When comparing tea and coffee, it is always a difficult choice for many people. For centuries, there have been debates over which beverage is the best. Coffee lovers have their reasons, and tea lovers have their weighty points as well.
It goes without saying that coffee is the most popular and most preferred drink, especially when it comes to revitalizing the body. However, in terms of health benefits, tea is by far the best beverage. This is especially true for teas such as green tea, oolong tea, black tea, white tea, or herbal teas such as hibiscus tea, mint tea, etc.
Before we look at what tea has to offer over coffee, let’s discuss an issue that brings a lot of confusion- Caffeine content in tea.
For most people, they prefer coffee over tea with the notion that coffee has more caffeine content than tea. But is this true? Let’s discuss this.
How Much Caffeine Is In Tea?
The caffeine content in tea varies depending on the type of tea in question. There are also other factors that affect caffeine content in tea, but we will discuss them later on.
Talking about caffeine in tea, what is it, and what does it do to the body?
Caffeine is a stimulant that activates the nervous system and heart, thereby making you more alert, both physically and mentally, as well as providing more energy. Caffeine naturally occurs in beans, tea, and cocoa. The reason it is found in these plants is that it acts as a natural pesticide, thereby protecting them from insects.
In the body, caffeine is absorbed into the body tissues and blood in less than half an hour. This is why you normally feel more active after drinking coffee or tea.
Back to the question of how much caffeine is in tea. We mentioned that the caffeine found in a cup of tea is not straightforward. It depends on;
- Leaf properties
The location where tea plants grow, the weather, and soil quality plays a role in the caffeine content in a type of tea. For example, young buds of a plant have more caffeine content than older leaves.
- Amount of tea
The more loose leaf tea you add in a cup, the more caffeine you will drink. For instance, black teas tend to require more dry leaf per cup than oolongs or white tea.
- Infusion time
The longer a tea is steeped, the more caffeine it releases. This is the reasons many people opt to steep their tea more in the morning to get that extra push.
- Water temperature
The brewing temperature also determines the amount of caffeine released into a cup. Lower water temperatures will result in less caffeine content in a cup than that which has been brewed in boiling water.
But to give a general answer to this question, here are caffeine concentration in different teas.
- A cup of black teas contains 37mg of caffeine
- Matcha teas contain 130mg of caffeine
- A cup of green tea and oolong tea contains an average of 31mg of caffeine
- Pu-erh boasts of 31mg of caffeine
- White tea has the least caffeine content with just 27mg per cup
From the above different concentration, it is easy to conclude that most teas have less caffeine content than a cup of coffee, considering that a cup of coffee has 100mg.
So why do many people recommend tea over coffee? Here are eight reasons tea is more beneficial than coffee;
1. Tea offers a steady and smoother energy boost
When it comes to boosting energy, tea works better since it releases energy in smoother, steady doses than coffee. This means it will keep your body alert and mind more focused for longer without experiencing a drop in energy afterward.
When you drink coffee, caffeine is released immediately, which makes you feel stimulated almost immediately after drinking coffee. In contrast, when you drink tea, caffeine is released slowly due to chemical compositions. Tannins, which are the chemical compounds in tea that makes it have an aftertaste, bind to caffeine and thus deliver a steady energy boost.
This results in a slow, steady energy boost released for a longer time, which means you will not experience spikes and dips in energy as those associated with coffee. This is one of the major reasons tea is recommended in the morning since it will supercharge your body for a longer time than coffee.
2. Tea is rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants help your body fight diseases and make you healthier. Tea, especially herbal and true teas, have an abundance of antioxidants. Antioxidants also help to boost metabolism, which means your body will absorb more nutrients. Also, tea being a calorie-free drink, help you stay fit, and improves your overall body functioning.
3. Lesser acid content
It is true that tea and coffee cause acidic problems in many people. However, coffee is more acidic than tea and thus can be hard on your stomach. This is the reason many people experience heartburns after drinking coffee due to acid reflux.
On the other hand, tea, especially herbal teas such as chamomile and mint tea, is known to soothe acid reflux.
Related Article: Is Tea Acidic or Alkaline?
4. Weight loss
In the recent past, many people have been claiming that black coffee may help to increase the burning of fat, but this is something that has not been proven. In most cases, people add sugar to coffee, which means the number of calories you will be taking after drinking coffee will increase.
However, when it comes to herbal teas such as green tea and chamomile tea, they are known to help with weight loss by either increasing metabolic rate or making you feel fuller for longer.
Besides, you can take tea without sugar. In fact, when you want to sweeten it, you can add honey, and it will still work out fine. This makes tea a healthier option than coffee and a better drink to accelerate weight loss.
Related Article: The 5 Best Teas to Lose Weight Fast, #3 Is My Favorite
5. Heart health
Both tea and coffee have been found to reduce cardiovascular diseases. Dutch research carried out in 2010 proves that drinking six cups of tea in a day may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by more than 36 percent as compared to taking a single cup.
On the other hand, coffee drinkers were found to have a 20% lower risk of heart disease. However, the problem with coffee is that when you drink a lot of it in a day, your body may negatively get affected by higher caffeine levels. (1)
In fact, you are advised not to consume more than 400mg of caffeine in a day to avoid disrupting your sleeping patterns.
Related Article: The Wondrous Connection between Green Tea and Sleep
6. Dental health
When it comes to dental health, tea is the best as it protects your teeth from harmful bacteria that damages your teeth. This is because tea has powerful antioxidants that may help suppress and kill bacteria causing tooth decay and gum diseases. On the other hand, coffee is known to stain teeth as it leaves dark pigments on your teeth.
7. Tea is an anti-depressant and a relaxer
Tea has been proven to help people relax and calm down. In fact, some herbal teas such as chamomile and mint tea can help reduce anxiety and stress by calming the mind.
While the reason behind their ability to make the brain relax is not yet known, tea is a proven anti-depressant and a relaxer. Therefore, the next time you are feeling low, a cup of tea may help boost your mood
On the other hand, coffee is a stimulant and cannot be used for relaxation. If you would like to have a relaxed day, tea is the best drink to take in the morning.
8. It can protect your bones
A study done on the effect of tea on bone formation found out that people who drink tea regularly had stronger bones were less likely to develop osteoporosis due to high levels of catechins. This means that tea can promote healthy bone formation. We can, therefore, say that tea can help keep your bones strong. (2)
Now that you understand why tea is more beneficial than coffee, here are the best choices of teas to drink in the morning, based on their caffeine content;
- Matcha tea is the ideal choice for replacing coffee. This is a great choice for people who are used to taking high caffeine content in a day
- Black and oolong teas are great choices for moderate coffee drinkers. They pack a good content of caffeine and don’t result in rapid fluctuations of energy.
- Black teas can also serve as a good substitute for coffee because of their relatively higher caffeine content.
- Green tea does not have enough caffeine and flavor to suit people who are used to drinking strong coffees. If you are looking for teas with sharp tastes and flavors similar to coffee, oolong tea, and black tea fits the bill.
- White tea has sweet, floral taste and flavor and is the least caffeinated. This is an ideal choice for people who want to reduce caffeine intake.
Replacing coffee with tea is a healthy option that you should consider. Tea offers a steady and longer supply of energy boost, which means it will keep you going and focused longer than coffee. What’s more, it offers more benefits than coffee.
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