Coffee is a very popular drink. It has an air of sophistication, a modish and fashionable image and has even been on the leading edge of a few cultural phenomena over the years.
Decaf coffee, less so.
Decaf’s reputation is a negative one. In part that’s down to its history as a less-than satisfying drink, a reputation forged in the coffee marketing of yore, when the most significant standout property of coffee was its caffeine content. Even though coffee is now celebrated in terms of its subtleties of taste and aroma, the perceived disappointment of not getting ‘a fix’ of brain jolt still seems to cast a long shadow over decaf.
The negativity around decaf also has its roots in long-gone decaffeination processes that often included some fairly dodgy chemicals. Decaffeination is now a safe process – some of the methods have even achieved organic standards – but the reputational damage lingers. Even now that doctors are recommending some of their patients to switch to decaf for health benefits, it’s still seen as a loss, or worse, a kind of medical punishment.
The biggest obstacle to decaf’s healthy redemption is that some stuck-in-the-past coffee purists and anti-decaf snobs seem to think that the well-known benefits of coffee drinking are all down to the caffeine. That’s simply not true. The same helpful compounds are found in both regular and decaf coffee.
By going decaf, you get all the benefits (and can drink more) of your favourite flavours without shaking or shuddering like a malfunctioning, off-balance spin dryer.
Decaf for Health: Learn the science that proves the decaf claims
1. Decaf coffee may reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
It has long been believed that coffee can cause a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes, and many people advocate for coffee over decaf because of this. However, recent studies show that there are other explanations for the positive effects of coffee than the caffeine. Decaf coffee can have positive effects on Type 2 Diabetes as well, without experiencing the negative results of caffeine. It is now known that decaf coffee can be just as beneficial as regular coffee without all the risks that go with it.
2. Going decaf can have positive effects on sleep, health and mood
The first thing you might reach for in the morning is coffee to wake you up. However, this can have a negative effect on your sleep schedule because caffeine is a powerful stimulant. By introducing it into your body as soon as you wake up just reinforces dependency. Cutting back or eliminating caffeine altogether will improve sleep – and that’s really the only sustainable way of improving your morning energy levels.
Caffeine may also exacerbate symptoms of those who suffer from panic attacks or long-term anxiety disorders.
3. Decaf has nearly the same antioxidant levels as regular
Decaf has almost the same amount of antioxidant compounds, but with virtually none of the caffeine remaining. If you have been drinking caffeine for health reasons, you can switch to decaf without any consequence.
4. Decaf is less acidic and can reduce heartburn and reflux
Coffee is both acidic and often caffeinated, making it irritating for sufferers of chronic heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease – or GERD. A major benefit of decaffeinated coffee is its lower acidity, thanks to the decaffeination process. For those who suffer from chronic heartburn, switching to decaf can be a way of lowering their daily intake of acidic foods and limiting their reflux and other symptoms.
5. Going Decaf Can Lower your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Decaf coffee can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease if you have a family history of heart or circulation issues. Decaf has fewer stimulant components than that mug of regular Joe and appears to reduce the risk of developing these sorts of conditions.
Decaffeinated coffee has many health benefits
People who drink decaf coffee are often marginalized for doing so, with caffeine snobs saying it has no point or is full of chemicals. The world’s infatuation with caffeine means that there’s much less decaf coffee and tea sold, so you don’t get much of a choice of the good decaf in the shops or supermarket. (And that’s why we started I Love Decaf.)
Coffee is an amazing and healthy drink – caffeinated or not, but only by removing the caffeine does it become even healthier. Decaf coffee is healthy. It has many benefits, and for those with conditions triggered or worsened by caffeine intake (e.g. headaches, sleep disorders, anxiety), it has fewer drawbacks.
Even if you do not suffer from the effects of caffeine, you are likely to improve your health, mood and energy levels by canning the caffeine. If only because – without all those drawbacks – you will be free to drink much more of it.