Florida Republican Aims To Legalize Medical Marijuana

A top Florida Republican filed a bill Monday that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, just months after a similar ballot measure received a majority of voter support, but fell just short of the percentage needed to pass.

Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R) filed The Florida Medical Marijuana Act, a bill that would allow licensed Florida physicians to prescribe medical marijuana to qualified patients in what would be a far-reaching expansion from the more limited “Charlotte’s Web” medical marijuana law that Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed last year.

The bill lists nine specific diseases for which patients could qualify for prescribed medical marijuana, including cancer, HIV, AIDS, epilepsy, ALS disease (commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis and any medical condition that causes chronic wasting syndrome, pain or severe nausea.

Medical marijuana appears to be very popular among state voters. A survey from 2014 found that almost 90 percent of voters supported the legal use of medical marijuana, if prescribed by a doctor. In November, a majority of voters, about 58 percent, supported Amendment 2, but state law requires a supermajority of support — 60 percent or higher — so the ballot initiative failed to pass.

Brandes’ legislative assistant, Chris Spencer, told The Huffington Post that this bill isn’t a response to the support for Amendment 2.

“This legislation is about providing another tool for physicians to employ when treating their patients suffering from specific conditions or symptoms,” Spencer said, adding that this is just a continuation of Brandes’ support of the issue, having been on the forefront of last year’s legalization of the high-CBD/low-THC strain of cannabis for medical use in the state. Unlike THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana associated with the “high” sensation, CBD is a non-psychoactive ingredient that has shown to be beneficial in some severe cases of epilepsy.

“This is the opening statement in the legislative conversation on this issue, and we look forward to robust dialogue with the members of the House and Senate,” Spencer said.

It’s not clear if the governor would support a robust legal medical marijuana program in the state. Last year, Scott said he was going to vote against Amendment 2, but did sign the “Charlotte’s Web” legislation into law.

But if the statehouse can’t pass the bill, a ballot measure seeking the legalization of medical cannabis is very likely to be put in front of state voters again in 2016.

Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for Marijuana Policy Project, said that while he hasn’t read the entire bill, it does look like it would create a medical marijuana program that “would benefit a lot of sick Floridans who otherwise suffer.” Capecchi explained that MPP does not consider Florida’s current law to be a “medical marijuana program” because it excludes too many patients from legally obtaining cannabis for medical use. “This would change all that,” Capecchi said.

To date, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and 11 others, including Florida, have enacted the limited CBD-only laws. Still, the federal government bans the plant, classifying marijuana as a Schedule I substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” alongside heroin and LSD.

Stereotypes of People One Is Likely to Encounter at a Super Bowl Party

In a recent episode of their series Stereotypes, comedy group Dude Perfect demonstrates different types of people one is likely to encounter at a Super Bowl party like superstitious fans, people more interested in the commercials, and even the depressed pizza delivery guy.

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The Truth About the Post-Workout Beer

If you exercise, chances are you also drink. I know this because according to a new study from Northwestern Medicine, people tend to drink more alcohol on the days they’ve exercised. Especially beer. It could be because we reward ourselves with a post-run brewski, or because we’ve used up all of our willpower on exercise, so we have none left to deny ourselves that drink or two. Whatever the reason, if you’re drinking thinking that it’ll help you sleep, relax your muscles, numb the pain, or increase blood flow to help you recover faster, as they say in AA, that’s just stinkin’ thinkin’.

“It’s detrimental to drink alcohol after any type of exercise or workout,” says Professor Matthew Barnes of New Zealand’s Massey University School of Sport and Medicine. “I’ve never really seen anything that says it’s useful as far as recovery.”

He’s also never seen anything that says alcohol is useful for comptetion. Barnes’ most recent study on the impact of alcohol on sports performance and recovery in men concluded that “the consumption of even low doses of alcohol prior to athletic endeavour should be discouraged due to the ergolytic effects of alcohol on endurance performance.” Ergolytic meaning performance impairing. These effects, the study’s authors wrote, “are likely to inhibit recovery and adaptation to exercise.”

