By Meghan McCloskey, Staff Writer
Both coffee and tea have recently been viewed as healthy beverages. Regardless of whether or not you are a coffee drinker or tea drinker, depending on your taste buds, the health benefits and downfalls of the two contrasting drinks might be surprising.
Coffee is looked at as a pick-me-up or an addictive caffeinated drink. However, recent studies have shown the benefits of coffee go well beyond a mid-day boost of energy.
Coffee can lower your risk of Parkinson's disease, diabetes and colon cancer. If you drink up to three cups of joe a day, you could be lowering your risk by single digits. Drinking six or more cups will lower your risk even more, according to a research done by Harvard University.
There is ongoing research proving coffee helps conditions like asthma, headaches and cavities. Of course, a lot of the benefits of coffee have to do with the drinker's mood since caffeine is a natural stimulant. Coffee is a popular drink in the morning since the caffeine can boost your energy and help wake you up.
"Coffee is part of my breakfast routine that wakes me up in the morning. I always look forward to my morning coffee," senior speech-language-hearing science and Spanish major Stephanie Devlin said.
Like anything, though, coffee is good in moderation and there are risks of drinking too much. Many people become addicted to coffee and this can actually have a negative effect on your health. Addiction to caffeine can cause mood swings and severe headaches.
Coffee can turn extremely unhealthy very quickly, since there are so many different ways to drink the beverage. Sugary syrups, cream, and sweeteners add hundreds of calories into a drink that is originally almost calorie free.
On the other end of the table, tea, especially the green kind, is a very healthy drink. Tea is linked to helping the body fight off cancer and heart disease. There has also been research that shows tea can help lower cholesterol and speed up your metabolism.
Tea, particularly green tea, has many antioxidants that your body can use to help fight off illnesses, but the amount of tea that must be consumed is the question. Research has not proven how much tea a person must drink to get all of the benefits, and it might not be realistic.
However, tea is still a soothing, relaxing drink that people usually choose when they want to wind down, like freshman journalism major Chelsea Tirrell.
"I usually drink coffee, but I drink tea to calm me down or make my throat feel better," she said.
Tea has less of a risk of becoming unhealthy because people do not add as much flavor to tea, but watch out for the extremely sugary kinds in the bottle.
Whichever hot beverage you choose, there are different health benefits you can receive from each. Coffee can be a nice pick-me-up, while tea can be more
relaxing. It is how you drink your beverage of choice that really pushes it to be unhealthy, so make the right choices and remember that if it tastes too sweet, it probably is.