Why Decaf Is Good or Bad for You. Is Decaf Coffee a Better Alternative?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on July 5th, 2023

People love their coffee, as affirmed by the thriving coffee industry. Yet, despite this immense affection for the beverage, many have to give this up to minimize the quantity of caffeine ingested.

Decaf is often the next resort for anyone looking to reduce caffeine consumption. But why Decaf? Well, it has lower caffeine content, unlike coffee.

Why Decaf Is Good or Bad for You. Is Decaf Coffee a Better Alternative?

In this piece, we intend to dissect the attributes of decaf coffee and the possible benefits or side effects on your well-being.

Decaf coffee: what you need to know


Coffee beans that have caffeine content taken out significantly are considered decaffeinated.

How the decaffeination process is achieved varies with the brand responsible for the product. Still, all the processes involve water ( albeit in different forms), solvents like ethyl acetate, and perhaps a carbon compound.

After decaffeination, the coffee beans are subjected to a heating process called roasting before being reduced to a fine powder.

If the decaffeination process is done accurately, the end product will have the same components without the notorious stimulant caffeine.

It’s worth mentioning that the near-absence of caffeine affects the taste of decaf coffee, reducing the harshness, which is synonymous with regular coffee.

Besides the lack of caffeine, the physical appearance of the decaffeinated coffee is also altered by the nature of the decaffeination process.

All these explain why those allergic to the physical attributes of coffee don’t seem to have such problems with decaf coffee.

What’s the quantity of caffeine in decaf coffee?

There’s a misconception among coffee consumers that decaf coffee is devoid of caffeine. Decaf coffee contains small traces of caffeine, with the percentage composition varying with the decaffeination process.

Research conducted on several samples of decaffeinated coffee taken from different sales outlets has been shown to contain 0 – 13.9 mg of caffeine.

A cup of coffee contains a higher dose of caffeine which could vary from 70 – 140 mg, but this amount is affected by how the cup of coffee was brewed, the amount of ground coffee added, and the brand of coffee chosen.

Can you get addicted to decaf coffee?

YES, decaf. That supposedly non-octane drink can contain enough caffeine to improve your mood, wake you up, help you concentrate—and make you cranky without it. Three 8-ounce portions (about two cups) can contain as many as 21 milligrams. That’s enough to hook you up. But, of course, there are other factors why you. crave coffee.

Are there health benefits to decaf coffee?

drinking decaf

While the pitfalls of coffee make headlines with screaming captions, its benefits are often swept under the carpet.

Coffee is considered an unlikely source of antioxidants. For instance, according to a study, the consumption of coffee has been confirmed to influence a spike in polyphenol intake – a group of antioxidants known for their action against obesity.

Decaf coffee might have a near-absent level of caffeine, but its antioxidant activity remains high, though lower than that of coffee. Research has shown that the antioxidant capacity of caffeinated coffee is higher than that of decaf coffee by more than 10%.

This significant gap in antioxidant capacity is often attributed to the decaffeination process, where certain components of the decaf coffee are lost to water or solvent.

While coffee and its decaf end-product contain several compounds, research done on the subject has shown that hydroxycinnamic acids and polyphenols form the bulk of its antioxidant content.

But why are antioxidants valued? This class of chemical compounds cuts down free radicals – unstable molecules capable of perpetuating havoc on the cells in your body.

Antioxidants are known to minimize the possibility of attacks launched by free radicals, usually targeting the cells in the body. The result is the average coffee consumer is near-impregnable to disease conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancerous growth are repelled.

Antioxidants aren’t the only compounds in decaf coffee, as consuming a cup adds vitamins and minerals to your body.

Minerals like magnesium and potassium constitute the bulk of their contribution. However, for the vitamins, niacin is its sole contribution to your dietary intake (source).

For a maximum feel of its nutritional content, consuming several cups of the beverage is necessary.

Regardless of what its antagonists say, coffee has been confirmed to do more good than harm. Thanks to its component compounds, the beverage has been shown to have ties to boosting the well-being of the average coffee consumer.

Unfortunately, it’s an arduous task to find out the exact role of decaf coffee in wellness and health. This is largely due to the lack of adequate studies on decaf coffee. There’s also the issue that most of the benefits of the beverage aren’t hard facts of the effects of taking coffee, but its presence probably influences them.

