Most of you reading articles about nutrition and health would surely have that one question in mind – Coffee or Green Tea?
My answer to this question is simple, it depends!
Just like most of the other things, the ‘one size fits all’ approach fits even herein. It all depends on your unique body requirements including micro biome, hormones, DNA, liver, and more.
From Where to Start
First, look at your body’s symptoms following caffeine consumption when you consume coffee. Do you get anxious, wired, clammy, and feel like your heart is going to jump of your chest? Or, do you feel mentally clear, focused, and alert? The way your body will respond to caffeine actually depends on your genes.
Consumption of caffeine and metabolism are greatly influenced by genetic makers close the AHR and CYP1A2 genes. AHR is a gene containing instructions for a protein that speeds up production of CYP1A2 enzyme, which is supportive in breaking down caffeine. CYP1A2 is a gene that includes instructions for enzymes that break around 95% of caffeine.
Any variation in these genes will affect how quickly your body breaks down caffeine and clears it from your system. One of the genes causes the liver to break down caffeine fast and if you have two such genes then caffeine clears away from your system very fast. In other case, you may even be able to drink coffee after dinner and still have a wonderful sleep. These are fast metabolizers break caffeine 4 times faster than those who have only a slow variant version.
Fast Caffeine Metabolizers
Those blessed with fast caffeine metabolizers can drink coffee and experience faster metabolism, better mental clarity, enhanced performance while exercising, increased longevity, and improved mood.
Slow Caffeine Metabolizers
With one or more slow caffeine genes, it is more likely that you experience negative effects from caffeine, such as feeling anxious and jittery. You may even experience cortisol spikes, digestive issues, and interrupted sleep. The other severe issues that you can experience with a slow metabolizer and consuming caffeine are increased risk of heart attack and hypertension.
Green Tea vs Coffee
Green tea is a powerhouse of antioxidants and contains high levels of EGCG, which is a catechin that slows down aging, reduces the risk of heart disease, decreases cancer growth, boosts metabolism, and reduces inflammation.
There are varieties of green tea available with the most popular ones as sencha, bancha, matcha, and gyokuro. Each has a different amount of caffeine, varying level of EGCG concentration, price tag, and a different taste.
The L-theanine and caffeine present in green tea work together to produce sustained energy and enhanced brain function. Most of the people love green tea because it gives them enough caffeine for physical and mental boost without resulting in crashing.
Coffee too is an excellent source of inflammation reducing antioxidants. Even, drinking coffee can increase exercise performance, increase insulin sensitivity, burn fat, increase longevity, and reduce risks of neurodegeneration.
The level of caffeine vary from coffee to coffee, depending on the beans used, quantity of beans used, duration of the brew cycle, and how much dilution was performed with cream or water. As a basic rule, cold brew tends to have less level of caffeine than drip coffee. Furthermore, dark roasts tend to have less caffeine than blonde roasts.
Conventionally produced coffee is heavily sprayed with chemicals, pesticides, and combined with solvents. It clearly indicates that coffee is one of the contaminated crops worldwide. Hence, coffee drinkers must switch to organic coffee whenever possible. Also, if you are using decaf coffee, then use water-processed decaf, like Swiss water as it is free from the use of toxic chemicals in its production.
So, which one you must consume?
As a nutritionist, I witness some people having great tolerance to coffee while there are others who feel it’s highly stimulating. Both coffee and green tea contains health promoting antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids. So, I will not say that one is better than other. It is absolutely your personal preference. Also, you can experiment with both of them and see how your body responds to each.
If you feel great drinking green tea or coffee each day, you must go for it. If caffeine is not serving you, you can opt for the tempting herbal teas available. Just see how your body reacts to each one of them and then you can start with your coffee – green tea journey!
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