How does alcohol screw you up? Let us count the ways. Because it’s a diuretic, you’ll urinate more. “That leads to dehydration,” says Barnes, “and the result is detrimental effects on muscular contraction.” Every gram of alcohol you ingest increases urine flow by about two teaspoons. To put that in perspective, a 12-ounce can of beer contains about 14 grams of alcohol. That’s an extra half-cup of pee.

Alcohol also interferes with how your body produces energy. Pushing all that liquor into your liver leaves you with less glucose, the sugar needed to power your muscles. If an athlete runs out of it, they hit that proverbial wall “and most likely won’t finish the race,” Barnes says.

As for fixing your injuries, “if you consume alcohol, probably any amount, it’ll increase blood flow to [injured areas], because it’s a reasonably good vasodilator,” explains Barnes. But that’s not necessarily a good thing—it could make an injury bleed or swell even more, causing more pain. The body’s regulatory system functions quite well without the alcohol, Barnes says.

Alcohol can also poison muscle fibers. Beer, in particular, affects the fast-twitch anaerobic fibers by inhibiting an enzyme that helps fuel the muscle. When that happens, the fibers don’t adapt like they should for up to three days. The result: a longer recovery period.

As for that pain you say a glass of pinot erases? “Alcohol makes you feel less pain because of the effects on the nerve endings,” says Barnes. “So you can mask that pain with alcohol.” Which may not be as helpful as it sounds. “The pain’s there for a reason,” adds Barnes. “Ignoring it’s probably not a better approach.”

Athletes in particular seem to think that after a grueling game or an extreme workout, alcohol will help them relax and sleep better. “But it actually disrupts people’s sleep pattern,” says Barnes. “They don’t get a restful night’s sleep. And you need a restful sleep. That’s when growth hormones are released in your body, during the night.”

Finally, there’s the drunken food choices. One athlete Barnes studied had only three carrots the entire day after drinking, while another went through seven meat pies. “Athletes’ diets tend to go out the window,” Barnes says. “Alcohol throws them completely out of sync. They go for convenience.” That inadequate or improper fueling can lead to poor performance.

If you still think a post-race beer isn’t a bad idea, consider this: alcohol interferes with your muscles’ post-workout rebuilding process by reducing protein synthesis. “So not only does alcohol interfere with recovery of muscle damage and injury,” says Barnes, “it also reduces the processes responsible for building muscle.” There is a tiny silver lining: while not beneficial, a few glasses of alcohol comsumedafter a solid recovery meal and drink won’t necessarily cancel out all of the work you just did.

So opt for water or a sports drink right after a competition. “The key is to regain the weight loss, to get back to that pre-exercise weight,” says Barnes. As for a post-race meal, Barnes suggests something with about 20g of protein (enough to optimize protein synthesis post-exercise) and around 50g of carbs (usually high glycemic index, simple carbs to speed up glycogen synthesis), like a chicken sandwich or a baked potato and tuna. Then, if you must, you can have some alcohol.

“Other than the social side of it, I can’t see a benefit to alcohol at all, really,” Barnes says. “If you’re an athlete and you’re drinking alcohol, you’re just setting yourself up for failure.”

Coffee May Reduce Risk Of Melanoma

Here’s some more (potentially) good news for coffee devotees: A new study finds that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day – a fairly hefty amount, by most counts – is linked to a reduced risk for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

Melanoma is currently the fifth most common form of cancer in the U.S., and it’s the leading cause of skin cancer-related deaths. About 77,000 people are diagnosed with it each year, and 9,500 die of it each year. Though UV light – especially UVB rays – is the most powerful modifiable risk factor, there are other factors that raise or lower a person’s risk. The compounds in coffee have been shown to reduce skin cancer risk in lab studies, but in human studies, the results have been more variable, and the connection not so clear-cut.

To address the question in a large sample of people, researchers looked at data from over 447,000 participants, 50-71 years old, who were cancer-free at the beginning of the study. In the more than decade-long study period, just over 2,900 of the participants developed malignant melanoma, and over 1,900 developed another form of skin cancer, melanoma in situ. The researchers looked for correlations between diet and skin cancer development.

