Expat Resource Centre

The Great Debate: Tea vs Coffee

They’re in your office, in your home, in your local gym, and they’re failing miserably. Yes, the humble crash dieter. Sadly, there’s no magic spell that brings health and wellbeing to the masses. More and more people seem to be taken in by these crash diets in their search for weight loss and overall fitness, but the facts show that in the long run, they just don’t work!

Sometimes it’s just too hard to make that drastic polar switch, especially if you’ve led a lifetime of over indulgence. The more sensible approach is to make small changes, gradually.

For instance, given that the average office employee will spend around half of the time they spend awake on any given week at their place of work, then maybe some small changes there could make a big difference to their wellbeing.

Things like sugar and caffeine intake can make a big difference, yet are overlooked by many. As with anything else, the health benefits to be gained are dependent on the choices you make. Are you a tea, or coffee drinker?

In terms of popularity, if global sales are anything to go by, tea is a clear winner. 

But which contains the most caffeine? Everyone knows too much caffeine is bad for you, but which hot drink contains the most? Tea or coffee?

The answer may not surprise you, but the margin of difference between the two verges on alarming. On average, a cup of brewed coffee contains three times as much caffeine as a cup of black tea. You wouldn’t think twice about throwing back a cup of java, but you almost certainly wouldn’t drink three cups of tea as a substitute.

Both tea and coffee have their pros and cons, there’s very little to separate one from the other when it comes to choosing a healthier option.

Studies show that people who drink around 4 cups of black tea a day have lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels in their body; but it also contains a chemical called Tanin, which counteracts the iron in your body in the prevention of anemia.

On the other hand, coffee is believed to help prevent Type 2 Diabetes, and can help increase the effectiveness of pain killers. However, research shows that coffee can also decrease the flow of blood to the heart.  Then there’s the sugar. People generally struggle to stay within their RDA limit for sugar, yet around 65% of Americans add sugar to their tea or coffee. If an average person has two sugars in their coffee, and drinks five cups of coffee a day, they’d be consuming an additional 70 sugars a week. That’s roughly 280 extra sugars a month, and a whopping 3,360 every year! Spare a thought for your poor teeth; consider giving the sugar a miss!

Better still, why not make an effort to bypass the caffeine altogether, by simply drinking more water instead?

Tea, coffee, or water. The choice is yours; but do try and drink more H2O!