Decaffeinated coffee, also known as “decaf,” is similar in flavor and appearance but has very little caffeine.
Many people raise questions like, is decaf coffee bad for you? Whereas decaffeinated coffee is advertised as a replacement for regular coffee in many health-related fields.
There isn’t any evidence that suggests drinking decaf coffee can harm people’s health. In fact, it might even offer the same advantages as regular coffee.
How is decaffeinated coffee made?
It is thought that decaf coffee first came to light in the 1900s as an incoming shipment of coffee beans was submerged in seawater during transport, which naturally removed some caffeine.
A short time later, the trader who came across the accident made these unroasted decaf beans again by using a chemical solvent called benzene, a key component in gasoline and is also present in volcanoes.
Nowadays, decaffeinating coffee beans is much safer and not as carcinogenic. The bad news is that chemicals aren’t completely eliminated from the equation.
The decaffeination process begins with unroasted beans, which are then immersed into water for a few hours to dissolve the caffeine.
Then, it follows three main ways of the caffeine extraction process:
- The first one is that it contains those nasty chemicals. Methylene chloride is used for paint removal or ethyl acetate, utilized in nail polish remover and glue removal products. These chemicals extract caffeine from water either by mixing them into the mixture of water and coffee, getting rid of the water in the beans, or then adding the beans to the water mix. The last step is a similar procedure: evaporating the water to ensure that the flavor stays inside the beans.
- Another technique, known as the Swiss water process, employs charcoal filters to eliminate caffeine from the water. It is chemical-free.
- The third method also helps keep things free of chemicals using liquid carbon dioxide to dissolve the caffeine.
How much caffeine does decaf contain?
Despite its name, decaf coffee still contains a bit of caffeine content.
According to (USDA) the United States Department of Agriculture data, the standard 8-ounce (oz) cup of decaf coffee beans contains the equivalent of 2 milligrams (mg) of caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine is dependent on the brand, with many decaf coffees having as much as 15 mg per 8 oz cup.
While decaf coffee isn’t 100% caffeine-free, it does contain much lesser caffeine levels than standard coffee. Based on the FDA-approved data, an 8 oz cup of regular coffee usually has between 80 and 100 mg caffeine.
The green and black teas have higher levels of caffeine than coffee decaf. A standard 8 oz cup of green or black tea typically contains around 30 -50 mg of caffeine.
Does Decaffeinated Coffee Have Risks?
Although experts are of the opinion, they believe that the Swiss Water Process and liquid carbon dioxide aren’t causing any certain medical conditions.
However, the use of methylene chloride in decaffeination has brought some concerns in the coffee industry and some coffee consumers.
Inhaling small quantities of methylene chloride, approximately 200 parts in million (ppm) in the air, temporarily affects the central nervous system and alters attention and hand-eye coordination.
An extensive 2017 review suggests that drinking coffee can lower a person’s risk of developing certain cancers, including prostate cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, leukemia, oral cancer, and endometrial cancer. Pregnant women who are susceptible to bone fractures are advised to stay away from caffeinated coffee.
If you drink coffee solely to boost antioxidants, switching to decaf is easy since it has all the antioxidants that regular coffee does.
But it is to be pointed out that decaf contains fewer antioxidants, which could be due to the extraction of the caffeine process.
However, it does mean that people who drink the most widely used medicine for health reasons can easily switch to decaf.
In addition to antioxidants, decaf also has tiny amounts of some nutrients. A cup of decaf coffee can provide 2.4 percent of the daily recommended dose of magnesium. 4.8 percent potassium and 2.5 percent of niacin or vitamin B3.
Coffee is highly acidic and not suitable for your gut health. People usually combine it with dairy products to lower the acidic effects; however, it could lead to heartburn and other unpleasant adverse effects.
One of the significant benefits of decaf beans is lower acid content, which is generally caused by decaffeination.
If you have chronic issues with heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), switching to decaf coffee can reduce the flare-ups of acid reflux and other adverse harmful health risks. (Healthline media)
To reap the benefit from caffeine without adverse effects, make an honest evaluation of your sleeping patterns, energy levels, and other variables and cut down on too much caffeine consumption or drink decaf coffee.
Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee
Decaf coffee helps you can avoid the adverse effects of caffeine found in regular coffee. Many people suffer from anxiety, insomnia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and anxiety due to the caffeine content in coffee.
People should be mindful of the ingredients they use for taste, including cream, sugar, or flavorings, as these aren’t necessarily healthy.
Caffeine-induced health problems
Caffeine can cause sleepiness, heart disease well as other health problems. Caffeine acts as a stimulant (diuretic and acidic) if you suffer from stomach problems, heartburn, or sleep problems; decaf coffee may reduce its effects.
The most frequent side effect that caffeine causes is anxiousness. In addition, caffeine can cause restlessness, nervousness, which we refer to as “jitters.”
It is important to remember that coffee doesn’t cause anxiety. However, it may increase symptoms for those already predisposed to anxiety.
If you are experiencing anxiety and drink regular coffee, maybe think about drinking decaf coffee when your anxiety worsens.
A study has found that coffee triggers a gastrocolic reaction in certain people after drinking coffee, suggesting that it may have some laxative effects.
However, it is not fully understood in the present. In the end, everybody is unique, and you’re the only person who knows you best.
Is decaf coffee unhealthy?
With regards to decaf coffee, it is dependent on the body’s reaction to caffeine. If you’re not experiencing negative effects, just stay at peace and enjoy your coffee. Try to reduce your caffeine intake to 400mg daily (3-4 cups depending on your strength).
Is decaf coffee still good for you?
Although decaf coffee is processed to create the final result, you must keep in mind that regular coffee beans are as well. Apart from the minor flavor difference, switching regular coffee for decaf could help you in the long run.
Is decaf coffee bad?
There isn’t any evidence that suggests drinking decaf is harmful to the health of a person. It could even be a part of the health benefits that come with regular coffee.
To Conclude Is Decaf Coffee Bad For You?
Anyone who wants to benefit from coffee should be cautious about overdoing the recommended daily intake. Decaf is a great alternative and reduces risk of various diseases.
Moderate to light caffeine intake of regular and decaf coffee appears to have impressive health benefits to most people.
However, extremely high doses could result in unpleasant side effects that affect daily life and create serious health problems.