Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com
Why Coffee & Tea Are Amazing for You
There’s nothing like a hot cup of coffee or tea to start the day. Some may go as far as to say they can’t function without their daily dose of caffeine! While some studies celebrate these beverages, others claim they’re bad for us. So should you toss your favorite drink or ignore the naysayers? Let’s find out.
Coffee vs. Tea
There are 80-185 milligrams of caffeine per cup of coffee versus 15-70 mg of caffeine per cup in tea. Coffee comes from the berries of an evergreen plant and tea comes from a variety of plant leaves. But how much do we actually drink? 52 percent (or 100 million) American adults drink coffee daily. The average coffee drinker has 3.1 cups per day, or 70 gallons a year, enough to fill a bathtub. 30 percent of coffee drinkers enjoy specialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. 274 million pounds of tea were imported in 2010, the same as a large cruise ship. The average American drinks 155 cups of tea annually, or 10 gallons a year. 78 percent of tea consumed globally is black, which is preferred by North Americans. 20 percent is green and 2 percent is oolong.
Health Benefits of Tea
There are so many different types of tea that you’ve probably heard some are good for you and some aren’t. Studies on rat fat cells shot that brewed tea of any kind increases insulin activity by up to 15 times. Green tea is full of antioxidants that may help prevent many forms of cancer, including breast, lunch, and stomach. Green tea may also help prevent arterial clogging and reduce the risk of stroke. Green tea might also reduce neurological damage due to oxidation, which in turn prevents Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. It can burn fat and improve cholesterol levels. Ninety percent of tea consumed in the U.S. is black. It is made from fermented leaves and is the highest in caffeine. Due to the fermentation process, black tea is lowest in monomeric catechins, which have been linked to cancer prevention. This tea may protect you from have a stroke or developing heart disease by helping blood vessels dilate correctly. It has also been linked to preventing lung damage from smoking. White tea is unfermented and made from young buds and leaves. It offers the most powerful antioxidants of all the teas. Oolong tea has many different forms, which is fermented and may prevent weight gain and promote weight loss. It may also help to prevent tooth decay.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Chances are, you’ve heard ideas like coffee will stunt your growth or give you heart disease or stomach cancer, but fortunately, none of these are true. In fact, it can actually be good for you. Coffee has been linked to improved memory recall. It may also help prevent Alzheimer’s, heart disease, gout, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s. The caffeine in coffee can help ease asthma attacks. Coffee drinkers are 50 percent less likely to get liver cancer than those who avoid the beverage, though the exact reason has not been pinpointed. It may also lower the risk of breast, rectal, and colon cancers. Caffeine can increase energy expenditure (calorie burning). One study showed that those drinking caffeinated liquids burned 67 calories more than those who drank water, the equivalent of a medium-sized apple.
Too Much Caffeine?
While a little caffeine can be good for you and help keep you awake, too much isn’t a good idea. It may cause restlessness, insomnia, and anxiety. Experts recommend limiting your daily caffeine intake to 400 mg for men and 300 mg for women. That’s roughly 4 cups of coffee/6 cups of tea for men and 3 cups of coffee/4 cups of tea for women. Caffeine provides many healthy benefits, too. It helps increase endurance during workouts and may blunt pain and tiredness, letting you work out longer. It may enhance muscular contractions during exercise. As with any health advice, people should drink coffee and tea in moderation, as too much of a good thing can be…well, dangerous. While researchers have dispelled many common myths surrounding these beverages, it’s still a good idea to drink tea and coffee in small doses.