Decaf Coffee: Is It Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, August 16, 2012

coffee
If caffeine gives you the jitters you may opt for coffee that’s “de-buzzed.” But is this a healthy choice?

Yes?
While caffeine does have some health benefits, too much can be harmful, especially if you have a heart condition. For this reason, many folks opt for the decaf version of their morning (or evening) Joe. Decaf can also come in handy if you’re trying to break the caffeine habit. Pregnant women sometimes switch to decaf to keep their morning ritual somewhat intact.

Coffee is also famous for it’s antioxidant content. Some of the specific antioxidants vary depending on the type of coffee bean, but both decaf and regular provide some of these cell protecting nutrients.

No?
It may not affect the nutritional quality but most would agree there’s a flavor difference between caffeinated and decaf coffee. There’s also been some controversy over the safety of the decaffeination process.

Legend has it that back in the early 1960s and 70’s potentially carcinogenic solvents were used to extract caffeine but nowadays more natural plant-based solvents, plain water, or CO2 (carbon dioxide) are most commonly used.

Despite efforts to strip all the caffeine, a small amount does remain. Eight fluid ounces of decaf coffee from Starbucks averages 3 to 12 milligrams of caffeine; a cup of regular brew has 160 milligrams.

The Verdict: Decaf will deprive you of caffeine but that’s about it. If coffee without the buzz is the right choice for you, there’s no need to worry.

Tell Us: Do you drink decaf or regular?

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Comments (1,484)

  1. Bob Gillie says:

    I drank 12 or more cups of coffee a day for over 50 years. Then the jitters and my right hand shaking uncrontroably made me switch. Now I drink two to three 14 oz cups of DECAF a day with a French Vanilla
    creamer. I use a single cup coffee maker so I can have a fresh cup when ever the mood strikes me.

  2. longcommute1 says:

    I've always got the jitters from caffeine but found decaf wasn't quite right either. So now I drink Half Caff by Green Mountain and Folgers. You have to look for it carefully at the grocery stores but it's there. Target I know has the Green Mountain in the individual packets. The half caff gives me a boost but not the jitters. Give it a try!

  3. Serena Kincanon says:

    I found a brand Simply Smooth from an unamed popular source and you can not tell the difference between this and a good cup of regular Joe. I serve it reularly at home and in the office no one has ever even questioned that it is not the real thing. I always hear this is really great coffee.

  4. Barbara Keith says:

    I used to drink regular coffee& Iwould have the jitters so my docter recommented decaf many years ago.The favor depends on what coffee you use,I use Camano Island coffee.People commend on how good my coffee tastes & I don’t get jittery anymore.I have drank decaf for many years with no side effects.I love it

  5. Robin says:

    I can't have regular coffee because of a heart condition, so I have to drink decaf. Its not so bad

  6. Richard E. Hall says:

    I’m not a “BIG COFFEE DRINKER” as you might imagine. Mon. thru Fri., I drink instant coffee, as it’s quicker than having to wait for a pot to percolate @ 4:00 A.M. WAAAAYYY TOO EARLY, doncha think? During the summer months with my evening meals, I drink iced cooffee, as it’s refreshing! One of my co-workers think I should drink regular coffee while waiting for the pot to brew, I could start my morning morning. It’s quicker & easiier to have instant in the early morning hrs. on my way to work.

  7. ZALENA says:

    WHEN I DRINK COFFEE I HAVE VERY BAD ACID PROBLEMS, I EVEN HAVE CHEST PAINS , MY HEART BEATS SO FAST IT MAKES ME SCARED, MY LUNGS START TO PAIN BECAUSE THE ACID IS GOING TOO MANY PLACES. SOMETIMES I WONDER IF I HAVE A HEART PROBLEM. I WILL SWITCH TO DECAF. I DONT DRINK ALCOHOL BUT I WISH I COULD DRINK MORE COFFEE.

  8. Darlene says:

    I've never seen any mention of the caffeine in tea

  9. Ellie says:

    I had problems with caffeine when I started to work out with the power 90 workout, I had trouble getting started at 6:30 am without a bit of coffee. I have a normally fast heartbeat anyway and coffee, although I love the taste, would hurt my workouts due to shaking and a racing heart. I now mix about 60% caffeine free with 40% regular folgers in a canister and that has helped tremendously. – no more shakes but just enough caffeine to wake me up. I also used to get hungry after a cup of regular coffee, that never happens now either. I keep my coffee limited to 1-2 in mornings at least 30 minutes before my workout and this is working fine for me now.

  10. im_pinoy says:

    I drink both . Coffee can be an addictive one . I don't know why every time i drink Decaf i used to palpitate . ?

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