Tea vs coffee on carnivore

(Alec) #1

Coffee has been a recent highly charged debate on YT in carnivore circles.

I have a question: what is your opinion of the relative goodness on carnivore of black tea vs coffee? Which of the 2 is better on a carnivore diet? I know both are plants and therefore not strict carnivore, but on the assumption that I am going to drink one of them, which is better?

Coffee is made from the bean of the coffee plant… and you ingest the actual plant when drinking coffee (I think?). Tea is made from the leaves of the tea plant (no idea what that is called!), and tea is then infused from those leaves… ie not actually ingesting the leaves themselves (or is the same as coffee??). Does this matter? Does this make the difference between the 2 and therefore tea is better?

Are there differences in relative nutrient blocking between the 2? Differences in oxalate and other poisons? Other important differences that I have not mentioned?

Keen to get your opinions.

(Bacon enough and time) #2

There’s your first mistake—looking at the comments on YouTube, lol! :grin::grin:

When we drink coffee or tea, we are not ingesting the actual plant unless we eat the coffee grounds or the tea leaves. (I don’t advise eating either. Faugh!) Coffee and tea as beverages are the solution of chemicals leached from the grounds or the leaves, respectively, not the actual plant.

I don’t know that there is much to choose between coffee and tea, other than taste. The major ingredient in both is caffeine, and then the mix of the other phytochemicals is what determines their taste. Tea also contains tannin, which is why the tongue starts to feel leathery after a number of cups of tea. Each beverage also contains other methylxanthines besides caffeine, and the mix of those depends partly on the plant and partly on the brewing method, or so I understand.

In my years on a ketogenic diet, I’ve never known tea to be discussed at all; it is coffee that garners all the attention. And I can tell you, from my reading on these forums and elsewhere, that coffee is great on a ketogenic diet, because it enhances ketogenesis, and it is terrible on a ketogenic diet, because it inhibits ketogenesis.

Furthermore, the effect (whatever it might actually be) is not from the caffeine content of the coffee, because no one ever discusses caffeine as a potential boon or problem. And even furthermore, whenever I ask for studies on coffee and keto, no one ever replies to the request. Although it’s possible I could have missed such a reply.

If this debate were on any other platform but YouTube, I’d suggest shutting the debaters down by asking for citations of randomised, controlled studies, but no one ever reads replies to their comments on YouTube. so far as I can tell.

(Alec) #3

Great reply! I am not actually trying to (or interested in) replying to the YT debate. It is clear to me where that has ended up.

However, it just got me thinking about which really is better for you on carnivore. Coffee has been the subject of some hate, but as you say, nobody seems to attack tea.

You are right, they are both infusions and therefore we are not actually eating the plant itself. Therefore, are either really bad at all???

(Bacon enough and time) #4

Amber O’Hearn has an old blog post discussing what the term “carnivore” means and what the diet actually consists of. In passing, she mentions the question of whether drinking coffee is carnivore or not and comes to the conclusion that it is carnivore, basically because quite a few carnivores drink coffee, and the community appears to have agreed that it is acceptable for them to do so.

Also, since most coffee-drinkers drink the beverage for its stimulating effect, I suppose it would be possible to classify coffee as medicinal. Despite the fact that almost all the medications in our pharmacopoeia are derived from plants, I have never heard of anyone’s objecting to the taking of medications on a carnivore diet.

(Joey) #5

This suggests to me that it’s time to attack tea. Let’s start with unsweetened iced tea and work our way from there…


I can easily attack tea :slight_smile:

The tannins in it made my mouth numb like, thick throat, also a bad tingly type feeling in my mouth. I dumped that stuff fast.

I do not drink coffee. Never did. Do not like it.

But I drank unsweet reg. ol’ tea for like, hmm, 2 yrs on carnivore but more ‘rare’ than a daily thing, not a huge tea fan kinda either------but I would order cold unsweet tea out to ‘order a drink’ out when we hit a restaurant…and one time the tannins hit me hard and I thought, heck no I hate this feeling. It is kinda one of those more scary things cause I had that back thought of will my throat close down or something :slight_smile:

I dumped it and never looked back! Any time carnivores chat tea I give out my experience on it.

So that is my life on tea.

(Allie) #7

Tannins make me feel awful too.