The found that among the most committed coffee drinkers – four cups a day – the risk of malignant melanoma fell by 20%. The connection applied only to caffeinated coffee and melanoma – it wasn’t there for decaffeinated coffee, or the other form of skin cancer included in the study, melanoma in-situ.

There are some good reasons that coffee may reduce skin cancer risk. In mice and in skin cell cultures, various components of coffee have been shown to affect a number of molecular pathways that can reduce risk for UV-related skin cancer. Among them, coffee compounds have been shown to suppress carcinogenesis (the formation of cancer), reduce inflammation, and reduce oxidative stress and DNA damage in cells.

Though the current study was a large one, the authors point out that previous studies have found less convincing results – one study found a link between coffee drinking and reduced skin cancer risk in women but not men. Another study found no connection to melanoma, but a connection to basal cell carcinoma. Other have provided similarly mixed results.

Still, given the biological pathways that coffee is known to affect, it’s very plausible that coffee may reduce risk of melanoma. But more research will be needed before we know for sure how the connection works. Coffee has been linked to a number of positive health effects – from reduced risk of death to reduced risk of certain cancers and diabetes to reduced risk of depression and Parkinson’s disease. Other studies, however, have found increased mortality in younger people who drink larger amounts of coffee; it’s studies like these that make researchers hesitant to give consumers the go-ahead to drink coffee ad libitum.

“The most important thing that individuals can do to reduce their risk of melanoma,” study author Erikka Loftfield tells me, “is to reduce sun and UV radiation exposure. While our results, and some from other recent studies, may be encouraging to coffee drinkers, they do not indicate that individuals should alter their coffee intake.”

There probably won’t ever be a definitive answer to the coffee question, because the answer probably varies from person to person. But the majority of research seems to say that for most people, coffee may do more good than harm. You probably shouldn’t pick up the habit if you’re not currently a coffee drinker, but if you’re already in the habit of a couple of cups a day, it probably won’t hurt, and in many ways, it may even help.

And for skin cancer risk, always wear sunscreen. That much, we do know.

adidas Running Launches Ultra BOOST Performance Shoe

The running arm of sportswear leviathan adidas now reveals the latest in its line of performance-enhancing footwear. Dubbed Ultra BOOST, the running shoe picks up where its Pure BOOST predecessor left off, combining the sole unit’s high energy return with adidas’s patent Primeknit uppers for precision fit and stability. Designed to adapt to all surfaces and provide an enhanced running experience, the shoe is described by the brand’s press people as “the best running shoe ever” – find out for yourself when it drops worldwide February 11.

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Audio is a harsh mistress when it comes to workout headphones. Some companies make earbuds and headphones that can take a beating, but they sound like coins being thrown down an aluminum drainpipe, suffer from volume issues, and reduce your cardio-pumping bass beats down to something the little drummer boy would be ashamed of. On the other hand, you can get some incredible audio out of certain headphones which will short circuit at the first drop of sweat or suddenly slip off your head, slap you in the face, and not only ruin your workout but leave you brain damaged. Don’t let these poor imitators into your life.

Workout headphones need to walk a tougher line than your average noise-cancelling headphones in that they must be comfortable yet bombproof. You should get great sound quality that can pump you up and let Eye of the Tiger help get your knees high, but they also need to be something that doesn’t bloody well embarrass you whenever you take a run past the yoga studio just as class is letting out. To do all of this and more, we’ve found the 10 best workout headphones.



Pro: Affordable
Con: Awkward controls

Best Bargain: First off, these look badass. The Skullcandy skull logo either in silver on black, white, red, or chrome is as metal as a Slayer concert without being garish. Besides looking good, the sound quality is excellent compared with most workout headphones that bear a much heavier price tag. These are especially good for those who like to get their cardio with some drum and bass or EDM because they have a hidden bass port that thumps out those sweet beats without needing to be backed by a huge driver. Naturally, they won’t keep the die-hard audiophile happy, unless that same music lover loves having more money, but for the average bass lover who just needs something that works, this is it. The Fix doesn’t use a specially designed contour or exterior molding to keep their hold, rather they seem to just fit perfectly for staying in place even during more rigorous activity. Sounds distort if you crank them, but you shouldn’t be doing that anyhow. The in-line controls only truly work with iOS devices, so Android users won’t get the full range of operation. Ultimately, it is the controls that are the biggest downfall, since the remote hangs out of sight, and since all the buttons feel alike, expect to lower the volume rather than pausing or activate the phone when trying to play.