Health benefits of decaf coffee

Decaf coffee has distinct health advantages. Let’s have a peek, shall we?

  • It lowers the chances of Diabetes Type 2

Studies show that drinking decaf coffee lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes. This syndrome arises when the pancreas does not create enough insulin or when the body cells do not respond to the hormone insulin. The illness might exacerbate other health problems, including heart disease, kidney dysfunction, and chronic inflammation.

Research by the University of Sydney looked at those who drank decaf coffee. They discovered drinkers had a decreased chance of developing type 2 diabetes than non-drinkers.

  • Reduces cardiovascular diseases 

You can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing your decaf coffee consumption. Researchers discovered that drinking decaf coffee is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease death.

  • Gout

The accumulation of uric acid in the joints causes gout, which is inflammatory arthritis. It is much more commoner in males. As a result, men are urged to drink five or more cups of decaf coffee every day to reduce their risk of developing gout.

  • Helps to keep the liver healthy.

According to recent research, coffee has some health benefits even without caffeine. For example, it contains several diterpenes and oils, such as cafestol, that protect the liver from a toxin known as aflatoxin. Additionally, coffee consumption promotes the release of glutathione, an antioxidant that improves liver function and detoxification pathways.

  • Enhances brain function

Another important advantage of decaf coffee is that it can help with psychomotor behavior and cognitive function. You can boost your memory and psychomotor testing by drinking this coffee. Caffeine’s benefits should, in theory, not account for improved performance.

It’s important to remember that decaf coffee might still include trace levels of caffeine, which can negatively affect the body’s behavior. It’s important to remember this if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine due to a medical problem like high blood pressure.

The most important nutrients in decaf coffee

  • Vitamin B3 – aids in the elimination of toxins and chemicals from the body. The majority of hazardous chemicals are created as a result of stress.
  • Potassium – aids in the prevention of heart disease and the maintenance of normal blood pressure.
  • Vitamin B2 – prevents cancer, cataracts, and headaches and improves the skin, hair, and immune system.
  • Magnesium – when consumed in small amounts, it aids the body’s general physiological balance.
  • Iron – Assists the circulatory system’s function by assisting in the renewal of blood cells.
  • Phosphorous – aids in memory enhancement by preserving various brain functions.
  • Calcium – aids in treating high blood pressure and the production of teeth and bones.

Some disease conditions and the coffee effect

Whether you are a regular coffee consumer or prefer the decaffeinated variety, research confirms your immune system is given a boost against type 2 diabetes for every cup of the beverage you consume. Therefore, taking a cup of coffee daily is posited as cutting your possibility of getting the disease by as much as 7%.

These studies speculate on the possibility of another active ingredient, which isn’t caffeine, being at the center of these health benefits. And since the stimulant isn’t coffee’s only component, it becomes easier to accept.

Decaf coffee doesn’t feature when attempts are made to understand the role coffee plays in the proper functioning of certain organs like the liver. But a study hints at decaffeinated coffee limiting pressure on the liver’s enzymes, but this is speculative as decaf coffee’s exact role in this result isn’t quite clear.

Ties have been established between decaf coffee consumption and decreased risk of sudden death due to disease conditions like stroke.

Coffee, decaf coffee, and their effects on senescence and degenerative ailments

There appears to be a connection between coffee intake and an improvement in brain function following the degeneration of mental capacity due to senescence-promoting disease conditions.

From studies conducted on the cells, there’s a chance that decaf coffee consumption could shield the brain’s neuronal network from damage. If this is verified and proven accurate, diseases linked to a decline in the condition of the neurons, for example, Parkinson’s disease, can be averted.

While the debate rages on regarding the effect of coffee intake on the neurons, studies have confirmed that this benefit of the beverage’s consumption is largely thanks to the presence of chlorogenic acid. This comes as a surprise since caffeine, another component of coffee, has been tied to a decrease in the likelihood of disease conditions that affect the neurons in coffee consumers.

Despite the strings’ connection between drinking regular coffee and the reduced risk of neurodegenerative ailments like Parkinson’s, there’s not enough that ropes in decaf coffee.

