Coffee is a beverage with a rich history. For centuries, people have been drinking coffee for its caffeine content and the taste of the brew. However, not all coffee is created equal.
In recent years, more and more people are opting for decaf coffees over regular because they don’t want to ingest caffeine from their drink.
But does this mean that decaf coffees are less acidic than regular? This article will explore if there really is any truth behind this claim and what health benefits may be associated with it in addition to the potential downsides of consuming an acidic drink like coffee on a daily basis.
1. What is Coffee and Why Do People Drink It?
Coffee is a beverage made by steeping roasted coffee beans in hot water. The drink itself does not derive any nutrients, but the caffeine properties in this brew are known to provide some health benefits like enhanced focus and better mental alertness. Coffee provides at least 97 mg of caffeine per 8 fluid ounces of liquid.
2. Is Decaf Coffee Less Acidic Than Regular
Many people believe that decaf coffee is less acidic than regular because it lacks caffeine. Without a stimulant like caffeine, many people think that the resulting drink will be less acidic and more benign to your stomach lining.
This claim can be backed up by science as well – according to Michael Greger M.D., a study found that the pH of decaf was 6.7 in contrast to regular coffee that has a pH of 5.5.
However, this isn’t the end-all be-all answer because different types of roasts can result in different acidity levels and there are other factors that may lead one to believe that regular coffee is less acidic than decaf such as the specific decaf process or additives in a particular coffee.
3. Is decaf coffee inflammatory?
Short answer: we aren’t sure. There is very little high-quality research that points to the conclusion that decaf coffee, when brewed at home, is less acidic than regular and thus less inflammatory for your body.
However, there have been studies that have concluded that caffeine in general has a good amount of acidity when ingested.
4. Does decaf coffee cause less heartburn?
If you’re someone with gastrointestinal issues (heartburn, constipation, gas), consuming decaf coffee may help. However, there is no hard evidence that this is the case and only anecdotal claims backing up the benefits of doing so.
5. What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Decaf Coffee?
According to the National Coffee Association, there are several benefits that may come from ingesting decaf coffee including:
– Caffeine consumption is not required for people to reap some of the benefits of drinking coffee, such as enhanced alertness and sustained focus. There is no doubt that caffeine has some health benefits like increased energy and better mental alertness, but decaf coffee drinkers will still be able to reap those rewards.
– Decaf coffee can help people who suffer from insomnia. This is because caffeine has been proven to interrupt both slow wave and rapid eye movement sleep stages, which are vital for uninterrupted sleep.
– There are many antioxidants in decaf coffee that may have significant positive effects on your health by reducing oxidative stress or protecting cells against damage.
– Coffee is a beverage that contains the chemical compounds cafestol and kahweol that may help prevent chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and liver cancer.
6. The Downsides to Drinking Decaf Coffee On a Daily Basis
– There is evidence that caffeine, even in the decaffeinated form, can boost mood and help people feel awake. It is because of this reason that some doctors may recommend drinking coffee for patients with low energy levels.
– Caffeine is a stimulant that can improve muscle function and provide other benefits related to athletic performance.
– Decaf coffee may lack many of the antioxidants that regular coffee contains, which has been shown to have a plethora of health benefits.
7. Concluding Thoughts on Drinking Decaf or Regular Coffee
Ultimately, whether you drink decaf or regular coffee shouldn’t be seen as a life-or-death decision. However, there are significant benefits to drinking coffee that can’t be ignored. It has been linked to improved cardiovascular function and that can help lower your risk of heart attack or stroke.
All health benefits are derived from drinking coffee within reason. If you are someone who already drinks multiple cups of coffee a day, perhaps you should consider switching to decaf.
But for those who only drink one cup or less per day, there isn’t much evidence that can prove that it is necessary to go out of your way to change what you are currently doing.
It’s difficult to say whether decaf is better for you or not. For many people, drinking a lot of caffeine is no problem and they don’t even notice the difference in taste with decaf coffee.
If you want to drink more coffee but less caffeine the best thing you can do is get yourself a reusable coffee filter. You can put your favorite coffee in it (reg or decaf) and simply remove the caffeine.
The best way to see if you are sensitive to caffeine is to try coffee with and without caffeine. See how you feel each day after you drink a cup of coffee, every hour for several hours. Try this for a few days. Do not drink coffee late in the day if you have trouble falling asleep, and do not drink more than one cup.
And for those of you who love your daily dose of caffeine, enjoy it as long as it doesn’t affect your sleep or cause other health issues such as high blood pressure.