Many people drink coffee not just to enjoy its taste and aroma, but also to get advantage from its caffeine content. You drink coffee in the morning to boost your energy levels and alertness to start the day. However, some of us, due to certain reasons, may prefer to enjoy coffee without the effects of its stimulating drug.
In decaffeinated coffee, most of the caffeine has been removed. Caffeine can be removed from coffee by treating the green beans with chlorinated hydrocarbon solvents. The beans are roasted by ordinary procedures after removal of the solvents. Decaffeinated coffee is used by people hypersensitive to the caffeine present in regular coffee. In the 1980s nonchemical methods of decaffeination became more common.
Decaffeinated coffee, although not completely free of caffeine, is a fat-free and almost calorie-free beverage option. It contains around 2 mg to 4 mg of caffeine per cup (the average cup of regular coffee can contain up to 175 mg of caffeine), but it has the same antioxidant content as regular coffee. This means decaf coffee could be a healthier option for those who are trying to reduce or limit their caffeine intake without avoiding coffee completely.
Decaffeinated coffee can be used as a tool to overcome caffeine addiction by “weaning” off of regular coffee. This can be done by mixing decaf with regular coffee in gradually increasing amounts until only decaf is being consumed. Another benefit of decaffeinated coffee is that it doesn’t inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals like the full-caffeine version can.
For certain health conditions, like acid reflux, switching to decaf might be a good decision, because decaf lacks caffeine and may, in some cases, contain less acid than regular coffee does. However, experts have different opinion in this case. A study at Munich’s Hospital Bogenhausen, as reported in the June 1997 issue of the “Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Journal,” found that patients experienced less gastroesophageal reflux when drinking decaffeinated coffee. But some studies have had the opposite results. Some experts say it depends on the type of bean from which the coffee is made.
Although decaf coffee might be a better option for certain conditions, you should not forget an old maxim “Everything in moderation.” Drinking multiple cups a day can be dangerous for people with cholesterol or other heart problems. Caffeine can negatively affect people with hypertension, insomnia, heartburn problems or pregnant women. It is better to consult your doctor before drinking coffee, especially if you have certain medical conditions.