The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
One of the first things we are accustomed to doing is starting our mornings with a warm cup of coffee to take on the day. But what we often forget is that most of the coffee we choose (yes, I am talking to you Starbucks and Dunkin’ lovers) is filled with a substantial amount of sugar and is not always the best choice. Do not get me wrong, I used to drink coffee as much as any other college student, but I decided to do an experiment for two weeks that involved ditching my morning coffee and replacing it with tea. It took some discipline and some getting used to, but I can now say I am an official tea enthusiast and will never go back.
Tea has endless health benefits and provides an efficient boost of energy without jitters and the crash that coffee produces. Drinking certain types of tea can still provide you with an adequate amount of caffeine, but without all the sugar and shakiness that seems to follow. Many teas also boost your metabolism and can even reduce intestinal inflammation. By being the first thing your body intakes in the morning, tea works to rehydrate you after a long night’s sleep of fasting. What you fuel your body with when you first wake up is extremely important, so why not fill it with a drink that contains antioxidants, catechins, antimicrobial, and even anti-cancer properties? Tea has also been found to relieve stress and can boost brain function through focus and memory. So what is to lose? It sounds like a super drink to me.
Yes, tea sounds great, but maybe I have not convinced you enough just yet. This might make some coffee lovers mad, but it is time to talk about the detrimental effects that come with drinking coffee day after day. Upon waking up, most people tend to drink coffee on an empty stomach, but medical professionals claim that it actually may be damaging to make it your first drink of the day. It can raise your blood pressure, trigger acid reflux, and even increase the risk of heartburn and health conditions like diabetes.
A study from The British Journal of Nutrition claims that “if you have your morning dose of caffeine before you eat your breakfast, you could be negatively impacting your blood sugar levels and ultimately raising your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes down the road.” It’s a hard truth to swallow (literally), but it may be time for you to start drinking tea to avoid such implications.
So if you think it is finally time to make the switch, let’s find the best tea for you.
- Black tea
Black tea is a great choice with a substantial amount of caffeine, but not too much like most coffees do. A study done by Labdoor revealed that a standard cup of coffee from Starbucks contained 267 milligrams, which is over half of the recommended daily intake. A cup of Black tea contains around 70 milligrams which is the perfect amount to give you a boost without overstimulating yourself and still leaving room for other caffeinated drinks throughout the day. Not only does it contain the perfect amount of caffeine, according to Healthline, black tea also has antioxidant properties that can improve gut health, boost heart health, and can even help reduce blood pressure.
- Green tea
Green tea is one of the best teas to drink first thing in the morning because of its astounding health benefits. By drinking it first in the morning, green works to hydrate the body after a long night’s sleep and boosts your metabolism for the day to come. Green tea works so well in improving your metabolic rate that many weight loss programs feature it, whether it be green tea powder, pills, or supplements. Not only does green tea improve your gut, but there is also evidence that it protects the brain from aging due to its catechin compounds. The bioactive compounds such as catechins that are featured in green tea can protect the brain and can even prevent the development of dementia in older adults.
- white Tea
White tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant, and this tea is given its name due to its production process as it is created from the white leaves and buds of the unbloomed flower. White tea is one of the most unprocessed and natural teas, which is why it is such a great choice if you are looking for a drink that is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. White tea also has various skin benefits, and according to Healthline, “The compounds in white tea may help protect your skin from the effects of both internal and external aging” . This natural tea also protects your teeth from bacteria because it provides a source of tannins and fluoride, making it a great choice if you are looking for a variety of health benefits.
Kombucha is a unique tea due to its fermented state and is created by adding yeast and bacteria to green or black tea. It is a phenomenal source of probiotics that supports the immune system and works to balance intestinal flora. It also reduces inflammation, boosts cardiovascular help, and promotes liver health. One exceptional benefit of Kombucha is that it has been shown to aid in depression treatment. According to Mayo Clinic, Kombucha might provide some relief, helping boost your mood by cranking up the production of feel-good hormones, such as serotonin.” Gut health has such an impact on mental health, which is why it is so important to be cautious of what you are putting in your body, and drinking kombucha is a great way to begin clearing your intestines. D-hall at JMU has actually just added a Kombucha station so there should be no excuse to not try it due to the endless benefits it provides.
- Non-caffeinated herbal teas
If you are looking for a tea that has the same or similar health benefits as the previous ones, but you don’t drink caffeine, you might want to try herbal tea. Herbal teas are made from infusions of roots, herbs, and spices. There are many different types of herbal teas, including chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and hibiscus tea. Hibiscus tea is my personal favorite because it has just enough sweetness that no additives are needed. Herbal teas work effectively in boosting the immune system, reducing pain, and preventing chronic diseases. Hibiscus tea is an excellent choice because it is rich in vitamin C and “has polyphenols that have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol, prevent heart disease and cancer and fight bacteria such E. coli.” Even though most herbal teas are non-caffeinated, they still aid in boosting brain function and focus by increasing the blood flow to the brain, more specifically to the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for reasoning, comprehension, and long-term memory. Herbal teas are a fantastic choice because of the many flavor options available, and if you are just now getting into drinking tea, this is a great place to start, and you will most likely not be disappointed.
So here’s the tea; if you have already made it this far, this is most likely a sign that you need to ditch that sugary (and expensive) coffee and start your mornings with a warm cup of tea instead.