Pro: Neither an in-ear nor on-ear design
Con: Hard to find best placement

Ambiance: In-ear headphones can block out sound and many people find them uncomfortable. On-ear and over-ear headphones often can’t stay in place when you exercise. In an attempt to strike a balance between these two extremes, Aftershokz created an workout headphone that is neither an on-ear nor an earbud yet somehow the best of both. These hook around the top of your ear to a neckband that stays in place passably, though if you go over hill and dale rather than sticking to flat roads or gym workouts, then these will probably jitterbug away from their optimal placement. They rest on your cheek bones and project into your ear so they aren’t truly resting on your ear canal, stopping external noise from seeping in. The sound goes right to your inner ear which offers better clarity since it is passing through bone, rather than air in a new stereophonic technology that you’re likely to see much more of in the future. The biggest trouble here is finding the sweet spot on your face to get ideal sound clarity.



Pro: Very hard to damage
Con: No noise cancelling

Most for the Money: It’s tough to get true out-of-the-box use from workout headphones. Typically you need to adjust and tweak, trying different tips on the earbuds, moving the mount further around behind your ear, or just getting them to stay put without chafing. The Relays suffer from no such issues. They slide in perfectly on the first time and ensure that you’re not going to be spending half of your workout trying to get them to stop moving around. If you like to pump or do yoga with a little sound in your skull, the Bluetooth capability means you won’t be contending with a cord, yet still receiving near corded quality. The sound isn’t dazzling, but certainly keeps pace with most corded models, and the convenience is well worth the minor drop in true sound acuity. The larger backing dampens noise, but doesn’t truly cancel it. As to abuse, these do it all: water, sweat, impacts, and being yanked out of your gym bag over and over. Sol even replaces lost or damaged tips at no cost should they go rogue.



Pro: Takes over many fitness tracker roles
Con: Neither an impressive tracker, nor impressive headphones

The More You Know: Landing somewhere between interesting niche product and middle child of technology is the FR74 heart rate monitoring headphones from LG. These are one of the few devices that begin to bridge the gap between fitness trackers and workout headphones in that they provide accurate data at a glance without the need to add in extra weight or more wearable gadgets. The headphones monitor distance, calories burned, number of steps, direction, and pulse rate, all of which is sent to a small medallion-shaped box where it is processed and sent to your smartphone or other device. The headphones themselves are held in place by a flexible cord that goes over your ear and can be wrapped snugly for a tighter fit. The hi-fi sound that these produce is good, but given the limited space where large quantities of data is being parsed, the drivers don’t have the room to be amazing. Overall, if you want a hybrid fitness tracker and headphone set, this is an affordable innovation that is worth trying, even if only as an experiment.



Pro: Lifetime warranty
Con: Terrible microphone

The Immovable Object: We’re going to admit it right up front: These don’t sound the best. Good, but they won’t give you an eargasm. They aren’t the most comfortable. Again, very comfortable, but not like giving your ears a massage. What these accomplish better than anything else is sticking to their guns. They stay in place through your pop and lock routine. They don’t move when you cliff dive. They stick around as you throw your own private headbanger’s ball. The cords are kevlar that is tough and doesn’t catch or snag, but rather lays flat while the silicone tips dig in to the curve of your ear and never let go. Complemented by a 15.4mm dynamic driver, complete waterproofing, and a lifetime warranty against abuse, and you’ve got something to crow about. The directed tips channel sound deeper into your ear, which allows you to reduce the volume and keep more battery life in your mobile devices.



