Tea is a popular drink in much of the world. Even the United States is making up for lost time with the recent boom in tea consumption. Many are trading in their morning coffee for a healthier alternative but while drinking tea has many health benefits, it comes with its own risks. Understanding all there is to know about tea and its various blends is important to living a healthy lifestyle. First we’ll start with some benefits and since Earl Grey tea is one of the most famous tea flavors, we’ll use that as our example.
Both tea and coffee naturally contain caffeine which is a stimulant. This is why both drinks make such excellent morning beverages; a quick jolt gets us ready for the day ahead. The adverse health effects of caffeine include wearing out the kidneys and heart and it can even lead to dependence. Many regular coffee drinkers experience headaches when they don’t drink their daily dose. While switching to earl grey tea won’t completely nullify these effects, the lower concentration of caffeine greatly reduces the risks. Another benefit is that all tea blends, including earl grey are packed with anti-oxidants which protect your body from free radicals. In layman’s terms, anti-oxidants keep your body young and delay the aging process. Research has also shown that drinking tea regularly can help reduce the risk of heart attacks which makes up for the detrimental effects of caffeine. Earl Grey Tea also boosts metabolism, but without the harmful coffee side effects.
A common misconception among tea and coffee drinkers is that both products dehydrate the body because of their caffeine contents. This is not true; even the strongest tea brew will have a net hydrating effect on the body. Cancer fighting chemical agents are present in both coffee and earl gray tea but form a larger percentage in tea. But the biggest question on everyone’s mind is which is healthier: tea or a plain old glass of water? The answer to this question is not clear cut and depends on several variables which I’ll help explain.
Water is almost never found in its pure form; it is often contaminated with biological agents like bacteria and fecal matter which is detrimental to our health. Since bringing water to a boil is a required step in the tea brewing process, all biological residue is sanitized by the time the tea is ready for consumption. In some countries the public water taps are enriched with fluoride which is known to protect teeth from cavities. Fluoride is a natural component of earl grey and is much safer than the fluoride artificially mixed in with drinking water. So the answer seems to be clear, drinking tea is much better than drinking water or coffee so feel free to go out and enjoy a cup or three each and every day!