Some people drink decaffeinated coffee because, unlike regular coffee, it does not make them jittery. Others believe that drinking it is better than regular coffee for being healthy.
But is decaffeinated coffee healthier than a regular cup of Java? Does the process of caffeine elimination present a health risk?
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE DOES A DECAFFEINATED COFFEE CONTAIN?
Contrary to what other people think, a decaffeinated coffee still contains caffeine. If you are trying to eliminate coffee from your system as a way for being healthy, then you are not getting there yet.
However, the caffeine content is lower than a regular coffee. Ninety percent of the caffeine in it has been removed. So, in a 6-ounce decaffeinated coffee, it only comes with 5 milligrams of caffeine.
Less caffeine is also seen in tea.
HOW CAFFEINE IS REMOVED?
- Organic chemical solvents, e.g. methylene chloride and ethyl acetate
- Carbon dioxide
- Water method
These are the three common methods of removing caffeine from coffee. The first method is considered as a natural decaffeinating process because it uses ethyl acetate, which is derived from a fruit.
Unfortunately, there are problems associated with methylene chloride. Studies revealed that this chemical could cause cancer. This is also the reason it is banned in hair sprays.
But there is no evidence of this chemical to put humans at risk of health damage when drinking decaffeinated coffee. In fact, the FDA has approved it to be used in decaffeination.
Starbucks and other companies use methylene chloride because of its taste. Water-filtered decaffeinated coffee tastes, well, bland.
DOES REGULAR COFFEE CAUSE HEALTH RISKS?
Several studies have already cleared coffee for causing illnesses. In fact, some health experts recommend it for being a healthy beverage.
Before, it was linked to pancreatic cancer and heart problems. But it was soon exonerated.
Some studies showed that coffee could cause hypertension. Most studies found no such effect.
In most recent studies, caffeine has been shown to provide health benefits.
For being a healthy beverage, regular coffee can offer analgesic effects, in addition to boosting your alertness. This is the main reason it is added in some pain relievers, like Norgesic Forte.
There are also studies that suggest caffeine to be a healthy drink in preventing Parkinson’s Disease.
And in a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it was shown that those who are drinking high amount of regular coffee have lowered their risks of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers are also seeing some pieces of evidence that would suggest caffeine to help in preventing formation of gallstones and dental cavities.
DOES DECAF POSE ANY DANGER TO YOUR HEALTH?
Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee has not been thoroughly studied, unlike regular coffee.
But, just like regular coffee, decaf could cause heartburn and stomach ulcers to some people.
On the other hand, it is shown to stimulate nervous system, despite its less amount of caffeine content.
But either of the two can cause hypertension.
HOW ABOUT DECAFFEINATED TEA?
Does it offer a better road for being healthy? You may ask.
Well, a decaffeinated tea is not well-researched. Most studies are focusing on a regular tea.
The benefits of drinking tea for being healthy are attributed to its antioxidant compounds – flavonoids.
Decaffeinated tea contains less of these. However, because teas vary widely, it is hard to predict their exact flavonoid content.
The bottom line is that coffee, decaffeinated or regular, is a great beverage for being healthy as long as you consume it in moderation.