Pro: Highly visible in low light
Con: Cord length cannot be adjusted

City Slick: During a run, it should be just you and the road or the trail, but the world doesn’t work like that. Most people have to get their training in wherever they can, and that means dealing with traffic, with the city, with other runners, cyclists, and whatever other impediments crop up. To do this, you can’t have your ears completely blocked, plugged up by your workout headphones. The BackBeat Fit aims to give you high grade wireless audio quality without deafening you to the outside world. The silicone backer wraps around your ear to hold the headphones in place during strenuous activity, be it P90X, lifting, or tackling trails on your mountain bike. The cord can’t be adjusted, which can annoy distance runners as it feels a little sloppy, but the simple controls are responsive and work for anybody. Call quality is very clear, as is most music, though the open style will bleed sound in noisy environments. Especially impressive is the armband and included carrying case. A P2i coating keeps sweat and rain from bringing ruin to the Fit.



Pro: Very light
Con: Tricky remote

Immortal: Runners in the Century Club who like long marathons and lots of them will fall desperately in love with the BlueBuds X. Ordinarily Bluetooth wireless headphones are a mite touch and go, with a lot more touching than going, but these are exceptional. First off, they are only 4.5 ounces, making them very light. The battery lasts for 8 solid hours per charge, so there’s no need to lug around spares or have a wire slapping against you when you feel like taking a jog to check the weather 50 miles away. Nanotech waterproofing from Liquitech allows them to fight off both your macho sweat and whatever the sky decides to throw at you. USA Triathlon has adopted these as their official headphones, and you know the good people who sanction the Ironman wouldn’t tell you lies. The bass is very good, with fairly crisp and clean mids and highs to back it up. The behind the neck remote is a little touchy, and the over/under fit either works great or fails horribly.



Pro: Soft, ergonomic fit
Con: Unimpressive sound quality

Complete Comfort: Bose is universally known in the audio industry for their incredible sound. In this case, the sound is secondary to the shocking comfort that comes from the SIE2I. The silicone earpieces are buttery soft and fit in the ear canal comfortably for long-term wear. You might not fully forget you have them on, but you’ll come pretty close. They have the ability to let in some ambient noise, which is preferable for outdoor exercise, though if you use a noisy gym it could irritate you pretty quickly. The design is ergonomic, using additional soft holders to conform to the interior of your ear rather than sitting over the top of it or curling around the back, resulting in a more natural hold. Oddly enough, where the SIE2I falls short is on their sound quality. It isn’t bad per se, but for the price it isn’t up to Bose’s usual standards. They also lack a carrying case and the comfortable materials are subject to breaking if treated roughly. Thankfully, Bose backs them with an outstanding warranty.



Pro: Beautiful sound
Con: Sound bleed

Beautiful Noise: B&W ordinarily don’t get out of bed for trivial nonsense like workout headphones. They’re too busy making AirPlay speakers that can blow the doors off of brick buildings, but they decided to slum it, and the results are impressive. The C5s bear what B&W call a “Micro Porous Filter” system which projects outward more like a true speaker than a simple headphone. The result is much richer, deeper, more impressive audio quality that also tends to reach people around you. They’re held in place by a loop over your ear that is comfortable and fully pliable so you can adjust it to suit your very special needs. The loop and the sound blocking seal are a single piece that conforms to your whole ear similar to custom made pieces designed to give you a better hold and keep the sound going where it is supposed to. The sound that comes out is smooth and supple, so whatever poison you like to pour in your ear, it will sound amazing. Unfortunately, they are iOS dependent, leaving anyone not in the Apple camp with only the most basic controls.



Pro: Powerful Bluetooth reception
Con: Will cause some ear sweat

Big Noise: The entire Monster iSport line is, without exception, very good, so if you like the Strive or the Victory, by all means, buy them. What we liked about the Freedom should be clear just by looking at them: They are on-ear headphones for peaking your pump, rather than sticking with the pack and only making in-ear workout headphones. Inside are 40mm drivers that give you plenty of sound, though you’re going to be able to find plenty of similar styles with bigger, better, badder sounds, though none as rugged. The body is made of rubber and plastic that can practically be put through the dishwasher (don’t do that) while also allowing the headband to get completely squashed and still bounce back. Completely Bluetooth enabled, they work with any smartphone or mp3 player and have excellent reception, even outside. Using the tried-and-true control method of putting the remote on the outside of the earphone in a method reminiscent of Beats by Dre, they’re easy to control. The fit is snug against your head so even if you’re doing a bouncy stair-a-thon up the Freedom Tower, they’ll stick with you.

