Green tea or milk tea? These timeless Asian tea drinks boast legions of loyal fans across the globe. But with green tea long famed as a health booster while milk tea dominates the comfort food realm, fans of each passionately claim their team as the healthier choice!
So let’s see whether the grass is actually healthier on the green tea side or if milk tea deserves more credit through a breakdown of ingredients, antioxidant levels, benefits and drawbacks of both famous beverages.
Some core differences at the outset:
- Green tea is brewed from unoxidized leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant which retains high levels of polyphenol antioxidants. It is simply prepared with hot water and occasionally accompanied by a slice of lemon.
- Milk teas in contrast are typically brewed from black tea but gain their name from the signature addition of dairy or non-dairy milk along with simple sweeteners like sugar or honey making them more of a comforting latte-style drink compared to austere green tea.
Delving deeper into compounds and effects will spotlight why green tea dominates global health headlines while flavored milky tea drinks get stereotyped as a guilty pleasure to only enjoy occasionally. But does that perception hold up scientifically?
Let’s analyze facts around antioxidants, metabolism impacts, weight loss, brain health and more to render the final verdict!
Polyphenol & Antioxidant Values
Numerous scientific studies spotlight green tea’s extraordinarily high levels of antioxidant polyphenols called EGCG (epigallocathechin gallate) which accrue wide ranging health benefits.
In contrast, black tea used in milk tea undergoes oxidation during processing which reduces up to 80% of its base green tea antioxidant levels per research. The added milk further counteracts potential benefits by deactivating remaining antioxidants.
In fact a 2007 comprehensive analysis of teas ranked their antioxidant levels via ORAC analysis values (a scale measuring free radical scavenging capacity) with the following results:
- Green Tea: 1,253 units
- Black Tea: 972 units
- Milk Tea: No significant value
So with nearly 30% higher antioxidant capacity, green tea definitively surpasses black tea used in milk tea when it comes to these disease-fighting compounds responsible for better health.
Weight Loss & Metabolic Effects
Multiple compounds in green tea including EGCG plus the caffeine content increase fat burning rates and boost metabolism per clinical data – spurring its popularity in weight loss regimens.
A 2022 study underscored these effects by finding regular matcha (concentrated powdered green tea containing 137 times more antioxidants than typical green tea per the ORAC scale) consumption improved BMI, body fat percentage and enhanced lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity compared to the control group over 3 months.
While some early studies indicated potential anti-obesogenic effects of certain black tea compounds, additional milk negates those benefits. A more recent 2021 trial concluded milk tea consumption for a month increased risk factors for metabolic syndrome including higher BMI and blood pressure compared to the control group not drinking milk tea.
So while both contain some caffeine, green tea demonstrates consistent weight loss and fat burning effects lacking in milk tea. If maintaining healthy body weight is the goal, green tea once again wins for metabolic benefits.
Cognitive & Neurological Effects
Rich in compounds that cross the blood-brain barrier like L-theanine and EGCG, green tea shows positive neuroprotective results across several human and animal studies – indicating benefits for memory, focus and lowered Alzheimer’s disease risk among regular consumers.
Black tea like used milk tea indicates some similar neurological advantages but at a lower efficacy likely owing to lower antioxidant availability after oxidation according to research. Milk addition also appears to inhibit these effects based on more recent controlled studies.
Likely owing to significantly higher antioxidant levels, better metabolic effects for weight loss and more consistent demonstrations of neuroprotective benefits over time, green tea does edge out milk tea health-wise.
However, milk tea still makes for a soothing, satiating and far more versatile drink thanks to endless flavor possibilities with add-ins like tapioca pearls, fruit jellies and sweet toppings that satisfy cravings.
So while green tea wins for measurable wellness advantages, both beverages can have a place in balanced diets depending on your health goals and flavor preferences! Which team are you on?
FAQs Related To Green Tea Vs Milk Tea
Still wondering whether green tea or milk beats out the other for wellness effects? Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions:
Does adding milk to tea negate health benefits?
Potentially yes – some research indicates dairy proteins deactivate antioxidants and polyphenols responsible for health benefits imparted by tea.
What tea is highest in antioxidants?
Matcha powdered green tea due its fine stone grinding method that generates 137 times more antioxidants than regular green tea per ORAC analysis scales.
Can children drink green tea?
In moderation, 100 mg of caffeine daily from green tea is considered safe for most older children. However avoid for those under 4 years old. Always consult your pediatrician.
Is milk tea inflammatory?
Possibly. Some research indicates casein proteins in cow dairy may trigger inflammatory responses in the body over time in some individuals.
Which tea is safer during pregnancy?
Green tea if consuming limited caffeine daily under the recommended pregnancy threshold of 200 mg. Avoid milk tea made with herbal ingredients that can stimulate uterine contractions.
Will green tea make you lose weight without changes in diet?
Unlikely without also modifying dietary habits. But compounds in green tea can amplify fat burning when combined with regular exercise and healthy low-calorie eating patterns for better weight loss potential.
Does milk tea cause diabetes or insulin resistance?
Excessive consumption may increase risk as per some studies analysing impacts of added dairy sugars. But in moderation, milk tea is generally not a direct cause if otherwise following a balanced diet.
What tea is better for high blood pressure?
Green tea specifically has shown blood pressure lowering effects in multiple studies, owing to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits from polyphenol compounds.
Will milk tea negate workout benefits?
Likely not if consuming post exercise specifically to replenish glycogen stores and rehydrate. But take care not over consume added sugars.
Which tea tastes better: green or milk?
Subjective depending on personal preferences! Many prefer flavored milky teas enhanced with add-ins like tapioca for more satisfying flavor profiles compared to minimally sweetened or unsweetened green tea.