Coffee vs. Tea: Is One Healthier Than the Other?

By Ariane Lang, BSc, MBA

Coffee and tea are amongst the world’s hottest drinks, with black tea being the most sought-after number of the later, accounting for 78% of all tea manufacturing and consumption (1Trusted Source).

While the two present comparable well being advantages, they’ve some variations.

This article compares espresso and black tea that can assist you resolve which one to decide on.

Caffeine Content

Caffeine is the most studied and consumed stimulant in the world (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Present in lots of widespread drinks, together with espresso and tea, it is recognized for each its helpful and adversarial results on human well being.

While the caffeine content material can fluctuate relying on brewing time, serving dimension, or preparation technique, espresso can simply pack twice the caffeine as an equal serving of tea.

The quantity of caffeine thought of secure for human consumption is 400 mg per day. One Eight-ounce cup (240 ml) of brewed espresso incorporates a median of 95 mg of caffeine, in contrast with 47 mg in the identical serving of black tea (4Trusted Source, 5, 6).

Though scientists have primarily targeted on espresso when researching the constructive results of caffeine, each drinks — regardless of containing differing quantities of this substance — can present its related well being advantages.

Caffeine consumption might scale back your threat of sure persistent illnesses and enhance athletic efficiency, temper, and psychological alertness (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).

Caffeine works as a robust stimulant on your central nervous system, which is why it is thought of a performance-enhancing substance in sports activities (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).

One overview of 40 research decided that caffeine consumption improved endurance train outcomes by 12%, in contrast with a placebo (13Trusted Source).

As for caffeine’s impact on psychological alertness, analysis reveals that it improves efficiency in each easy and complicated duties (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).

A examine in 48 individuals who got a drink containing both 75 or 150 mg of caffeine revealed enhancements in response instances, reminiscence, and knowledge processing, in contrast with the management group (16Trusted Source).

Other research point out that caffeine might scale back kind 2 diabetes threat by enhancing insulin sensitivity (17Trusted Source).

A overview of 9 research in 193,473 individuals confirmed that frequently consuming espresso considerably lowered the threat of kind 2 diabetes (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source).

What’s extra, average caffeine consumption has been related to protecting results towards dementia, Alzheimer’s illness, metabolic syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver illness (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).


Caffeine is a robust stimulant that has been related to protecting results towards some persistent illnesses. Coffee incorporates extra caffeine per serving than black tea, however each drinks might present its related advantages.

Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants shield your physique towards free radical injury, which can assist stop the improvement of sure persistent illnesses (25Trusted Source).

Both tea and low are loaded with antioxidants, primarily polyphenols, which contribute to their attribute taste and health-promoting properties (26Trusted Source, 27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29Trusted Source).

Many teams of polyphenols are current in tea and low.

Theaflavins, thearubigins, and catechins are the main ones in black tea, whereas espresso is wealthy in flavonoids and chlorogenic acid (CGA) (30, 31Trusted Source).

A current test-tube examine found that theaflavins and thearubigins inhibited the progress of lung and colon most cancers cells and finally killed them (32Trusted Source).

Studies in leukemia cells revealed comparable outcomes, suggesting that black tea might have cancer-protective properties, although extra analysis is required (33Trusted Source).

On the different hand, test-tube research on espresso’s anticancer properties have discovered that its CGA content material acts as a potent inhibitor of most cancers cell progress, defending towards gastrointestinal and liver most cancers (34Trusted Source, 35Trusted Source).

Long-term research in people and additional analysis that has analyzed bigger swimming pools of proof present that espresso and tea can also shield towards different kinds of cancers, corresponding to breast, colon, bladder, and rectum most cancers (36Trusted Source, 37Trusted Source, 38Trusted Source, 39Trusted Source, 40Trusted Source).

Aside from their antioxidant actions, polyphenols have been linked to a decreased fee of coronary heart illness (41Trusted Source).

They contribute to coronary heart well being by way of varied blood-vessel-protective mechanisms, together with (42Trusted Source, 43Trusted Source, 44Trusted Source):

  • Vasodilating issue. They promote blood vessel rest, which helps in circumstances of hypertension.
  • Anti-angiogenic impact. They block the formation of recent blood vessels which will feed most cancers cells.
  • Anti-atherogenic impact. They stop plaque formation in blood vessels, decreasing coronary heart assault and stroke threat.

A 10-year examine in 74,961 wholesome individuals decided that consuming four cups (960 ml) or extra of black tea per day was related to a 21% decrease threat of stroke, in contrast with non-drinkers (45Trusted Source).

Another 10-year examine in 34,670 wholesome ladies confirmed that consuming 5 cups (1.2 liters) or extra of espresso per day lowered the threat of stroke by 23%, in contrast with non-drinkers (46Trusted Source).


Both espresso and tea include several types of polyphenols, that are highly effective antioxidants that shield towards coronary heart illness and most cancers.

May Increase Energy Levels

Both espresso and tea can provide you an power increase — however in numerous methods.

