Most of us can't imagine our lives without caffeine. But there is an upside and a downside to caffeine. So is there a healthier cup of caffeine that we can opt for? The answer is Green Teas. Read more about Green Tea Vs Coffee in this detailed blog.
We all have our own fix of caffeine without which our mornings would seem utterly incomplete and most of us would struggle to pull through the day. So what is your caffeine fix? Is it that gorgeous cup of french press or are you an avid drip coffee enthusiast? Or is it a delectably fresh cup of healthy Green Tea? Whatever your choice of caffeine is, I wish to know how many of us are mindful about our caffeine choices. In this article we take a look at two of our favorite caffeine-loaded beverages, Green Tea vs Coffee, and see which one is healthier! So let’s jump in.
Caffeine : The Ups & Downs of it
Caffeine is chemical, that acts as a mental stimulant, and is found in popular beverages and some food like coffee, tea, cola, cocoa beans, yerba mate etc. Caffeine is mostly consumed for mental alertness, to ger rid of the grogginess that one experiences after getting up. Just like anything else, caffeine is advised in moderation. There are health benefits of caffeine like lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, improve memory, alleviate fatigue and headaches, boost one’s metabolism etc.
But there are also downsides to caffeine consumption as well. If you consume too much caffeine you could experience the following side effects like heartburn or upset stomach ; increased heart rate and anxiety ; caffeine in large amounts can also meddle with calcium absorption in your body. Getting addicted to strong caffeine can have a range of withdrawal symptoms as well.
There are both and upside and downside to caffeine, but we still need our caffeine fix. So let’s choose the healthier caffeine out of the two, shall we?
The Caffeine Dichotomy : Green Tea Vs Coffee
Both green tea and coffee are packed with beneficial antioxidants that help in reducing cell damage, neutralizing harmful free radicals in the body and help in fighting inflammation, while reducing the risk of chronic diseases. ‘Caffeine’ is a common ingredient in both the beverages, however the amount and kind of caffeine in both differ vastly.
A cup of coffee contains anywhere between 100-150mg of caffeine , while a cup of green tea has only 26mg of caffeine. Another big difference is the kind of caffeine present in the two beverages.
Read this detailed blog about busting some myths about caffeine in Tea.
Green Tea Offers Mindful Energy
All coffee drinkers will know of the adrenaline rush that comes with a cup of coffee, and they also know of the caffeine crash that comes afterwards. While coming down from the caffeine-high, the crash can make you feel jittery and anxious. But with Green tea, one doesn’t experience this jittery feeling and a sudden crash. This is because, in addition to the caffeine, green tea contains an important amino-acid called L-Theanine.
L-Theanine increases the activity of the neurotransmitter in our brains called GABA, which helps in promoting calm and reduces anxiety. It also increases the production of dopamine in the brain (happy hormone) and also increases the alpha activity in the brain. A combination of caffeine and L-Theanine in green tea helps in improving the brain’s functioning.
So if you have a green tea, you’ll be as awake, have more stable energy and feel more productive. The caffeine high in green tea is milder, with no sudden crashes.
Green Tea is Kinder on Your Stomach
Additionally, coffee is not a good choice of caffeine for people who suffer from heartburns, acid reflux or gastrointestinal problems, as coffee is more acidic in nature and can aggravate these issues. Compared to this, green tea actually helps in boosting metabolism. The catechin ‘EGCG’ present in green tea actually has powerful anti-inflammatory benefits which help with colitis and other IBD problems.
Green Tea has More Antioxidants
While we know that coffee has significant antioxidants, it’s a fact that Green Tea has a higher concentration of antioxidants and a whole variety of it as well. One of the most unique class of antioxidants found in teas are ‘Catechins’. Catechins have powerful antioxidant and anti-microbial properties which help in reducing the risk of heart diseases ; prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s ; and also help improve liver health. Some studies have also suggested that the Catechins present in green tea help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancers, although more studies are needed on that front to substantiate these claims.
Green Tea Better for Anxiety & Sleep
For people who experience anxiety and have a higher caffeine sensitivity, green tea is a much better choice of caffeine. Green Tea contains L-Theanine which helps in increasing the alpha activity in the brain and also helps in increasing the levels of dopamine. This helps in alleviating anxiety. Since Green tea contains far less caffeine than a cup of coffee, having a cup of green tea in the evening can be your choice of beverage which help you calm and unwind after a long day, without keeping you up.
In addition to this, Green tea is known for containing a special class of antioxidants, called ‘Catechins’ which have powerful health benefits for our overall health. Green tea also helps in aiding weight loss efforts, helps increase physical endurance and in fat oxidation.
To read more about green teas, what does it taste like, and of the health benefits of green tea, read our detailed blog here.
Having said that, green tea has an acquired taste, and it might take a while to like the flavor. You can add ingredients like lemon, honey, or even sweeteners initially to develop a taste for the beverage. Check out the season’s best 5 green teas you must try.
The Last Word on Coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular and loved beverages across the planet, and several studies now speak for the health benefits that come with drinking the right amount of coffee. Coffee can benefit your heart’s health ; reduce the risk of Parkinson’s ; reduces the risk of colon cancer.
But remember, that caffeine addiction is a real thing and breaking this pattern could have some short-term negative effects on your health. So take it easy on the caffeine and start inculcating a healthier low-caffeine habit from today with green teas.
Until next time,
Editor-in-Chief | Vahdam India
Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Well Steeped
Be a part of the Wellness Tribe and enjoy exclusive benefits