Ask the Dietitians

Coffee vs. Tea

Which is better for you, coffee or tea?

They both have real benefits, and I wouldn’t say that one is better than the other. Whether it’s green, black, white or red, tea contains a variety of antioxidants that help ward off diseases and may help you live better for longer. Tea may even help prevent tooth decay. Recent research has shown that coffee offers the same kinds of benefits. Coffee’s combination of caffeine, antioxidants and other phytochemicals that have disease-preventing effects has put it into the category of foods that are more healthy than harmful (if you don’t overdo it). Plus, a cup of joe may reduce your risks of developing Parkinson’s disease and diabetes. Feel free to drink one cup of coffee in the morning, and then switch to tea after noon. That way, you’ll get a bigger caffeine boost in the morning, when you might need a little help to start your day. Then, in the afternoon, you’ll benefit from tea’s antioxidants and soothing taste, with about half the caffeine of coffee. Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD is an international columnist and a speaker on the subjects of nutrition, sports and fitness.