The Perfect Explanation to Why We Hate Crossfitters

Doing Crossfit is a giveaway that you are a huge douche-bag.

You guys want to know how to be able to tell if someone does Crossfit? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

In fact, they will make sure to tell you within seconds of meeting you, and then they’ll proceed to talk about Crossfit and nothing else. This just happened to me on my lunch break: I was going to ask for no onions on my sandwich but cool, you flip tires in your spare time; now I know. Thanks, and I’ll take my sandwich to go.

I don’t know when exactly it happened but Crossfit is a big thing now. Crossfit studios are popping up everywhere. Anywhere that fitness is remotely a thing, there’s a least three different Crossfit studios around. If you live in a big city or on a college campus, forget about it. Left and right, here and there, POP! POP! Nothing ruins a nice morning stroll than a group of girthy people running behind you carrying tires above their head while moaning and groaning with veins popping out of their necks. Like, I’m just trying to get myself a Skinny Vanilla Latte and you’re ruining it for me. (I wonder if Crossfitters order a Bulky Vanilla Latte, sub espresso, add protein.)

Crossfit is for sure a cult and nothing else. Here, I’ll prove it to you. Have you ever met someone who just dabbles in a little Crossfit? No. Everyone you meet that does Crossfit is a little something like this:

(while clenching fists, thrusting, bouncing and probably spitting)


(…just a mild preview for you.)

Look, I totally comprehend how it’s a ‘manly’ thing to do Crossfit and have that ridiculous body but if you’re showing up to a cookout primarily for the protein and not the cleavage and sundresses, you are not a real man. You’re just a random guy with aggressive veins eating too much chicken.

If you’re a girl who is really into Crossfit, then…my advice to you is to ditch the Crossfit studio and walk next door to the Yoga studio. Guys want to see you in tree pose, not literally picking up a tree.

I have a feeling that it’s a rule in the Crossfit community that once you leave Crossfit, you go and tell everyone you know that you went to Crossfit (either before or after you try to convince them to participate in the paleo diet.) Speaking of the paleo diet, um, please go away. It’s cool if you want to eat like a caveman, whatever, do you your thing. You want to know what would be even cooler? Not talking about it all the damn time. If you paleo people keep professing your obsessions for ‘caveman’ life, then I’m pretty sure you will end up living an actual caveman life and no one will want to be around you. Get back in your cave and shut the fuck up about your weighed out meat and nuts!

Tony Hawk Takes the World’s First Hoverboard for a Ride

In a new video by The RIDE Channel, skateboarding legend Tony Hawk takes the Hendo Hover (previously) for a spin, riding the real-life hoverboard on a small copper half-pipe specially designed for the technology. Hawk doesn’t exactly master the board right away, but he does put on a good show of it, almost pulling off an infamously difficult skating trick in the process.

That was my first 1080.

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VetiGel, A Plant-Based Gel That Can Stop Bleeding in 20 Seconds When Applied to a Wound

VetiGel is a gel created by Brooklyn-based biotech startup Suneris that is made from plant-based polymers that are able to stop bleeding in 20 seconds when applied to a wound, working in congress with the human body’s natural healing processes. Bloomberg interviewed Suneris CEO/NYU student Joe Landolina about the product, which is still in the testing phase.

We extract pieces of the cell walls out of the plant, kind of like LEGO blocks. When applied to a wound, these LEGO blocks reassemble with whatever you put them next to.

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Health Benefits Of Coffee vs. Tea: Which One Is Better For You?