I thought carnivores don’t even consider tea, just allows coffee because too many are addicted to it :smiley:

Well if you ask me…

I couldn’t care less about what part I eat and what is it, my body is fine with both, both substances are just for joy as they don’t do anything noticeable to me (except maybe the subtle help of coffee to output processes :smiley: I don’t need that but I can imagine it being helpful)…
But I drink tea now because I hate being addicted to anything and coffee managed that (besides, it costs money while not giving me anything good and it takes away time). Even carnivore did nothing to it. I stopped eating the other problematic items, never missing them… But not coffee.
Anyway, it’s funnier to belong to the minority :stuck_out_tongue: Not like I am a carnivore but I am trying to stay very close…

If you catch me in some moments and ask tea or coffee, I say cocoa. But that’s farther from carnivore. Still a lovely thing… I consume it in some desperate times when I try to stay away from coffee, no matter what as it is a great (and only) substitution of it for me. But I am very much aware about its non-carnivoreness and carbs.

Tea is sweet, if it will bother me, I probably will stop or choose the kind that isn’t sweet.
Coffee has no such problem, no matter how weak and non-bitter ones I have. Or currently not have. It’s No Coffee Day #4 today! I think. I am bad with time.

For others… I suppose everyone should choose whatever, I usually chose both and I am not even among the ones who desperately want something non-water to drink (I want my other drinks but not as desperately as some others). My coffee and tea are subtly flavored waters, I prefer both super weak :slight_smile:

@PaulL’s medication reasoning makes sense. I don’t have this excuse :smiley: I just like the taste sometimes. But I need something with it. And that often went in the way of my fasting.

But as I am merely stay close to carnivore most of the time, I embrace plants anyway. In very tiny amounts and only when pretty much needed or gives me a too big deal: great joy and variety for no harm at all. I need little condiments but they come handy. And sometimes I go a tad farther, it’s still very little and I can handle it but it’s not carnivore.
So no wonder I don’t see why I would stop drinking tea :slight_smile:

Carnivores who ONLY eat meat, well they obviously think differently about tea and coffee.
And the not super strict carnivores are in-between, it depends. Some people don’t like coffee, some people have problems with tea or coffee…
I don’t see why to restrict people if they handle the substances well.

But it’s just me, a not-even-carnivore who can handle all edible things pretty well. The sugary ones less well though.

(Edith) #9

If you are worried about oxalates, some types of tea have more oxalate than others. Many black and green teas are considered medium to high oxalate. In fact, in the Trying Low Oxalate Forum, in the carnivore portion, if a person needs to slow down their oxalate dumping, it is suggested they drink some black tea or eat some dark chocolate. Most herbal teas are low oxalate and so is coffee.


I didn’t know that, thanks!
Even it has nothing to do with me as far as I know, I like to know things.
I dislike herbal teas. I like warm water though :wink: I love that there are always options :smiley:

(Allie) #11

I wonder if the reason both these things cause me upset could be to do with oxalates… :thinking:

(Alec) #12

That is really interesting, and the kind of thing I need to learn. I think my conclusion thus far is that neither tea nor coffee are especially bad, but from the above coffee may be better than tea. I also need to factor in I put sweetener in my tea but not my coffee, another leaning towards coffee being better for me.

(Karen) #13

I drink both … black. At home always use coffee beans and always use loose tea … breakfast/earl grey, often with a few chilli flakes/chai, also with some chilli flakes … coffee mornings only for the most part, tea in afternoon and water in the evening (hot in winter cold in summer) i have a whole big drawer of them :smiley: they don’t really effect me adversely unless i drink coffee to late in day. I don’t worry about the plants aspect as it is negligable really in the big scheme of things. I am zc/ carnivore.


I drink coffee all morning, water and maybe tea in the afternoon, and sparkling water in the eves. I love sparkling water.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #15

That’s exactly my regime Velvet… I’m not sure if there’s any difference Carnie or Keto with this?


No idea. I fluctuate between the two anyway. I don’t change what I drink.

(Geoffrey) #17

I’ve lost my taste for coffee but I do drink one cup o bulletproof tea in the morning.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #18

Funny, I only drank coffee for the first time when I started Low Carb … I can’t even remember why!

(Chuck) #19

I do moderately low carb and fasting I use to drink black tea with caffeine but have changed to green tea with out caffeine and I sleep better and my BP is also lower.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #20

Bit of trivia - What’s the difference between Green Tea and Black Tea? Answer - They are from the same plant, green tea is prepared to prevent oxidisation and turning black, also has less caffeine.