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Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee
Updated on October 27, 2022
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At Home Health
Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee

Most people enjoy decaf or decaffeinated coffee because it tastes exactly like coffee but with either much less or no caffeine content at all.  

Decaffeinating coffee involves removing 97% of the caffeine from coffee beans, resulting in coffee that only has 2 mg per cup — about only 3% of the amount found in regular coffee.1

While having a cup of coffee is a common morning ritual, it’s not ideal for everyone. Some people experience negative side effects from caffeine. These include: 

  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness

Decaf is an excellent choice for coffee lovers who want to avoid these side effects and still want the taste and smell of coffee to start their day.

How Much is Too Much Coffee?

If you’re a coffee drinker, you likely begin your mornings with a cup to give you a burst of energy and keep you going for the day. 

The average American drinks three cups of coffee each day, which falls under the amount that The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends. 

According to them, you can have up to four cups (8 oz) of caffeinated coffee or 400 mg of caffeine daily.2Anything beyond that is too much caffeine. 

Meanwhile, people with caffeine intolerance and pregnant or breastfeeding women should limit or eliminate their coffee intake altogether.

Some people shouldn’t be having coffee at all. It isn’t advised to drink coffee if you take medications for:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Anxiety

Caffeine is a stimulant that interacts with drugs because it can overexcite your central nervous system, among other things.3 

It can exacerbate anxiety and even reduce the effects of anti-anxiety medications.

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6 reasons you Should Drink Decaf Coffee

Decaf coffee lets you enjoy the same health benefits as regular coffee — without its unpleasant side effects.

Both regular coffee and decaf coffee contain antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. 

Free radicals are products of the body’s normal metabolic processes. They are produced in excessive amounts during stress, infections or autoimmune conditions. 

When the body produces more free radicals than it can handle, oxidative stress results. This can lead to tissue damage.

 Antioxidants, through decaf, provide the following health benefits:

1. Improve Your Heart Health

People who drink two to three cups of decaf coffee have healthier hearts than non-coffee drinkers. It lowers your risk for:4,5

  • Cardiovascular disease (CVD)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Stroke

2. Avoid High Blood Pressure

As a stimulant, caffeine intake may cause a brief spike in your blood pressure. This response may vary for each coffee drinker.

Studies show that drinking 300 mg of regular coffee (about three cups) increases diastolic blood pressure (BP) by 5.7mm Hg. 

Diastolic BP describes the pressure your blood applies against the artery while the heart is relaxing between beats.

The rise in blood pressure occurs in the first hour after drinking regular coffee and lasts almost three hours.6

Decaf drinkers can enjoy coffee without the risk of heightened blood pressure.

3. Reduce Your Risk for Age-Related Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases are more common as you age. This can lead to mental decline, among other symptoms. 

Studies show that caffeine in both regular and decaffeinated coffee has a protective effect on the brain’s neurons. 

It can help prevent and lower your risk of developing neurodegenerative illnesses, such as:7

  • Parkinson’s 
  • Alzheimer’s 
  • Dementia

4. Lower Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Studies show that habitual coffee intake can lessen your risk for type 2 diabetes. In a review of these studies, researchers noted the advantage of decaf coffee drinkers. 

Tip: Use sweeteners with a low glycemic index to avoid spikes in your blood sugar. These sugar substitutes can lower your risk for diabetes and hyperglycemia.

5. Avoid Acid Reflux

Regular coffee intake causes acid reflux that often leads to heartburn. It’s one of the uncomfortable side effects of drinking coffee. 

It’s best to stick to decaf coffee beans if you have problems with acidity. 

Decaf alternatives are less likely to cause acid reflux, which is a major relief for coffee drinkers.

6. Enjoy Healthy Sleeping Patterns

Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you energized and alert. While this is great when you need to be active, it’s not ideal when it’s time for you to sleep.

Too much caffeine intake may cause insomnia and mess up your sleeping patterns. If you have caffeine sensitivity, even moderate consumption can still affect your sleep.8 

Switching to decaf may help prevent or reduce insomnia. Its low caffeine amount won’t give you too much energy or anxiety, which can help you sleep more peacefully at night.

Coffee Substitutes that Taste Like Coffee

Drinking decaf coffee is a healthy way to enjoy coffee without exceeding your caffeine limit. It’s great for people who have caffeine sensitivity or get jittery from drinking coffee.

Besides switching to decaf coffee, you can also try coffee substitutes like MUD WTR. You can try this product when you’re planning on ditching caffeine. 

It contains a low dos of caffeine from black tea. Despite being coffee-free, it still has one-seventh the caffeine of a regular coffee. However, it has other organic ingredients that are excellent sources of energy.

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Dr. Rizza Mira
Dr. Rizza Mira
Medical Reviewer
Dr. Rizza Mira is a medical doctor and a general practitioner who specializes in pediatrics, nutrition, dietetics, and public health.

As a pediatrician, she is dedicated to the general health and well-being of children and expecting parents. She believes that good nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and prevention of illness are key to ensuring the health of children and their families.

When she’s not in the hospital, Rizza advocates and mobilizes causes like breastfeeding, vaccination drives, and initiatives to prevent illness in the community.
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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