Both drinks have their benefits, so here’s what to expect if you want to cut back on coffee.
Your teeth might get brighter
Coffee is notorious for staining teeth, so switching to tea could make your smile brighter, especially if you stick with white or green tea. “Your teeth won’t get stained as much, which people often don’t think about,” says Sonya Angelone, MS, RDN, CLT, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson. You could also try these tips to save your teeth from coffee stains.
You could lower your cholesterol
Drip coffee removes compounds called cafestol and kahweol, but unfiltered coffee, like French pressed coffee or espresso, retains them. Those compounds may increase “bad” LDL cholesterol, which could up your risk of heart attack and stroke. “A lot of people drink unfiltered coffee because they don’t think of espresso as unfiltered,” says Angelone. Swap out those coffee drinks for tea, though, and your cholesterol may improve. Here are more eating habits that are bad for cholesterol.
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You might get headaches
Depending on how sensitive your body is to changes and how much caffeine you’re used to getting, you could feel withdrawal symptoms if you cut down during your switch from coffee to tea. “It usually happens when you have a significant change like cutting it out, but it could happen as well if you just cut down,” says Angelone. After your body gets used to the change, though, those symptoms will go away. Learn how to use tea to soothe everything from an upset stomach to a toothache.
Your heartburn might get better
Coffee can relax the band of muscle between your esophagus and stomach. When that space opens, stomach acid could splash back up and cause acid reflux. “You may be better off having tea, even if it has a little caffeine,” says Angelone. “There’s something in coffee, but we don’t know what it is. For some people that tend to have heartburn, coffee could make it worse—even decaf.” And you especially shouldn’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.
You’ll probably get better sleep
Because coffee has more caffeine than tea does, you could find that you sleep better at night with less of the stimulant. “It might help you sleep better if you’re getting less caffeine, because caffeine can contribute to restlessness and insomnia,” says Angelone.
You could feel less on edge
If you regularly drink more than three or four cups of coffee a day, you could be over-stimulating your body. “Sometimes, especially people sensitive to caffeine, they can be jittery and irritable if they have too much caffeine—and that’s stressful,” says Angelone. “Too much is bad, and just the right amount is good.” Because there’s less caffeine per cup in tea, though, you’re less likely to go overboard. Find out if you show the signs of drinking too much coffee.
You might raise your risk of diabetes
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