I Traded Coffee for Green Tea for a Week—Here’s What Happened

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Day 6 and beyond

As I headed into the weekend, I was feeling significantly less dehydrated. Your body still holds about a third of the liquid in a cup of coffee, which isn’t much less than the half-cup would hold from an 8-ounce glass of water. Tea’s lower caffeine content means that it could make for better hydration by detoxifying the blood. The frequency of my mood swings had decreased drastically as well; while my cup of tea may be hot, it definitely had helped me to keep my cool. Coffee’s stimulants can actually increase the production of stress hormones, while the ones in green tea are kept in check by the presence of L-theanine. Its contents work to calm the nervous system whilst simultaneously increasing concentration levels. (Maybe that’s the reason why Buddhist monks always sip on green tea when meditating).

Ultimately, my experiment certainly did bear out the science. Green tea doesn’t spike cortisol like coffee does, and considering that high levels of cortisol can lead to an aggravation of acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions, it might not be the best skincare regimen. To prove it, my skin was indeed looking better than ever from the tea switch. Coffee is also known to relax the band of muscle between your esophagus and stomach, meaning stomach acid could splash back up and provoke acid reflux. My digestion had improved significantly.

In retrospect, the biggest thing I can caution against is not the coffee itself, but the amount you are drinking. At healthy doses, coffee has been indicated to effectively increase brain activity by releasing neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. Numerous studies have proven that caffeine can lead to improved mood, reaction time, vigilance, and general cognitive function. However, too much of a good thing is always a bad thing. Be careful not to go overboard and over-stimulate your body; otherwise it can actually negate the benefits and make drinking coffee counter-productive. Even worse, you can develop a tolerance to it that makes your body dependent on the stuff.

So before you angrily scream at the computer screen and sprint to the closest Starbucks for a venti latte, be sure to peruse all the health benefits of green tea. It might be worthwhile to slowly wean yourself from coffee beans to tea leaves, especially if you’re recently experiencing issues like high cholesterol or elevated blood pressure.

As for me, I can say that my allegiance for coffee has been critically challenged from this head-to-head competition—green tea, you just may have won this one.

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