Coffee’s Energy-Boosting Effect

The caffeine in espresso elevates your power ranges.

Caffeine will increase alertness and reduces fatigue by rising dopamine ranges and blocking adenosine (8Trusted Source, 47Trusted Source).

Dopamine is the chemical messenger liable for the jittery impact of espresso, because it will increase your coronary heart fee. It additionally impacts your mind’s reward system, which provides to espresso’s addictive properties.

On the different hand, adenosine has a sleep-promoting impact. Thus, by blocking it, caffeine reduces your emotions of tiredness.

What’s extra, espresso’s impact in your power ranges occurs virtually instantly.

Once ingested, your physique absorbs 99% of its caffeine inside 45 minutes, however peak blood concentrations seem as early as 15 minutes after ingestion (48Trusted Source).

This is why many individuals choose a cup of espresso after they want a direct power increase.

Tea’s Effect on Energy

Though tea is decrease in caffeine, it is wealthy in L-theanine, a robust antioxidant that additionally stimulates your mind (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source).

Unlike caffeine, L-theanine might present anti-stress results by rising your mind’s alpha waves, which assist you to relax and calm down (51Trusted Source).

This counteracts the arousing impact of caffeine and offers you a relaxed however alert psychological state with out feeling drowsy.

Studies have discovered that consuming L-theanine together with caffeine — as in tea — might assist you to keep your alertness, focus, consideration, and sharpness (52Trusted Source, 53Trusted Source).

This mixture could also be the cause why tea offers you a soothing and extra clean power increase than espresso.


Both espresso and tea improve your power ranges. However, espresso offers you an prompt kick, whereas tea presents a clean increase.

Possible Weight Loss Benefits

Due to its excessive caffeine focus, espresso might assist you to drop some pounds.

Caffeine might improve the variety of energy you burn by three–13%, and keep this impact for three hours after consumption, translating into an additional 79–150 energy burned (54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source, 56Trusted Source, 57Trusted Source).

Coffee has additionally been related to fat-burning properties by inhibiting the manufacturing of fats cells. Some research have attributed this impact to its chlorogenic acid content material (58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source).

A examine in 455 individuals reported that common espresso consumption was linked to decrease physique fats tissue. Similar outcomes have been obtained in a overview of 12 research, suggesting that chlorogenic acid aids weight reduction and fats metabolism in mice (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source).

On the different hand, tea polyphenols like theaflavin additionally appear to contribute to weight reduction.

Theaflavins reportedly inhibit pancreatic lipase, an enzyme that performs a key position in fats metabolism (62Trusted Source).

Studies in rats present that tea polyphenols might decrease blood lipid concentrations and scale back weight achieve — even when animals ate a high-fat food regimen (63Trusted Source).

Black tea polyphenols additionally appear to change the range of your intestine microbiota, or wholesome micro organism in your intestines, which can impression weight administration.

Again, research in rats have noticed that by altering the intestine microbiota, tea polyphenols might inhibit weight and fats achieve (64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source).

However, additional human analysis is required to substantiate these outcomes.


The caffeine in espresso and polyphenols in tea might assist you to drop some pounds, however extra human research are wanted to substantiate these results.

Is One Better Than the Other?

Though espresso has been related to a number of unwanted side effects, corresponding to coronary heart failure, elevated coronary heart fee, and hypertension, analysis reveals that average consumption is secure (66Trusted Source).

Though their antioxidant compositions differ, espresso and black tea are each wonderful sources of those essential compounds, which can shield towards varied circumstances, together with coronary heart illness and a few types of cancers.

Other well being claims attributed to espresso embody safety towards Parkinson’s illness and a lowered threat of kind 2 diabetes and liver cirrhosis. On the different hand, tea might shield towards cavities, kidney stones, and arthritis (1Trusted Source).

Coffee has the next caffeine content material than tea, which can be good for these on the lookout for an prompt power repair. However, it could trigger nervousness and impaired sleep in delicate individuals (8Trusted Source).

Also, as a result of caffeine’s impact in your mind, excessive espresso consumption might end in dependence or dependancy (67Trusted Source).

If you are extremely delicate to caffeine, tea could also be a better option. It incorporates L-theanine, an amino acid with calming properties which will calm down you whereas holding you alert.

Moreover, you possibly can go for a decaf choice of both beverage or select natural tea, which is of course caffeine-free. While they will not present the identical advantages, they might provide advantages of their very own (68Trusted Source).


Coffee and tea provide comparable well being advantages, together with weight reduction, anticancer, and energy-boosting properties. Still, you could need to select one over the different relying in your caffeine sensitivity.

The Bottom Line

Coffee and black tea might support weight reduction and shield towards sure persistent illnesses by way of varied metabolic processes.

Plus, the excessive caffeine content material of espresso might provide you with a fast power increase, whereas the mixture of caffeine and L-theanine in black tea presents a extra gradual improve in power.

Both drinks are wholesome and secure sparsely, so it could come down to non-public desire or your sensitivity to caffeine.

Reposted with permission from our media affiliate Healthline.

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