The Health Benefits Of Drinking Coffee and Tea

It seems as though every week a new articles surfaces about the pros and cons of drinking either coffee or tea. One week caffeine is a mortal enemy, the next a tolerable friend. Likewise, green tea surfaces as a miracle cure all, only to fade to a questionable metabolic stimulant. If you enjoy either coffee or tea, here are some things to consider.

According to an article released last year by ABC News, Study: Drinking Coffee Has Health Benefits, coffee is America's number one source of antioxidants, the agents that help protect you from toxins, starve off cancer and heart disease. But what about the barrage of information about the negative effects of caffeine that surface along side articles like this one from ABC News? Even this article from ABC points out that caffeine does in fact raise your blood pressure. So is tea a better source of antioxidants, since it contains less caffeine?

Tea has less than one third the amount of caffeine than coffee, which can be great for people who suffer from indigestion or headaches after drinking coffee (Grieger). Grieger goes on to mention some additional benefits of drinking tea, such as an increased metabolism and disease fighting qualities. According to ABC News, coffee also helps prevent disease, so coffee and tea seem to be on equal par there. And in reference to an increased metabolism, Grieger mentions that drinking green tea can help you burn up to 80 calories a day. 80 calories? It seems as though you would burn just as many calories lifting your coffee cup.

So Which Is It... Coffee or Tea?

Most of the other information out there about the benefits of coffee and/or tea seem to say the same things: coffee is an antioxidant but high amounts of caffeine can be bad; tea also has healing qualities, but is not the diet miracle the headlines would like to suggest it is. Many studies have mentioned that decaf coffee offers just as many antioxidants as regular coffee, which removes any negative effects brought on by caffeine.

When it comes down to it, drinking coffee or tea can be mutually beneficially in moderation. If you prefer drinking coffee over tea, consider drinking less to limit your intake of caffeine, or switch to decaf. If you prefer tea, great, but don't assume that drinking high volumes of it will magically burn off the donut you had for breakfast.


ABC News Online. Study: Drinking Coffee Has Health Benefits. 28 August 2005. 31 August 2006.

Grieger, Lynn. "Top 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea" 5 April 2005. 31 August 2006.,,7kq79l90,00.html.

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