7 Benefits of Drinking Decaf Coffee
The caffeine hit that coffee lovers crave is a major part of what makes the drink so popular! Waking up in the morning and that first sip of coffee hitting your lips can really motivate you to get up and out of bed.
However, caffeine is not for everyone, and decaf definitely has its place in the coffee world. There are a number of reasons why some coffee lovers switch to decaf, or simply swap out their regular caffeinated coffee from time to time.
In fact, there are actually a number of benefits of drinking decaf coffee over the regular stuff!
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is of course the same as regular coffee, but just with the caffeine removed! Technically, it’s not completely removed, as most cups of decaf coffee will contain approximately 1-3% caffeine, but this is not enough to have any impact on you.
Decaf coffee is typically associated with lower quality, worst-tasting coffee, as the way decaf is made has been historically dependent on chemicals.
This tainted the reputation of decaf coffee, making coffee lovers perceive it as undesirable or low rent. However, modern methods of coffee decaffeination are a lot more natural, namely the Swiss Water Process.
This means that many big-name coffee brands can now offer decaf coffee that tastes just as good as a regular cup of joe!
Decaf coffee has also become more popular as the general population of coffee-drinking countries has become more health-conscious. Much like tobacco and alcohol, the caffeine found in coffee should be consumed in regulated quantities to optimize health. Whilst the amount of caffeine found in coffee is much less harmful than smoking a cigarette or drinking a pint of beer, consuming too much caffeine can have adverse effects on your health.
Nowadays decaf coffee hardly tastes different from regular, caffeinated coffee!
7 Benefits of Drinking Decaf Coffee
There are actually a number of benefits to drinking decaf coffee that you may not have even considered before.
1. Drinking Decaf can Help Your Liver, Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk and Improve Heart Health
Coffee in general sometimes gets a bad rap when it comes to health. Overloading yourself with caffeine can actually do more harm than good, which in itself is a good reason to throw in a decaf variant every now and then.
However, in terms of the specific benefits of drinking decaf coffee over the regular version, there are a few pretty compelling improvements to health that can be gained. Fortunately, decaf coffee is packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, just like fully caffeinated coffee.
As per this article from Healthline, decaf coffee can also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by a noticeable amount.
What’s more, studies have found that drinking decaf has also been linked with increasing the resilience of the liver, as well as decreasing the risk of developing heart disease.
2. It Can Also Reduce Anxiety
Unfortunately, anxiety has become more and more prevalent in the general population in recent times. Some studies as well as many anecdotal accounts have linked a heightened caffeine intake with higher instances of anxiety, in particular GAD (generalized anxiety disorder).
Drinking too much caffeinated coffee can actually cause anxiety.
Therefore, by including decaf in your overall coffee intake, you can reduce the ongoing symptoms of anxiety as well as reduce your risk of developing it in the first place.
3. Decaf Coffee Reduces Pressure on your Bladder and Bowels
Coffee lovers will tell you that drinking too much of the stuff can make you need the toilet a lot more frequently!
This is the case with both a number 1 and a number 2, so reducing the amount of caffeine you take in by drinking decaf can help reduce the frequency you’ll need the toilet!
This in turn puts less pressure or strain on your bladder and bowels, meaning you can enjoy that cup of coffee without the unintended consequences.
4. Switching to Decaf Can Improve Sleep Quality
It is no secret that consuming too much caffeine can be detrimental to sleep quality. Many studies have looked into this and found that not only the volume of caffeine you drink but also the timing of when you drink it can play a part in sleep disruption.
Since caffeine has a half-life of around 12 hours, drinking it after midday is like sipping half a cup of coffee just before you go to bed!
Therefore, switching out regular coffee for decaf is a great way to reduce the impact of that mid-afternoon cup of coffee that you may well be craving. This will help rebalance your circadian rhythm and improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep.
This, in turn, reduces your need for a punchy coffee the next morning and you’ll naturally have more energy, to begin with, win-win!
5. Reduces Overall Caffeine Intake
Whilst this may seem like an obvious reason to drink more decaf coffee, many people don’t actually realize how many of their daily food and drink choices contain caffeine.
Chocolate, energy drinks, pre-workout supplements, tea, kola nuts, some chewing gums, and of course coffee all contain caffeine.
Whilst caffeine consumed in small doses provides a pick-me-up that many people enjoy, consuming too much of it across the day (particularly into the evening), can have detrimental impacts on health.
Building up an intolerance to caffeine can wreak havoc on your energy levels, and sleep patterns and even cause digestive issues!
Therefore, managing your overall caffeine levels, as well as the timing of your caffeine intake by incorporating decaf coffee into your diet is a great way to stay on top of your health, whilst still enjoying that great coffee taste!
6. Decaf has Lower Acidity
Regular, black coffee is actually quite an acidic beverage. Most cups of coffee tend to sit between 4.5 and 5 on the PH scale, which may not seem particularly extreme. But, when you consider that coffee doesn’t have a sour taste, particularly when paired with milk or creamer, it has enough acidity to cause some people health problems.
Digestive issues, acid reflux, and heartburn can be cited from excess coffee consumption.
Decaf coffee is much less acidic than regular caffeinated coffee, so if you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, switching to decaf every once in a while could do you the world of good!
7. It Can Taste Just as Good as Regular Coffee!
Finally, another major benefit that stacks in the favor of decaf coffee, is that nowadays it tastes just as good as regular coffee!
Not only do natural methods of decaffeination retain all of the antioxidants, texture, and natural aromas of caffeinated coffee, but they also preserve that strong, full-bodied flavor!
So, don’t worry if you feel like switching to decaf, as you won’t have to compromise on taste. Here are some of the best decaf coffees out there on the market today to get you started.
Overall, decaf coffee often goes under the radar as it can sometimes be looked down upon by coffee lovers. The reputation of lower quality, worst-tasting beans often puts people off.
However, there are actually a number of benefits to drinking decaf, and in fact, with modern methods of removing caffeine, they taste just as good!
You don’t have to go cold turkey and kick the caffeine forever. But, switching out that afternoon cup of joe for a decaf can help you sleep better and ironically, give you more energy in the long run.
How does Decaf Coffee Affect Your Body?
Since decaf coffee doesn’t raise your heart rate as regular, caffeinated coffee does, there aren’t any significant, immediate physiological impacts of drinking decaf coffee.
However, the antioxidants contained in decaf coffee have a myriad of health benefits, as listed above.
Also, there is likely to be an element of a placebo effect if you switch someone’s decaf coffee without them knowing, so you’ll be doing them a favor on the down low!
Is Decaf Coffee Healthier?
Well, yes and no.
It completely depends on how much regular coffee you are drinking, how the decaf coffee was processed, and what your overall health looks like as a whole.
Going cold turkey straight from caffeinated coffee to decaf may well clear up common symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn, and digestive stress, but you may also suffer from headaches, fatigue, or agitation from caffeine withdrawals.
Including decaf coffee in your diet to reduce your overall caffeine intake could be a great idea for many people, especially those with high blood pressure.
So, as with most health-related questions, it is not as simple as yes or no. Really, it depends on how much regular coffee you drink already and the reason behind switching to decaf in the first place.