Coffee is the world’s most beloved drink and the worldwide holy grail of mornings. But what about for those who can’t handle, or want to lessen, their intake of caffeine? Can they still take part?
Luckily, decaf is a great way to enjoy the health benefits of coffee without the negative side effects.
Is decaf coffee good for you?
According to coffee nutrition facts, coffee gives you energy, it helps you lose weight and can act as pain relief. Not only that, but it’s a great way to get more nutrients and fibre into your diet, to elevate your mood and energy levels, and it can decrease the risk of diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and heart disease. Here we’ve explored the 10 health benefits of coffee further.
But how does decaf coffee compare? Is it really the same? In terms of nutritional value, decaf coffee is extremely similar to its caffeinated counterpart. It shares the health benefits of coffee, just without the risk of symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, and headaches that come with overconsumption of the stimulant.
Of course, it doesn’t share the same level of health benefits of caffeine. But decaf coffee does contain some caffeine – it’s thought to usually contain roughly 3mg of the stimulant. Though the amount is incredibly small (your daily recommended amount is 400 mg), this is essential information for those with a caffeine intolerance.
Some may argue that the way decaf coffee is decaffeinated may make it bad for you. Decaffeinated coffee comes from the exact same coffee beans that the caffeinated variety does, the caffeine content is simply removed.
Often this occurs through the following system: coffee beans are soaked in water, then chemical solvents are added to the mix to get rid of the caffeine from the combination – these solvents are used in minute amounts and monitored, to ensure they are safe for human consumption. After soaking, the solvent and the caffeine are removed; roasters then work to reinstate whatever flavour has dissipated back into the coffee. Some avoid solvents completely, but use charcoal filters instead. It’s argued that both have the same health benefits.
What are the benefits of drinking decaf coffee?
Cutting out caffeine is hard. Like it or not, caffeine is a drug, and suddenly stopping consuming it may result in what can only be described as a withdrawal. You may experience moderate headaches, or more frequent and severe ones, as you acclimatise to a life without it. But, of course, it will pass. Benefits of switching to decaf and avoiding caffeine include less anxiety, better and more hydrated skin, even a loss in weight – if your coffees were often extravagant in taste and sugar content – and better sleep.
Science shows that decaf coffee has numerous health benefits. It scores off-the-charts high when it comes to antioxidants and nutrients.
Reduction in acid reflux and heartburn
Suffer with acid reflux or heartburn? Naturally acidic, regular coffee can have you waking up in pain. Decaf coffee, however, is significantly less likely to have you reaching for the Gaviscon – a great alternative for those who struggle with the conditions.
Is it bad to have decaf coffee every day?
Constantly consuming too much coffee can have terrible effects on you, negating the health benefits of coffee. Thankfully, with decaf coffee you don’t have to worry about your quantities as caffeine, the component that causes all the mayhem has been taken out.
Bear in mind, however, that there’s a big difference between consuming black decaf coffee everyday and drinking decaf coffee that’s been topped up with milk, sugar and syrups. Try and drink your daily decaf black and see the benefits of black coffee.
What does decaf coffee do to your body?
As we’ve discovered, caffeine can easily overwhelm our bodies, causing havoc for our central nervous system. Reducing intake of the stimulant, by opting for decaf instead of regular, helps reduce levels of anxiety, restlessness, stomach aches, irregular heartbeats, and insomnia.
Still not convinced? Decaf coffee shares the same health benefits of coffee, just without the unpleasant side effects that caffeine brings. It’s also a fantastic alternative for pregnant or breastfeeding women, or those taking medications that warrant it. So, if you’re particularly sensitive to coffee, why not switch to decaf and see if it makes a difference?