In this article I am gonna try to end the dispute over which is better, green tea vs coffee. They have different amounts of caffeine, and they both have similar as well as different effects on health.
To put it short, the winner is..
Both.That’s right, both green tea and coffee have some great health benefits, and they are both safe to consume although it is usually recommended to limit coffee to 3-4 cups a day because of the high amounts of caffeine. Pregnant women might want to cut back quite a bit though.
Caffeine in tea vs coffee
Like I wrote in my post about green tea and caffeine content, green tea does contain caffeine but it’s much less than in coffee.
A cup of coffee might contain about 100-150mg of caffeine, even less or even more, depending on the type.
A cup of green tea contains about 25mg of caffeine, but green tea also contains other related stimulant substances called Theobromine and Theophylline. It also contains an amino acid called L-Theanine which has a slightly calming effect.
White tea contains less caffeine than green tea and black tea contains more. Black tea might actually contain as much as a small cup of coffee. It’s difficult to give out specific numbers because they vary with type and amount.
Coffee vs Tea and health effects
Both green tea and coffee do have various health benefits. I’ve written a detailed article on coffee and health before, but here I’m going to compare this with green tea.
There is some evidence from Japan that green tea can reduce chances of death from all causes, as well as from heart disease. The results were particularly evident for stroke (1).
Both green tea and coffee seem to help against developing type 2 Diabetes, although the case seems stronger for coffee (2).
Green tea may slow cognitive decline in the elderly at smaller doses while coffee only shows the same effect if drinking large amounts of it.
Coffee and total caffeine intake seems to have a massive effect on preventing Parkinson’s in men (6).
Green tea seems to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol (7).
Metabolic rate and dental health
It is common knowledge that green tea can boost metabolism, specifically the burning of fat, and may therefore assist in weight loss (8). The effect is kind of small, but it still might be an important equipment in your fat loss arsenal.
Green tea might help with killing bacteria and could therefore help improve breath and dental health. Coffee gives people that “coffee-breath” which some people find quite unpleasant.
These were just the main points that have come up during my research of tea vs coffee but this matter has been studied EXTENSIVELY. If you have the time and interest, you can find a ton more info by going to Google Scholar and typing in phrases like “coffee”, “tea”, “green tea”, “green tea coffee”, etc.)
Both green tea and coffee contain caffeine, as well as high amounts of antioxidants and some minerals.
I’m not sure if the health benefits are due to the antioxidant effect or because of a “hormesis” effect, but the polyphenols in coffee and tea are foreign substances to the body and might cause an increase in the body’s defense mechanisms.
I don’t know if it is the antioxidant effect, the minerals, the hormesis effect or a little bit of everything but it seems clear that both green tea and coffee do have health benefits in people.
If you prefer tea, then you should continue drinking it. If you prefer coffee, then great. If you want to experience the best of both worlds then it might be best to drink a little bit of both.