What is Healthier, Coffee or Green Tea?
By GMB Nutritionist, Melissa Fine
Our take on the coffee vs green tea debate.
Are you a coffee or green tea person? We love both at GMB: coffee in the am, and green tea come 3pm is how we roll.
With each beverage having its own health benefits, here’s a closer look at the difference between the two, to help you determine which one is right for you!
Weight Loss Benefits
To a small degree, the caffeine in coffee and green tea can help temporarily speed up your metabolism. However this will be affected by how you have your coffee or green tea; a large milky, syrupy coffee, or an artificially flavoured ‘green tea’ frappe won’t do much in the way of weight loss.
To reap the potential metabolism-boosting effects, drink your coffee black, or like our GMB Founder Peta – she loves her piccolos! And don’t mess with green tea! Drink it the traditional way, with the teabag or loose leaves steeped in boiled water. If it’s a hot day, skip the sugary frappe and serve your green tea straight up, over ice. Onno Behrends’ hand-picked, single-origin Green Tea has a lovely lemon infusion…our pick for an iced, calorie-free bevvie!
Depending on your brew, a cup of coffee will give you around 100-150mg of caffeine, whereas a cup of green tea has around 25mg of caffeine.
A central nervous system-stimulant, caffeine can boost everything from mental alertness to physical performance. Some people tolerate it well, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine, you’ll be all too familiar with the jitters and stomach-upset that can come with it. If you find your morning latte leaves you feeling a bit off, green tea might be a gentler alternative, with only around 1/3 of the caffeine content of coffee.
Then there’s the fact that green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid with a calming effect on the brain. L theanine can also work synergistically with caffeine to improve cognitive function, leaving you feeling more ‘switched on’. This is green tea’s large point of difference: it contains caffeine for a pick-me- up, but can also help calm an anxious mind, giving you the best of both worlds!
Both coffee and green tea contain their own unique mix of polyphenols; naturally occurring chemical compounds in plants, these are loaded with antioxidant potential. Helping to neutralise or fight free radicals that cause cellular damage, antioxidants can play an important role in disease prevention…they’re also key for anti-ageing!
Coffee gives you antioxidants like quinines and chlorogenic acid, whereas green tea is rich in flavonoids and catechins. A diet with a range of antioxidants will provide a broader spectrum of health benefits, so provided it can’t hurt to drink both coffee and green tea! Just be cautious of overdoing the caffeine when coffee is concerned (if coffee sits well with you, we’d stick to just one or two coffees/day).
What’s your pick? Coffee or green tea? Tell us in the Comments!