Every time I post about the health benefits of coffee, I get the question "what about tea?" While there is overwhelming evidence that coffee is a genuine superfood, many people genuinely prefer the taste of tea and green tea, in particular, is often touted as a superfood in its own right.

Unfortunately, tea, green or otherwise, simply isn't anywhere near as good for you as coffee.

Coffee Is a Superfood

According to an exhaustive meta-analysis of 127 studies, drinking two to four 8-ounce cups of coffee each day results in these specific health benefits:

  1. Your risk of getting cancer decreases 20 percent.
  2. Your risk of Type 2 diabetes decreased 30 percent.
  3. Your risk of contracting Parkinson's disease decreates 30 percent.
  4. Your risk of getting heart disease decreases 5 percent.

Furthermore, a study of half-a-million people in the UK (a population that contains many tea drinkers) and published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that people who drink a LOT coffee live longer than those who don't.

Tea Is Not a Superfood, Alas

In contrast to coffee, the research into the health benefits of tea haven't yeilded very impressive results, according to a summary article published on CNN. Specifically:

  • Tea has only a "small positive effect" on weight loss and maintenance, according to the International Journal of Obesity,
  • Tea only produces weight loss when people drink huge amounts of concentrated green tea. Drinking normally prepared tea (i.e. steeped in cups) "is unlikely to be clinically relevant," according to the Canadian Pharmacist's Journal.
  • Tea can't be proven to reduce the risk of cancer, according to a meta-analysis of 51 studies that comprised more than 1.6 million participants. The most that those studies concluded was that tea "appears to be safe at moderate, regular and habitual use."
  • Tea (specifically green tea) appears to delay the onset of cognitive decline (a benefit not found in coffee in this study) but that study's methodology was flawed because it lacked a randomized trials and a control group.

All in all, that's a pretty weak case for switching from coffee to tea. While tea does contain caffiene and thus can you help manage your energy level and increase your focus, it lacks the complex molecules that give coffee its punch.

Published on: May 31, 2019
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