Decaf coffee is a very good alternative for regular coffee, especially for people who get constant jitters from drinking regular coffee, people with insomnia, and sensitive stomachs. But is decaf coffee bad for you?
For decaf lovers, it’s difficult to imagine that the well-loved and highly praised coffee alternative can be bad for you. There are negative health effects of drinking decaf coffee but in spite of the fact that decaf coffee offers a number of health benefits, there are a lot of problems with it too.
In this article, you’re going to learn why decaf coffee is bad for you and the different health risks and dangerous side effects of consuming decaf coffee. However, you should note that this is not health advice and if you are concerned about drinking decaf coffee, contact your doctor or speak to a health professional.
Check out the best decaf coffee for 2022.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee (decaffeinated coffee) is a variant of coffee that has had almost all of the caffeine content removed (93-97%). This is done through various processes before the coffee beans are roasted.
Depending on who you ask, some will say that the taste doesn’t really change but some will say it’s weaker and doesn’t taste as good as regular coffee. After all, the beans are being altered from their original form, this has to have some effect on taste.
Regardless of the opinions on decaffeinated coffee taste, it is actually known to have a much higher acidity than regular coffee, which might not be good for some people.
You can purchase decaf coffee in supermarkets, online in coffee shops, and also get it in the form of beans, grounds, coffee pods, and instant coffee.
How is Decaf Coffee Different from Regular Coffee?
The main difference in decaf coffee is the caffeine content, which is around 95-97% less than regular coffee. The taste can appear to be much weaker and “watery” compared to regular coffee, and also you will not receive an energy boost due to the lack of caffeine.
There are good and bad points about decaf coffee, if you want to find out more about this, check out this post on How is Decaf Coffee Different
Is Decaf Coffee Bad for You?
In short, no decaf coffee is not bad for you. According to multiple sources, decaf coffee is safe when consumed within a healthy diet and is also tested by the FDA to ensure its safety standards for consumers.
There are however some negative health effects to consuming decaf coffee. This could differ between every person, also not everyone’s body is the same so you should consider that before acting upon these negative effects.
1. Decaf Coffee May Contain Unsafe Chemicals (But so Could Most Things)
Decaf coffee is simply coffee without caffeine. To remove the caffeine from the coffee beans, coffee makers use harsh chemicals to speed up the decaffeination process.
Methylene chloride is one of the chemicals that they use to decaffeinate coffee beans, and this is not a mild chemical. Ingesting or even inhaling a small amount of methylene chloride can temporarily impede the central nervous system. It can lead to headaches, drowsiness, and lightheadedness.
Your decaf coffee would not contain high amounts of chemicals to do you harm because it is FDA approved and undergoes rigorous testing, but it’s important to know that decaf coffee can contain chemicals. This is the same as any fruit and vegetables that are grown with pesticides and other chemicals though.
2. Decaf Coffee May Increase Your Cholesterol Levels
The beans that are used for decaf coffee typically contain higher fat content than regular Arabica beans. This means that it may contribute to an increase in harmful LDL cholesterol levels and aid in long-term health risks by increasing the blood fat specifically linked to metabolic syndrome.
With high levels of cholesterol, is decaf coffee bad for your heart? Yes. The increase in cholesterol level will negatively affect your heart and give you long-term health risks. This would have to be taken with a number of factors including how much you drink in a day and your current age/health status.
3. You Are Missing Out on Health Benefits by Not Drinking Regular Coffee
The beauty of coffee is the caffeine content, the taste, and the health benefits that it contains. Caffeine contains a number of antioxidants that help in getting rid of free radicals in the body. Free radicals are harmful to the body as they can contribute to cancers and other health effects.
When it comes to decaf coffee, because there is no caffeine at all, you’re not getting the same health benefits as regular coffee. One chemical that is potentially lost when decaffeinating is chlorogenic acid. This can help to contribute towards a stronger immune system and has anti-aging properties.
4. Decaf May Make It Hard for You to Lose Weight
If you’re looking into shedding some weight, you should definitely refrain from drinking too much decaf coffee, especially if you love adding sugar and cream into the brew. You may have heard that coffee can help you lose weight, well it is true, only if you drink black coffee or with just a small amount of milk.
The caffeine in coffee is known to be a stimulant that boosts metabolism and breaks down fat cells. Unfortunately for decaf coffee, because there is little to no caffeine content at all, you can’t rely on it to help shed any of those extra pounds.
With an active and healthy lifestyle, this would make no difference. You would only notice it if you switched to decaf in the hopes of losing weight.
5. Iron Deficiency Could Arise From Drinking Decaf
Polyphenols, which are found in both regular coffee and decaf coffee can inhibit the absorption of non-heme iron. This can ultimately lead to iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause anemia, brittle nails, and hair loss. This would be a more severe negative effect and would not happen to the majority of people, but it should still be considered.
6. Switching from Regular to Decaf Coffee May Come With Side Effects
Have you ever skipped a morning drinking coffee and started getting a headache, feeling nauseous, and irritable? This is your body going through withdrawals from not having the caffeine. Therefore, if you switch from regular coffee to decaf, you might still get the same side effects for up to 2 weeks.
Good Decaf Coffee to Buy
If you want to try some decaf coffee but don’t know where to start, these are 5 of the best decaf coffees you can order online:
- Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee
- Peet’s Coffee Decaf
- The Original Donut Shop Decaf, Single-Serve Keurig K-Cup Pods
- Volcanica Gourmet Coffee House Decaf Coffee
- Don Pablo Colombian Decaf
There are some negative effects of drinking decaf coffee. But is decaf coffee bad for you? No, we don’t think it is. When drinking it in moderation, with a healthy lifestyle, you wouldn’t really notice any downsides of the drink. If you are concerned, then contact your local health professional and ask for their suggestions.