8 Things You Didn’t Know About Decaf Coffee
Decaffeinated Coffee May Be Less “De” Than You'd Like
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Do you drink decaffeinated coffee in an effort to limit, or possibly eliminate, the amount of caffeine in your diet? Well, a recently published study suggests that decaffeinated coffee is not the same as caffeine-free. If you drink a caffeine-free beverage, you can be sure there's no caffeine, because if they don't add it, there can't be any. But coffee inherently contains caffeine, and it has to be processed in order to remove it. And there's usually still some left. In fact, just two cups of some decaffeinated coffee contain as much caffeine as would be found in a 12-ounce serving of Coke or Pepsi!
The researchers collected 10 samples of decaf from a variety of outlets and found them to contain anywhere from 0 â€“ 13.9 mg/16 ounce serving. In addition, brewed decaf in six samples obtained at a Starbucks coffee shop contained 12 â€“ 13.4 mg/16-ounce serving. Last, one shot of decaffeinated espresso from the Starbucks shop contained between 3 and 15.8 mg/shot (again, six samples were studied). The researchers picked Starbucks, I assume because it is widely available, however, I doubt that results would be different at any other specialty coffee shop.
Looking at the above numbers, we can approximate an average of about 10 mg of caffeine per 16 ounce serving of brewed decaf or per one shot of espresso. Let's try to put that figure into perspective. A 16-ounce serving of regular brewed coffee would contain about 260 mg of caffeine, and one shot of espresso would contain about 40 mg. A 16-ounce serving of Coke or Pepsi would contain about 48 mg of caffeine.
So we can see that decaf is definitely lower than regular coffee or cola, but, other studies have shown that caffeine doses as low as 10 mg can produce consistent behavioral and subjective effects in sensitive individuals. This means that if you are supposed to be on a caffeine-free diet because of illness or medications, even one serving of decaf could be enough to produce unwanted effects.
What's the bottom line? For most people, the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee will not be a problem, assuming they don't drink more than a few cups a day or aren't particularly sensitive or on an extremely restricted diet. But for some people even one cup may be too much. If your doctor tells you to cut down on caffeine, you should ask: “Do you mean cut down or eliminate?” You can easily eliminate caffeine from your diet by avoiding all coffee, tea, caffeinated sodas and all “energy” drinks. But “cutting down” by drinking decaf may be a little more tricky since you can't tell how much caffeine is still in the drink, and you can almost be certain that there is some caffeine present.
Do you have experience with sensitivity to decaf coffee? Post a reply to this blog and share your story with others.
Video: What Is Decaffeinated Coffee? | Perfect Coffee
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