Caffeine as a daily start
Starting a day is not easy for everyone. Some jump out of their bed, fresh and sound; others need loads and loads of coffee to wake up. About everyone thinks coffee would be the better way of starting your day, but it has some disadvantages: on average, a mug of 200ml of coffee contains about 80mg of caffeine (comparing to about 25mg in the same size of mug of green tea). Compared to green tea you consume a lot more caffeine when drinking coffee. The caffeine boost can lead to a rushed, jittery feeling and – to some – stomach problems.
Increased cortisol levels
Why does coffee lead to that rushed and jittery feeling? Caffeine (and a few other substances) in coffee leads to increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Higher cortisol levels during a longer time are connected to diabetes and obesity. Our cortisol-levels should be lower in the evening so its counterpart melatonin can make us sleepy. Higher cortisol-levels compared to a lower level of melatonin will eventually lead to fatigue.
The jittery feeling can eventually move on to a headache. Coffee also has in impact on your blood veins. Coffee contains so called ‘diterpenes’ (like kahweol and cafestol) which are connected to our LDL-cholesterol. Excessive use of coffee could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The diterpenes will make your veins contract and relax, which leads to headaches. A lot of people suffer the so called weekend headache. During weekdays usually a lot of coffee is drunk at the office, while in the weekend we tend to slow it down. This results in a relaxation of the blood vessels in the weekend and the well-known headache that a lot of people are familiar with.
Green tea: polyphenols
A lot of people grab a cup of coffee to get their morning boost, while research shows that green tea helps you to get through the morning in a much better way. According to a study that is published in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition” green tea makes our brain much sharper. Green tea is rich in polyphenols that dilate our blood vessels and the blood supply to the brain. (Polyphenols can also be found in e.g. berries, wine, olive oil, walnuts and peanuts). Green tea gives our body a boost without the crash that an excessive use of caffeine can give us.
Furthermore, green tea is made from non-oxidized tea leaves. These are still brim-full of great antioxidants that our body needs. Various studies throughout years have pointed out that green tea can support healthier cholesterol levels, regulate the glucose levels in our blood, increase our metabolism by 3-11% (a helping hand in weight loss) and reduce the risks of infections.
Both coffee and green tea contain caffeine. On average, coffee contains about three times as much caffeine as can be found in green tea. An excessive use of caffeine can lead to a number of physical complaints. The healthy benefits of green tea help you start your day in a better way because of the polyphenols in the leaves, next to the other helping substances which make that you basically can’t not drink a lovely green tea ;-)
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