Caffeine in Coffee vs. Tea
Before a high-impact workout, we like to fuel up and stimulate our brains with caffeine. However, we've noticed that there is quite the divide when it comes to everyone's preferred caffeine sources—some of us would do anything (well, almost anything) for coffee while others will fight to the death for their tea. It's caused more than a few debates around the office, and we want to finally settle the score among caffeine-fueled lifters.
Which is better and which provides the best caffeine boost? Let’s take a look at the science behind both drinks and how they can affect your workout including before, during, and after. We’re sure whichever recommendation we make, dedicated drinkers are bound to stick to their ways ( always listen to your body ) but it’s worth a shot, right?
The Caffeine Content in One Cup
From the Mayo Clinic’s research, an 8oz cup of coffee is packed with around 95-165mg of caffeine while it's tea counterpart only has 25-48mg depending on the type of tea. Black tea has more caffeine than green tea, but many cite that green tea is a healthier choice and won't stain your teeth as much (gotta keep those selfies looking good, right?).
The clear winner here, if you’re going strictly off of the caffeine content, is coffee. It will provide you with a higher jolt of energy in one cup than a cup of tea would. What about your overall health? Since you’re most likely concerned about the food you eat, meticulously entering in your macros into an app, you probably want to know how these two drinks affect your health both short-term and for the long haul.
This one is a bit of a toss-up as both coffee and tea provide great overall health benefits. For example, studies have shown that adults who drink four cups of coffee a day can reduce their risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 30%. On the tea side of things, drinking green tea can help boost your immune system, so you don't catch any of the flu and colds lurking around unwiped gym equipment.
When it comes to overall health, both are great options and are definitely better than most of the over-caffeinated, chemical-filled energy drinks you’ll find some athletes pushing.
What Are Your Goals?
If you want to build endurance, coffee is the clear winner. A study from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that athletes could sprint 9% further after 2 and a half cups of coffee.
If you want to lose weight, tea is the best option. Green tea contains powerful EGCG which works in addition to caffeine to actually shrink fat cells within the body. Tea is also a great choice if you want to improve your mood after a rough day at work, when gym-time just won’t lift your spirits.
It's kind of a toss-up here. Each of these caffeine sources is great for your overall health and come with their own list of pros and cons. If you're only in it for that sweet, jittery energy, then coffee is definitely the way to go. If you want to boost your mood and immune system, tea is the answer. Whichever choice you make, be sure not to overload with sugar and syrups; straight-up is the best way to reap the full benefits of these two beverages.