On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m comparing coffee vs tea and answering the question, is coffee healthy for you?
Today’s topic was inspired by a Live Lean TV viewer request, asking for my thoughts on coffee vs tea.
In particular, is coffee healthy for you, and should coffee and tea be included in the Live Lean diet?
Lets be real.
Are there any other foods or drinks that people are more passionate about than coffee?
Well maybe liquor, but at least most people are clear on the negative side effects alcohol.
It’s true, coffee consumption is way up there in the standard American diet.
Typically, the first thing people do in the morning is grab a big cup of coffee to kickstart their day.
Speaking of caffeine, since we’ve been inundated with all kinds of negative criticism of caffeine, many people often overlook the health benefits of coffee.
In particular, we’ll explore the following:
1. The health benefits of coffee: including the antioxidant benefits and coffee’s role in helping release fatty acids from your adipose tissue, a.k.a. your fat tissue.
2. The side effects of coffee: including coffee’s role in decreasing insulin sensitivity and how you can help minimize its negative effect.
3. Tea benefits: including how you can choose the right tea, based on caffeine content, antioxidant benefits, and reducing teeth stains. Also how many cups a day do you need to drink for the maximum antioxidant benefit?
If you’re not familiar with Food Wars, this is the segment where we analyze 2-3 foods and drinks, and figure out which ones you should keep in your kitchen, and which ones you should not bring into your house.
Let’s get into it by first analyzing your favorite, coffee.
Coffee often receives negative criticism for reasons which aren’t necessarily true.
A lot of the criticism has to do with the caffeine that is naturally found in coffee.
However, these same critics often overlook the antioxidant benefits that coffee provides.
Another health benefit that a lot of people are not aware of is caffeine may actually help release fatty acids from your fat tissue.
For example, if you want to increase fat burning during your workout, having a coffee before your workout may help release the fatty acids quicker, so you can burn fat more efficiently.
Try this delicious iced protein coffee recipe before your next workout.
One of the downsides of drinking coffee is it may decrease insulin sensitivity.
This means it may hinder the effectiveness of your body in processing sugar.
So here’s just a little tip to reduce the effect of this.
If you drink coffee first thing in the morning, don’t combine it with a huge bagel, bowl of cereal, toast, or any other high carbohydrate meal.
NOTE: A few comments on my video have come up saying coffee dehydrates you. Research that I’ve looked at says otherwise.
University of Connecticut Study Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16131696
So what about tea?
One of the biggest health benefits from both coffee and tea are the antioxidants.
Consuming drinks and foods high in antioxidants will help you stay younger, by helping you fight off the free radicals in your body.
The excessive production of free radicals creates the oxidative stress in your body, making you look and feel older.
Even though most teas contain antioxidants, certain types have more antioxidants than others.
These 3 teas are often referred to as true teas, since they are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Although I love drinking herbal teas for a warm and calming night time snack, they actually aren’t considered a true tea, since they usually are made from dried fruits, flowers, herbs, and spices.
Tea contains approximately a quarter to a half the amount of caffeine that coffee has.
Black tea contains the most caffeine, while the white tea has the least caffeine.
However, black tea is known to stain your teeth the worst.
Therefore, if you’re looking for the lowest caffeine tea, and reduce the risk of staining your teeth, go with white tea or green tea.
Pre-packaged tea in tea bags typically won’t be as fresh as the loose tea leaves that you see at higher end tea shops.
The antioxidant levels of tea bags typically are not as high as the antioxidants found in the fresh tea.
If you’re looking to maximize the amount of antioxidants in your diet, consider going with fresh tea.
To maximize the antioxidant benefits, aim to drink 2-3 cups of tea per day.
Based on this information, I’m happy to say I shouldn’t receive any hate email from you, since I do recommend coffee and tea in your diet.
Enjoy the antioxidants.
If you’re looking for teas with the highest antioxidant benefit, go with white tea, green tea, and black tea.
If you’re looking to have a cup of tea later in the night, go with white tea as it has the least amount of caffeine, or caffeine free herbal tea.
So there you go.
You can also find us on social media for more daily motivation to keep you Living Lean:
Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE weekly e-newsletter where we send out workouts, cooking recipes, fitness and nutrition tips, and more motivation to get you Living Lean with us, forever.
By signing up, you’ll also get a copy of our Ultimate Live Lean Starter Guide for free.
I’ll be back tomorrow with another #LLTV Q&A session.
See you then.
Do you drink coffee? If so, how many cups a day?
Do you drink tea? If so, what type, and how many cups a day?
Be sure to share your answers in the comment section below.
Check out our free workout videos here.
Check out my free recipe cooking videos here.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.