Is green tea healthier than coffee? Oh you betcha! Here are 8 reasons to ditch coffee for green tea or matcha and never EVER look back…
Originally Published February 28, 2019 | Updated July 22, 2021
I get it: you want your morning caffeine kick.
But what if you could get that energy boost AND so much more?
- Clearer skin
- Increased metabolism and weight loss
- Protection from damaging, aging UV rays (almost like an internal sunblock)
- Better brain function and memory
- Cleaner teeth and healthier gums (as opposed to coffee-stained teeth… and coffee breath!)
- Lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke
Mmm let me think about that for just a moment.
Uh YES PLEASE.
This is why green tea and matcha are so far superior to coffee.
Starbucks junkies, I’m sorry to break it to you…
But the fact of the matter is, green tea and matcha — powdered green tea — come with an absolute TON of well-studied health benefits that coffee just doesn’t.
Since I really want to drive this home 🙂 I’m going to link to some — just some because there are SO MANY! — of these studies below.
8 Reasons to Ditch Coffee for Green Tea or Matcha (and Never Look Back!)
1. Green tea is loaded with anti-aging, disease-fighting antioxidants
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cells, increase our risk of disease, and promote aging.
EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is a specific type of antioxidant found in green tea this is especially powerful and believed to be behind most of green tea’s particular benefits.
Matcha (powdered) green tea has even more antioxidants than regular ol’ green tea — up to 10 times!
2. Green tea even protects our skin from damaging UV rays
And yes, UV rays age the skin so this one is linked to the above! But it’s so cool that it deserves it’s own bit of attention…
Studies have found that drinking green tea protects the skin from damaging UV rays and so can even help prevent skin cancer.
According to one study, drinking just two cups of green tea a day provides “protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage.”
Just 2 cups a day!
3. Green tea is rich in l-theanine, an amino acid that calms stress and anxiety
This is one of my favorites! Because I can use all the help with stress reduction I can get (where are all of my fellow type-As at!?).
L-theanine sparks GABA and dopamine, plus increases the production of alpha waves in the brain, all of which calm you down and make you feel relaxed.
And these effects of l-theanine offset the negative effect of caffeine, which is an increase in the stress hormone cortisol. This is a biggie when we’re comparing coffee to green tea.
4. The combo of caffeine and l-theanine in green tea boosts brain function
This combo helps improve attention, focus, and memory (source).
And in terms of long-term benefits, EGCG also helps prevent the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease (source).
5. Studies have found that drinking green tea can reduce breakouts and acne by up to 50%!
Say what!? I know.
First of all, the antioxidants in green tea help reduce inflammation and protect cells from free radical damage, two big contributors to acne.
But more importantly, the EGCG in green tea blocks androgen receptors in the skin, and androgens are the primary hormonal drivers behind acne (source).
This makes EGCG an absolute powerhouse for reducing and managing hormonal acne!
6. Green tea provides a major metabolism boost and helps burn fat
The powerful antioxidant EGCG in green tea has also been shown to boost metabolism and help burn fat.
7. Green tea improves oral health
Yep, even just the act of drinking green tea has benefits!
Again, a biggie if we’re comparing green tea and coffee side by side — coffee stains teeth and gives us yucky “coffee breath!”
But on the other hand, a recent Japanese study found that drinking green tea drastically improves oral health by decreasing the severity of each of the three indicators of periodontal disease.
Plus, “by interfering with the body’s inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, green tea may actually help promote periodontal health and ward off further disease” (source).
8. Green tea helps keep our hearts healthy by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels
This study found that drinking green tea regularly for over 12 weeks helps reduce blood pressure.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association even found that drinking three cups of green tea a day helped decrease the risk of stroke by 21%!
Now let’s be clear here: we’re talking about green tea and matcha without any other junk, OK?
And by “junk” I mostly mean added sugars.
Organic green tea or matcha with a splash of creamer (preferably organic dairy or a non-dairy option like my favorite nutpods) and a bit of stevia or another healthy sweetener option? Awesome! YES! This is what we want!!
But please don’t go thinking that those sweetened, pre-made green tea drinks in the refrigerated section at 7-11 are going to be packing the healthy punch you’re looking for.
(In fact, it’s probably quite the opposite since sugar suppresses the immune system, is pro-inflammatory, and can lead to weight gain.)
And Starbucks’ new matcha green tea latte is about as junky. A grande has 32 grams of sugar! Unfortunately, you can’t even order a sugar-free option because the powder they use is pre-mixed with the sugar (boooooo).
So what is the healthiest green tea?
Always be sure to choose organic green tea.
Here are some of my favorites:
- Yogi green tea passion fruit matcha (such a yummy flavor!)
- Traditional Medicinals green tea dandelion (dandelion is wonderful for detoxification / liver support)
- Traditional Medicinals green tea ginger
- Traditional Medicinals green tea peppermint
For matcha, you also want to choose “ceremonial grade.”
Ceremonial-grade matcha is often higher-quality and contains more antioxidants than culinary-grade matcha. This difference is reflected in the price, unfortunately!
In my opinion, ceremonial-grade matcha also has a sweeter and smoother taste.
This Encha organic ceremonial-grade matcha is a favorite!
How can you add even more green tea goodness to your life?
The fun thing about matcha is that it’s really versatile and doesn’t stop at a matcha latte!
These Metabolism-Boosting Matcha Mint Fat Bombs are SO darn yummy and a staple in my kitchen.
And scour Pinterest and you’ll find an absolute ton of fun recipes that call for matcha.
Aside from a daily matcha latte and the fat bombs, I also like to add matcha to my green smoothies — particularly this blend of matcha and moringa powders from Perfect Supplements.
How do you enjoy your green tea or matcha?
Have you tried any fun recipes?
Please share with us in the comments below!