Evidence suggests that more than 80% of the UK’s population love to drink coffee, which equates to almost nine out of ten people. It is obvious that people in this country adore a cup of coffee, with coffee shops on every corner. And who can blame them; after all, there are lots of reasons to love this classic drink. Not only can drinking coffee help to lower the risk of certain health conditions including type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s, but it can also give you energy for the day ahead.
However, drinking too much coffee can be bad for your health. It can cause several problems including headaches, dizziness, insomnia, dehydration, anxiety, and dependency too. Thanks to this, it is important to be aware of how much coffee you are drinking in a day. Thankfully, there are some brilliant alternatives to regular coffee that do not include as much caffeine. These drinks are known as decaffeinated drinks. However, unfortunately, these drinks still contain a certain amount of caffeine. So how much caffeine does decaf coffee have? Keep reading below to find out all about decaf coffee and how much caffeine is in decaf:
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine is a bitter substance that naturally occurs in more than sixty plants including:
- Tea leaves
- Coffee beans
- Kola nuts – these are nuts that are used to flavour soft drinks
- Cacao pods – these are used to make chocolate products
As well as being found in plants, caffeine can also be made synthetically. This type of caffeine is usually added to food, drinks, and medicines. For example, many cold medicines, pain relievers, and over the counter medications contain synthetic caffeine for alertness, and so do energy-boosting snacks, drinks, and gum.
The Effects of Caffeine on the Body
Caffeine has a number of effects on the body including:
- It is a diuretic - it helps your body to get rid of excess water and salt by making you urinate more
- It stimulates your nervous system – this helps to make you feel more awake and it can give you an extra boost of energy
- Increase the amount of acid in your stomach – this can cause heartburn or an upset stomach
- Reduce the absorption of calcium in your body
- Increase your blood pressure
Just one hour after you consume a cup of coffee, you will start to feel the effects of it. However, you may continue to feel the effects of coffee for another 3 to 5 hours after this.
The Side Effects of Drinking Coffee
It is recommended that the average person does not consume more than 400mg of caffeine in a day. This amount of caffeine is not thought to be harmful or cause any serious side effects. However, if you choose to consume more than this, there is a possibility that you will experience some of the following side effects:
- Shakiness and restlessness
- Abnormal or rapid heart rate
While it is advisable to stick to the recommended guidelines when it comes to the amount of caffeine you consume in a day, it is also important to be aware that some individuals are more sensitive to caffeine than others.
Reducing the Amount of Caffeine You Drink Each Day
Thankfully, as we mentioned above, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the amount of caffeine you drink each day. One of the best things you can do is to switch to decaf coffee. However, it is important to be aware of the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee, as there is still some caffeine in this type of beverage.
What is Decaf Coffee?
Decaf coffee is remarkably similar to regular coffee. However, compared to regular coffee, there is much less caffeine in a cup of decaf. This is because it has gone through a process to remove as much caffeine as possible. The process it goes through aims to extract between 95% and 97% of the caffeine in the coffee bean. Unfortunately, this process can also remove some of the flavour, body, and sweetness of the coffee bean too. Thankfully, there are lots of eco-friendly and modern decaffeination methods that are designed to preserve the flavour, body, and sweetness of the coffee bean.
How is Decaf Coffee Produced?
Coffee naturally contains high amounts of caffeine, so how is decaf coffee made? Coffee has to go through a rigorous process in order to become decaffeinated. Here are the three different methods it can go through:
- The Swiss water process – this organic method uses osmosis to remove the caffeine from the coffee beans. As this process does not use chemicals, it produces some of the best tasting decaf coffee.
- The solvent-based process – this uses methylene chloride, ethyl acetate and water to make a solvent that removes the caffeine. These chemicals are then evaporated after the process to leave the coffee bean chemical free and safe to drink.
- The carbon dioxide process – this is the most expensive, and newest method of making decaf coffee. It uses carbon dioxide to remove the caffeine while allowing other flavour compounds to remain intact. Although this is the most expensive method, research suggests that it also produces the best tasting decaf coffee.
How to Choose the Best Decaf Coffee
There are lots of decaf coffees out there for you to choose from, but not all of them are the same quality. This means that finding a decaf coffee that is full of flavour, body and sweetness can be extremely difficult. One of our best tips to help you find a great decaf coffee is to choose one that is labelled “Swiss” or “Swiss water.” These decaf coffees are likely to be full of flavour, body, and sweetness.
Is Decaf Coffee Bad for You?
According to research, decaf coffee is not bad for your health. In fact, many studies have shown that there are several benefits to drinking decaf coffee. However, drinking too much of any type of coffee can cause problems, so it is important to make sure that you drink it in moderation.
The Benefits of Decaf Coffee
Regular coffee provides a number of health benefits, but did you realise that decaf coffee also provides these benefits too? Not only is it an anti-inflammatory but it is also an antioxidant, which is why it is such a brilliant drink to choose, as long as you limit your intake.
How Much Caffeine is in Decaf Coffee?
The real question we all want to know is how much caffeine is in a cup of decaf coffee? According to the FDA, an eight-ounce cup of decaf coffee contains between 2 and 15 milligrams of caffeine. Compared to a regular cup of coffee, which contains a whopping 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, this is significantly less.
For the majority of us, the amount of caffeine found in a cup of decaf coffee will not affect our day-to-day life by keeping us awake at night or giving us a boost of energy. However, if you are sensitive to caffeine, or you drink numerous cups of decaf coffee in a day, you might want to change to an entirely caffeine-free beverage instead.
Non-Caffeinated Decaf Alternatives
If you are wanting to cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink, changing from regular coffee to decaf alternatives is a great idea. However, if you want to cut out caffeine altogether, there are lots of options available to you. Here are some of the best non-caffeinated decaf alternatives:
- Herbal teas – there are lots of herbal teas that do not contain caffeine, including peppermint, chamomile, ginger, and hibiscus.
- Chicory root – chicory root is made from the chicory plant. It is roasted, ground, and brewed as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee.
- Golden milk tea – golden milk tea is often used to treat a variety of ailments including congestion and the common cold. However, it is also a brilliant decaf alternative. This drink is made from turmeric, steamed milk, and black pepper.
- Broth – although this may sound a little odd, broth is a brilliant alternative to decaf coffee. A cup of broth will not only give you a much-needed caffeine-free energy boost, but it will also leave you feeling warm and satisfied.
If you are a coffee lover, you will know that drinking coffee is a nuanced and complex experience. Not only does coffee have a rich aroma and the comforting warmth that we all love, but it is also the perfect drink to sit down with and relax. However, drinking too much coffee can be bad for us, particularly if we choose to drink non-decaffeinated versions. Thankfully, there are lots of amazing decaf alternatives for us to choose from. But, before pouring yourself a cup of decaf coffee, it is important to understand how much caffeine is in a cup of decaf coffee. Not only that, but it is also important to understand how much caffeine is in other types of decaf coffee too. For example, how much caffeine is in decaf espresso? Once you know this information, you will be able to decide how many cups of decaf coffee you can drink safely each day.