There’s nothing like having a good cup of coffee in the morning. Or noon. Or afternoon. Or evening. Whenever you’re drinking your fix of joe, you know just how good the taste is and how you feel like you just have a burst of energy surging through your bloodstream.
Coffee is a universal and popular drink enjoyed by everyone across the globe. For some people, having one to three cups a day is totally fine. But then there are those who can’t resist picking up a mug for the fifth time of the day. Don’t worry, we don’t judge here. But if you are having some of the negative effects from caffeine, like jittering, insomnia, and headaches, then maybe you should consider opting to decaf.
Today, we’re pitting decaf vs regular coffee and see which one of the two you should press into your coffee machine.
Almost everyone knows what regular coffee is, but maybe a few people are curious about the deal with decaf coffee.
Decaf, short for decaffeinated, is a specialized kind of coffee that has beans stripped off of its caffeine content before it was roasted and ground. Coffee beans are soaked in an organic solvent that absorbs the caffeine from them.
Decaf coffee does not mean it is completely caffeine-free. Only 97% of the caffeine has been removed from the beans, which usually translates to 3mg of caffeine per cup. With that said, the caffeine levels in decaf coffee are night and day when compared to the amount in regular coffee. To put things into perspective, five to ten cups of decaf coffee have caffeine levels that equate to about one to two cups of regular coffee.
Decaf coffee and regular coffee have a lot in common, minus the whole caffeine thing. One of the best sources of antioxidants that you can get actually comes from coffee. Both decaf and regular coffee contain antioxidants that can neutralize free radicals. Although, it should be noted that decaf coffee has 15% fewer antioxidants compared to regular coffee.
Coffee, both regular and decaf, is linked to other benefits, such as lowering the risk of diabetes, aiding in liver function, and a small reduction of premature death. Granted, there is not a lot of studies about decaf coffee compared to regular coffee, so take this info with a grain of salt.
What should be clear though is that decaf has the upper hand when it comes to avoiding the negative side effects when drinking regular coffee. Regular coffee, specifically caffeine, has a bad reputation for causing and triggering nasty health issues such as heartburn, stomach ulcers, and chronic headaches. And if you are suffering from anxiety, depression, and insomnia, you better put that regular joe down unless you want to aggravate your symptoms and have an experience similar to a panic attack.
Decaf coffee strips those issues away! Because it has little caffeine in it, you can enjoy the taste and feeling of drinking coffee without the unpleasant side effects.
Well, there is a super tiny issue when it comes to consuming decaf coffee.
When removing caffeine from coffee beans, manufacturers use some chemicals to help aid in the removal without extracting other vital compounds like proteins and sugar. The use of chemicals also speeds the decaffeinating process. However, one chemical called methylene chloride has raised concerns because of its effects on the central nervous system. Exposure to methylene chloride entails symptoms such as:
However, the FDA has approved the use of methylene chloride, as long as only 0.001% of the chemical is traceable in the beans.
It can be hard to pick which coffee is better. On one hand, regular coffee simply tastes so good. It’s hard to beat that aroma and the bittersweet feeling it gives to our palates. Not to mention, that energy boost that you get can be really hard to give up. On the other hand, decaf coffee is milder but still packs a punch. It gives the same feeling you get when drinking regular coffee, minus the negative side effects.
It all comes down to preferences. If you are a powerhouse who relies on caffeine to energize you through the day, regular coffee is something that you need. But if you either want to enjoy coffee but can’t deal with the jitter and anxiety, or you drink too much coffee and want to feel better afterward, we highly suggest you switch to decaf. Overall, our verdict is that everyone should be able to enjoy coffee without feeling bad, so people should enjoy what cup is in their hand, whether they’re team regular or team decaf.