Coffee is a drug, thanks to the caffeine that makes coffee what it is. And while coffee connoisseurs might balk at the idea of having decaf, those of us who want to drink coffee but don’t want the hassle of staying up all night or getting the shakes (from drinking too much coffee) might consider decaf to be the next best thing.
Drinking regular coffee on a regular basis and drinking decaf daily throws up different health concerns. While the concern surrounding coffee is related to sensitivity towards caffeine, are there health risks that pop up when you drink decaf coffee every day?
We’ve come a long way from the time Ludwig Roselius invented the original decaffeinating process, which involved immersing green, unroasted beans in water, then using benzene to extract the caffeine. There are different decaffeinating processes today; some make use of water while others use methylene chloride and ethyl acetate. These chemicals can sound alarming because methylene chloride could harm your lungs if it is inhaled, but most of it is destroyed when the beans are roasted, so the chemicals don’t trigger any physical side effects — and you’re not inhaling them anyway (via LiveStrong).
Decaf coffee does have health benefits
Keep in mind that just because you’ve decided to switch to decaf, that doesn’t mean you are completely caffeine-free. In order for coffee to be considered decaf, it has to have its caffeine levels lowered by as much as 97 percent, and Healthline says decaf can still contain as much as 7 mg of caffeine, as opposed to regular coffee, which can have between 70 to 140 mg. However, even though the decaffeination process might leave some caffeine behind, it doesn’t strip coffee of its valuable antioxidants either, and these will benefit you if you drink decaf coffee on a daily basis.
Studies have shown that long-term coffee drinkers may experience a lower risk of developing several types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and Parkinson’s disease. But coffee isn’t for everyone, and it has also been known to trigger jitteriness, anxiety, and insomnia (via Harvard). If you react badly to coffee, picking up the habit of drinking decaffeinated coffee daily is a good option, because the brew offers similar health benefits that its more high-octane sibling does, but without the side effects that caffeine might trigger.
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