Some stand-out benefits of decaf coffee

One of the many attributes that have antagonized coffee consumption is the acid reflux experienced by some users, which often leaves them struggling with heartburn.

Decaf coffee does not impact risk factors but makes up for milder or nonexistent inconveniences like acid reflux and heartburn.

A connection has also been established between consuming multiple cups of decaf coffee and a decreased susceptibility to rectal cancer – more than 40% risk reduction.

Common side effects of drinking decaffeinated coffee


It is more acidic

Most decaf coffees are more acidic. This is because they are usually made from Robusta beans, which are more acidic than arabica. More acid is not suitable for the body as it is associated with the following health conditions:

  • Mineral loss
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • High cortisol levels
  • Osteoporosis

It can increase bad cholesterol

Drinking decaf coffee is linked to an increase in bad cholesterol. This is according to a study by Piedmont-Mercer Center for Health and Learning in Atlanta. The research suggests the decaffeination process increases the non-esterified fatty acids in the blood by 18%. This means you must be careful when enjoying your brew. If your cholesterol levels go up, eliminate coffee and other food, raising bad cholesterol.

Is regular coffee better than decaf coffee?

comparing coffee

It’s common to hear arguments on how coffee only helps stay awake and alert due to its caffeine content. Still, there are more benefits that decaf coffee cannot cater to, as its caffeine content is negligible. For example, your metabolism improves, and your body reduces fat deposits.

Caffeine is a renowned mood booster; it helps better retention and mental capacity.

Less chance of depression in women escalating into suicide

Improves the working out and the all-around performance of an athlete, which explains why it’s a banned substance in sporting events.

Reduces the chances of an entirely fibrous liver or a deficient liver.

Now, coffee consumption might appear to be heavily laden with benefits compared to its decaffeinated variety. Still, you might want to be aware that most studies are dedicated to regular coffee, not decaf coffee.

Which is better for specific individuals: regular coffee or decaf coffee?

The one factor deciding whether a person should take coffee or its decaffeinated product is how they respond to caffeine intake.

You can gulp several cups of regular coffee without your body reacting badly, but your partner can only take one cup, or they will get sick.

Too much cook spoils the soup, and this applies to coffee consumption. The beverage might have its benefits, but loading your body with surplus caffeine alters its operations, which could spike your metabolism beyond normal, leaving you anxious with spells of insomnia, indigestion, and other conditions.

If you are struggling with caffeine intolerance, it’s recommended that you either cut down your coffee consumption or consider replacing your regular coffee with its decaffeinated substitute. Tea is also worth considering as its caffeine content is rather low.

Besides your tolerance level of caffeine, certain medications demand zero-caffeine consumption as the stimulant is known to alter the effects of these medications.

Certain groups of people have to cut their caffeine intake as it has been shown to have severe consequences when ingested in excess. Pregnant women and couples looking to conceive belong in this category. Also, anyone struggling with insomnia or anxiety is required to avoid caffeine intake.


Coffee is a gift that keeps on giving. Its health benefits are humongous. The beans have an impressive amount of antioxidants which explains their massive effect on risk factors for certain conditions.

Unfortunately, drinking coffee isn’t everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ as caffeine tolerance differs by person. Fortunately, decaf is on to the rescue when coffee intake poses a challenge. The decaffeinated beverage offers the best coffee without its obvious drawbacks. And it tastes much better too.



How bad is decaf coffee for you?

There are insinuations that decaf coffee isn’t good for a healthy heart due to the deposition of cholesterol along the coronary arteries of the fist-shaped organ. However, this has been proven to be only plausible with decaf brands that use fat-laden coffee beans in their decaffeination process.

Can kids drink decaf coffee?

A child taking a few cups of decaf coffee shouldn’t be a problem, especially when it’s done in moderation. And since the quantity of caffeine in decaf coffee is rather low, children can afford to take the beverage without any health implications.

Can you get addicted to decaf coffee?

Yes, you can. Decaf coffee still contains a small amount of caffeine, which is known for its addictive tendencies. Attempting to quit abruptly would have you struggling with withdrawal symptoms – nausea, irritability, and more – for some time.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.