To some, coffee is an essential drug of sorts: a jolting liquid that staves away fatigue, headaches, and lack of motivation. Or perhaps you’re a recovering coffee addict who has now turned to the soothing varieties of tea to get a decent caffeine fix, just without the jitters.

Of course, coffee sometimes sounds more like an addiction than a drink that’s good for you, and this is perhaps why tea gets the good reputation of being healthier. But is tea really that much better for you?


While tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water (and right before beer), coffee is also hugely popular. And both drinks have been around for a long time, to boot.

According to legend, tea was first discovered by the Emperor of China in 2737 BC while he was boiling water under a tree. When leaves accidentally fell into the boiling water, he tasted it and was surprised by its goodness. Tea then became popular among scholars and priests in China and Japan, who drank tea to stay awake, study, and meditate. This is perhaps why the hot drink has always been associated with mindfulness, calm, spirituality, and solid health.

Coffee, meanwhile, didn’t seem to appear until much later — and is believed to have originated in the Ethiopian highlands, where legend says a goatherd named Kaldi noticed his goats became hyperactive after eating certain berries from a tree. Coffee then spread to monks at monasteries, where they drank the beverage to keep them alert while praying. From there, it began making its way across the Arabian Peninsula. Both coffee and tea remained Eastern beverages for a long time; coffee didn’t even arrive in Europe until the 17th century.


Both coffee and tea have their benefits, though it’s always hard to pinpoint exactly what those are due to the large amount of contradictory studies. Researchers have focused on specific potential benefits of coffee, with some studies finding that coffee might have the ability to reduce the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer’s or even type 2 diabetes, for example. Coffee has a higher caffeine content than tea, meaning its levels of the stimulant might help people with asthma by relaxing the lung’s airways. Caffeine also helps in constricting blood vessels in the brain and reducing migraines, and often alleviates hangovers because of this. So if you’ve got a bad headache, taking some Advil with coffee and food (and water) might help you out.

Harvard School of Public Health analyzed coffee’s overall effect on health and concluded that the beverage was pretty neutral — it didn’t cause any serious health problems, but it also didn’t necessarily have any specific health benefits, either. Even drinking up to 6 cups of coffee didn’t appear to raise anyone’s risk of dying — but it also didn’t seem to make anyone live particularly longer. What this means, essentially, is that if you’re a stalwart coffee lover, you really have nothing to worry about.

Tea, on the other hand, is filled with antioxidants and potential cancer-fighting properties. According to the National Cancer Institute at the NIH, tea contains polyphenol compounds, which are antioxidants that might aid in cancer prevention. Though not enough has been studied to conclude whether tea does in fact reduce the risk of cancer, tea has often been considered a therapeutic or medicinal drink that has both soothing and rejuvenating qualities. All types of tea are made from the leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis, which wilt and oxidize after harvesting; oxidation results in the breaking down of chemicals. The amount of oxidation that occurs in the leaves is what defines different types of teas, from black tea to white tea, and of course green tea. Polyphenols in particular are a group of plant chemicals that are believed to be involved in health benefits — especially in green tea. Teas with the highest levels of polyphenols are usually brewed hot teas rather than cold (and sugary) bottled teas. Polyphenols in green tea, and theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea, contain free radicals that might protect cells from DNA damage.


As with anything that contains caffeine, way too much coffee and tea could result in increased anxiety, tachycardia, heart palpitations, insomnia, restlessness, and nausea. High amounts of unfiltered coffee, meanwhile, has been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol, LDL. Tea contains fluoride, and while this is good for your dental health, too much of it may increase your risk of brittle bones and osteofluorosis. Certain tea blends from China, India, or Sri Lanka have been found to contain aluminum and risky amounts of lead, so where you get your tea is pretty important.

To be completely honest, however, you’re better off leaving the heavy cream and three packs of sugar out of your drinks — and stop worrying about whether coffee trumps tea or vice versa. Both drinks have vague cons and benefits, but are, for the most part, pretty decent for you. Too much sugar, on the other hand, is quite the villain — so enjoy your caffeine and remember to take your coffee breaks or meditative tea breaks every so often; humans have been doing it for thousands of years.