Coffee or Tea: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

coffee or tea

Are you a definite tea drinker or a bona-fide coffee person? Would finding out one is better than the other for weight loss change your mind and have you swapping out one morning beverage for the other? Or would you stick with your drink of choice?

Well, you might just be able to stick with your favorite because while there are many health benefits of coffee or tea, the opinions vary when it comes to deciding which offers better weight-loss benefits. In fact, studies show that which is better—coffee or tea—may actually depend upon you, your body’s reaction to each, and your personal preference.

Yes, when it comes to fat burning and initiating weight loss, the better of the two drinks is… it depends.

Let’s start by examining some of the health benefits of tea and coffee. Since both have a long list of advantages, and what you like can depend upon many factors, a list of tea and coffee options, along with their helpful properties, may help you narrow things down or decide you’re happy with your choice already. The good news is that you really can’t go wrong with either one.

Coffee or Tea

Health Benefits of Tea

The Health Benefits of Tea

Let’s start with tea. Some people use it to wake themselves up in the morning, and some use it to relax at night before bed. There are many types of tea, and they all have their various benefits, but do any of them specifically help more with weight loss? What are their other advantages?

The following are examples of teas that have shown an amazing ability for fat burning and weight loss as well as numerous other health benefits:

  • Green tea
  • Kombucha tea
  • Yerbe mate
  • Oolong
  • Rooibos
  • Honeybush
  • Peppermint
  • Pu’er
  • White
  • Purple
  • Dandelion

Tea is quite the superfood when it comes right down to it. Not only does it help you feel less hungry, lose weight, and keep it off, but incredibly, it provides many other less-touted health benefits as well. One of the health benefits of tea is the presence of flavonoids found in tea called catechins.

What’s a catechin? It’s a type of flavonoids and a potent antioxidant found in tea. Catechins provide a host of health benefits. According to a 2009 study in the International Journal of Obesity, both catechins and caffeine, each heavily present in teas, had positive effects on weight loss, as well as long-term weight maintenance. Catechins offer wonderful antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory properties and are key when it comes to keeping your metabolism strong and your fat burning in high gear.

What are some of the other reasons to drink tea? Here are 10 health benefits of tea outside of just weight loss:

  • Raise your metabolism
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve circulation
  • Provide antioxidants
  • Support healthy inflammatory response
  • Fight the effects of aging
  • Promote healthy liver function
  • Detox the body
  • Relieve gastrointestinal distress
  • Reduce the risk of many diseases

Those are some serious health benefits of tea, but for the coffee lovers out there, let’s move on to why coffee’s also a superstar among beverages.

Health Benefits of Coffee

The Health Benefits of Coffee

There are so many ways to enjoy coffee. You can take it hot or iced, black, espresso-style, latte, with cream, with sugar, with stevia or any sweetener, just sugared up, or like a decadent dessert-like style coffee-shop drink. There are a myriad of variations when it comes to coffee, and which concoction you choose is up to you and based on your specific health and fitness goals along with personal preference.

And, while tea has certainly proven itself worthy of filling your cup, the health benefits of coffee are quite impressive, including:

  • Boosting your metabolism
  • Increasing thermogenesis
  • Providing tannins, which help with iron release
  • Supplying antioxidants
  • As a source of minerals and essential nutrients
  • Strengthening against mental decline
  • Fighting some diseases
  • Protecting against depression
  • Supporting heart health

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The Power of Caffeine and Coffee

Caffeine is a known weight-loss boosting substance. Yes, many teas contain caffeine also, but coffee is known for being an excellent source of this metabolism-boosting substance (between 25 and 48 mg for tea and 95 and 165 mg for coffee, depending on how they’re brewed). What are some of the purported health benefits?

  • Diminished hunger pangs
  • More energy
  • Diminished inflammation
  • Increased alertness
  • May reduce risk of certain diseases
  • Increased stamina
  • Healthy liver support
  • Greater happiness overall

Making a Choice: Coffee or Tea?

So, which beverage should you choose for optimal weight loss, coffee or tea? Both coffee and tea have health benefits and weight-loss properties. You will have to determine for yourself which has a greater impact on your system and what you like better.

Then again, why narrow things down? You can certainly enjoy both coffee and tea. It doesn’t have to be an “either/or” situation. Just remember to watch the calories you add to your beverage. Alone, both plain coffee or tea provide very few calories and no sugars. But, once you “fix it up,” you may be ingesting more than you bargained for. So make sure what you add to your drink of choice matches your long-term goals of weight loss, maintenance, and fat burning.


  • Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I. A green tea extract high in catechins reduces body fat and cardiovascular risks in humans. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jun;15(6):1473-83.
  • R Hursel, W Viechtbauer, and M S Westerterp-Plantenga, The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis International Journal of Obesity (2009) 33, 956–961; doi:10.1038/ijo.2009.135; published online 14 July 2009
  • Lucas M, O'Reilly EJ, Pan A, Mirzaei F, Willett WC, Okereke OI, Ascherio A. Coffee, caffeine, and risk of completed suicide: results from three prospective cohorts of American adults. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Jul;15(5):377-86. doi: 10.3109/15622975.2013.795243. Epub 2013 Jul 2.