Choosing tea over coffee offers students health benefits

KU student Joseph Walters makes the big decision of what to drink: coffee or tea.            Photo by Jaylynn McClendon, The Keystone

KU student Joseph Walters makes the big decision of what to drink: coffee or tea.
Photo by Jaylynn McClendon, The Keystone

By Jaylynn McClendon

Have you ever considered swapping your morning coffee for a hot cup of tea? Lucky for you, it’s just as easy to get your hands on tea as it is to get coffee here at KU.

Tea can be purchased at any of the six places on campus that provide coffee and contain eight different varieties of tea at four of those locations. This hydrating alternative provides a milder caffeine boost and offers numerous health benefits.

Caffeine is the ingredient in coffee that gives the boost you rely on in the mornings. It is the large amount of caffeine in coffee that causes your body to react in negative ways such as headaches, intense bowel movements, or a sudden depletion of energy. The good thing about tea is that it also contains caffeine but in a lower dosage. According to the Mayo Clinic, a brewed cup of tea has a minimum of 14 mg of caffeine and coffee has a minimum of 95 mg; making the switch to tea’s lower mg level can both create positive side effects and eliminate the negative effects of too much caffeine.

Green tea in particular contains an amino acid called L-Theanine that is proven to decrease stress levels and aid in battling anxiety. It is seen as a natural relaxant. This tea also contains many antioxidants (molecules that protect other molecules from free radicals). This can be compared to the rusting of a pipe. Antioxidants help to keep the pipe free of rust or break down the rust that is already polluting it. Now imagine that happening in the body with molecules and diseases. According to WebMD, the antioxidants found in green tea may interfere with the growth of breast, skin and lung cancer among many others.

Coffee, like tea, is rich in antioxidants, but your body cannot afford to drink as many cups of coffee as it can tea without becoming overcaffeinated.

By consuming multiple cups of tea, you can keep your caffeine level low while fighting stress and future disease. So do your body a favor and go buy a cup of tea, or two.



Categories: Opinions

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