No secrets, I am a total coffee addict. Those who know me will 'nod' aggressively as I admit – I am no good without my cup of coffee in the morning. But true to my British roots, I also love tea; teas of all varieties are always popping out of my cupboard.So naturally I am fully ignorant to any ‘fad’ which tries to convince me that coffee is bad for you. Nah, Nah, NAH. Won’t hear it. BUT is there any truth behind the claim?
SO the common battles when we boil the kettle/contemplate a hot 'bev' or stand in line at the café (hah–yeh right, before Covid) are 'do I want tea or coffee?'.
Lets see what the facts are on both of these caffeine-fuelled beverages.
Caffeine: A powerful stimulant for your central nervous system, known to reduce fatigue and increase alertness by increased levels of dopamine. Studies have shown that caffeine intake will improve endurance exercise outcomes by 12% (this was in comparison to a placebo). Also for mental alertness, caffein is proven to advance performance in both simple and complex tasks. Hence caffeine is a ‘morning-starter’ and considered a performance-enhancing substance in sport, but no proof needed there.
An additional little fact for you, it has been suggested that moderate caffeine intake has beneficial effects against dementia, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome and liver disease.
NB; Recommended daily intake of caffeine (adult) is 400 milligrams
Typically an average brewed cup of coffee (8oz/237ml) contains 96mg of caffeine
Typically an average Espresso shot (1oz/30ml) contains 64mg of caffeine
Typically an average cup of instant coffee (8oz/237ml) contains 62mg of caffeine
Typically a mug of brewed black tea (8oz/237ml) contains 47mg of caffeine
Typically a mug of brewed green tea (8oz/237ml) contains 28mg of caffeine
Effects of coffee happens almost immediately after it is ingested, whereas effects from tea can happen within 45 minutes. Tea is more of a slow release.
Both tea and coffee are loaded with anti-oxidants, thus providing us with health benefits (that’s all I needed to hear, BENEFITS, SEE, GOOD FOR US RIGHT!?)
Specifically tea, although lower in caffeine, it is very rich in L-Theanine – this very powerful antioxidant is proven to stimulate the brain. The difference here with caffeine is that it is proven to lower stress levels by increasing the alpha waves in the brain, helping you relax. A counter effect to caffeine. Here is the explanation for benefits of tea later in the day, the boost from tea is calmer and soothing.
So, big question amongst us fitness freaks. Do either tea or coffee help with our fitness goals?
Here are the facts:
High levels of caffeine MAY help with weight loss alongside the right nutrition and fitness programme. Coffee specifically slows the production of fat cells which has been proves across various studies. However this does not mean go on a coffee diet – these statistics are so marginal, it is merely a good assistant.
Tea is beneficial to weight control by assisting in controlling the healthy bacteria in the gut and intestines. Theaflavins in tea is highly effective in the pancreas also, assisting in fat metabolism but again as with coffee these levels are only beneficial alongside an effective and consistent nutritional programme and fitness routine.
To all you coffee addicts out there, get yourselves out of bed to your favourite mug and take moments to absorb everything delightful in that ritual. Perhaps as the day passes explore the joys of all of the thousands of extravagant teas out there… get our brains ticking the right way.