it is tea that is better for our health.

“We have consistently found that topical application for the skin and oral administration of tea leads to significant reduction in cancer incidences.” He also adds “Polyphenolic compounds in tea like EGCG have been know to provide significant protection against radiation and sun damage, results that Mukhtar stresses have been repeatedly shown in many, many studies”

But the debate continues to percolate through the science community and we are still left in the dark roast of the argument.  Perhaps we should follow the advice of Steven Hatch M.D. who poignantly wrote in his book, ‘Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physicians Notes On Uncertainty in Medicine, “Whatever effects routine coffee consumption may have in these situations, they are likely to have a small impact and….are probably not worth changing your coffee habits immediately.”

So, until the brewing controversy finally boils over, it may be best that we simply continue our tea and coffee consumption until we hear some solid advice. Because one thing that has been proven over time is that moderation is the key, even in the good-for-you category.

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  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Pat Z Anthony
      Pat Z Anthony

      Imagine if the most harmful thing we all did was drink a little too much coffee or tea? The discussion has gone on forever it seems. Not a coffee drinker hear, so natural teas are my choice.

      1. Profile photo of Your Seldom Majesty
        Your Seldom Majesty

        I don’t think that most harmful thing is drinking either tea or coffee. In my opinion I think it is easy to accept common fact that drinking any legitimate drink does no more harm than a glass or natural water.
        But in my knowledge natural tea is more beneficial if you want to cleanse or enrich your metabolism and body, and coffee is to enjoy in aroma and to wake up.

      2. Linda Jenkinson

        AndI think you probably have chosen the healthiest. I personally think that teas, and especially herbal teas are the absolute best!

    2. Profile photo of Donna Thacker
      Donna Thacker

      Healthy or not, I refuse to give up my coffee, lol. I drink coffee all year around, though I do drink more of it I colder months. Summer time I drink a lot of Southern sweet tea, which I am sure is not so healthy. I have never been a fan of hot tea though I am aware that tea bags and leafs have many medicinal properties.

      1. Profile photo of Linda Jenkinson
        Linda Jenkinson Post author

        I’m with you and do love my coffee- I used to drink more herbal teas but have sadly gotten out of the habit- I agree they’re probably better for you so why can’t we drink both? Ha!

    3. Profile photo of Your Seldom Majesty
      Your Seldom Majesty

      I used to be heavy tea drinker when younger and living with my parents . Than I transfer to coffee. At this time I drink and enjoy both.
      Tea is good for cleaning organism, good for many things.
      But in morning I have problem to wake up with no coffee cup.

      1. Profile photo of Linda Jenkinson
        Linda Jenkinson Post author

        As most people so you are doing fine. Coffee is still and antioxidant as is tea so let’s drink whatever one or both! ha!

    4. Profile photo of Sebastian Onciu
      Sebastian Onciu

      If there’s one thing I can’t conceive giving up, that is coffee, but that doesn’t mean that I’m a heavy coffee drinker, as I generally limit myself to 3 cups a day. They may prove one day that tea is healthier that coffee, but even if solid evidence proves the superiority of coffee without any reason of doubt, I doubt it will ever make me give up my beloved drink called coffee!

      1. Profile photo of Linda Jenkinson
        Linda Jenkinson Post author

        Yes, I’m with you- it is a preference, whatever it is and I do like both- so also would not give either up unless they came up with some hard evidence. 🙂

    5. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
      Gil Camporazo

      I am not a coffee or tea drinker. However, as far as I know both of them have caffeine and they are used as medicinal drink. Tea is aromatic compared to coffee. That is my limited knowledge about coffee and tea.

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