Coffee vs Tea: Let the battle begin!

crop1_240x240_15july14When it comes to caffeine and as diuretic, Tea is often seen as the lesser evil of the two. But is it really the better version? Here’s the brass tack.

Coffee or green tea are zero calorie beverages, so what is added to them is what makes them healthy or not. For instance: 1 tablespoon of cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar can add up to 80 calories and 6 grams of fat. Squirt in flavored syrup, pile on whipped cream, and your once-healthful drink becomes a rich dessert worth 240 calories.

On an average, four cups of tea or coffee are seen as healthy consumption and have benefits that run from keeping you alert to reducing the risk of Type II diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Teeth Decay
The enamel of your teeth is the hardest substance in the human body, and yet coffee pigments can cause it damage by decolourisation it, which eventually leads to tooth decay and other issues. How it is possible?

According to the Colgate website, the tooth enamel contains microscopic pits and ridges that can hold particles of food and drink. And it is here that these pigments get embedded resulting in yellow stains or what we call coffee smile. Tea, green tea, on the other hand is a lesser evil as it is low on pigmentation and thus doesn’t stick to these ridges and can be easily washed off.
Better Bet: Tea

Caffeine Powerhouse
Tea has approximately 55 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while coffee has approximately 125-185 milligrams. According to Current Sports Medicine Reports, the caffeine in coffee improves performance and endurance during prolonged, exhaustive exercise. To a lesser extent, it also boosts short-term, high-intensity athletic performance, as well as enhances concentration, reduces fatigue and heightens alertness. This may have been a reason that many fitness experts recommend black coffee as a pre-drink before a workout.

Caffeine can stimulate your muscles, which can help you power through with more reps. Green tea on the other contains the least, about one-third the caffeine as black and oolong about two-thirds as much. Also, it doesn’t absorb in the blood as faster as coffee, hence the reaction time is longer.
Better Bet: Coffee

Antioxidant Reserve
While there is no doubt that the molecular composition of tea shows more antioxidants; studies have proved that coffee is equally good for the healthy too, of course when taken in moderation. So while tea has heart-friendly tannin, catechin, Vitamin E and C, natural fluorine, flavonoids and polysaccharides, coffee is big on trigonelline, chlorogenic acid, phenolic acid, amino acid, carbohydrates, minerals organic acids aldehydes, ketones, esters, amines, and mercaptans.

The Nestle Research Center recent study found that coffee found that depending on the type of bean (Robustas have twice the antioxidants of Arabicas, although the difference is reduced in the roasting process) and the level of “solubles” in the cup, and the brewing time, coffee’s antioxidant benefits outrun those in cocoa, herbal teas and red wine. In fact, green coffee beans contain about 1,000 antioxidants, and the brewing process adds 300 more.
Best Bet: Either

Total Consumption

Coffee: According to the Coffee Board of India, the estimated consumption in India is around 125,000 tonne in 2013, which was a 5-6 per cent rise since 2010.

Tea: As the world’s largest consumer of tea, India consumes close to 920 million kilograms every year. A cool 733 gram per person annually, which makes it our National Drink.

Type II Diabetes
A 2009 study by the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people who drank four cups of coffee daily were 30 percent less at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers. It’s also been shown that men who drank at least three cups of coffee daily were 9 percent less likely to have skin cancer than those who drank less than one cup monthly. But health benefits of tea—especially green tea—are well documented, too. While the antioxidants in green tea can aid in repairing a weak immune system because it has EGCG, an antioxidant that recharges the white blood cells that prevent them from reactivating. It is also good for preventing colon cancer.
Better Bet: Either

Weight Loss Kit
The fact: Coffee helps reduce weight as it reduces appetite. And while the caffeine in coffee helps reduce the craving, in the long run it does more harm to the body than good as body starts to get into a reserve mode rather than burning the fat. In the contrary, green tea, or non milky tea, helps help shrink fat cells and makes muscle cells more active thanks to ECGC in them. Therefore helping you reduce weight effectively.
Better Bet: Tea

Mood Enhancer
For years, coffee has been associated with mood boosting. And the reason for this is the work of caffeine that gets absorbed in the blood and gives that ‘kick’ to help your perform better. However, a test done in Britain a few years ago when coffee drinkers were asked to drink decaf with the same result, it became clear that the mood boosting quality of coffee is more intuitive than reality.

On the contrary, tea actually helps calm the nerves, and thus is effective as a relaxant and a mood enhancer. according to a recent study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, herbal teas/infused tea like jasmine and lavender experience a decrease in heart rate through the smell and then the lightness.
Better Bet: Tea

Better Hydration
For long it was believed that coffee is a diuretic, which means it can cause dehydration thanks to the quantity of caffeine in the coffee, recent study have shown otherwise. According to dietician Sveta Bhassin, “Coffee causes dehydration in non coffee drinkers, the effects of which effectively reduces over a period of four days. So it’s a good idea for occasional drinkers to add a glass of water before or after the indulgence. However when it comes to tea, its low caffeine content makes it an ideal for hydration.”

In fact, recent study has claimed that consumption of green tea is considered equivalent to having glass of water.
Better Bet: Either

Mind Matters
A Hawaiian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May 2000)showed that of 8,000 Japanese/American men, those who drank 3+ cups of coffee per day were 5 times less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. The study took place over a 30-year period.

The theory behind was that caffeine is reducing the amount of neuro-transmitters produced by the brain, transmitters that may actual do damage to surrounding brain tissue. It was same for the tea, where the polyphenols in green tea have a similar preventative effect with regards to Parkinson’s disease. These chemicals act within the brain to improve the flow of dopamine between portions of the brain.
Better Bet: Either

Image: Getty Images