The Great Debate: Regular or Decaf

There are lots of benefits to drinking coffee in general. But how do you know whether caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is the best (and healthiest) choice? The truth is, the answer depends on the individual.

Many people use coffee as an energy-booster, while others solely enjoy the taste. Some drinkers’ bodies can’t even efficiently process all the caffeine in a typical cup. Drinking coffee in moderation is important -- whether you go for caffeine-free or not (both can help you "go" in another way, too) -- but here are some things to consider for “leaded” and “unleaded” brews:

Caffeinated Coffee

Caffeinated coffee is known as an energy-booster, but did you know it can also help in preventing serious physical illnesses as well as liver damage? Although it can give some people the jitters, it’s a popular beverage for a reason: 64% of US adults drink coffee, and the average American coffee drinker consumes 2.7 cups a day.

Mental Health Perks
Caffeinated coffee typically helps to wake up and stimulate those who drink it. In fact, 48.3% of American coffee drinkers consume their morning cup of joe to have more energy, stay awake or stay focused throughout the day. The drink can also improve mood and overall mental function.

Bodily Benefits
Caffeinated coffee contains antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and it can also lower the risk of liver cirrhosis or end stage liver damage. The beverage can also boost athletic performance (in one study, regular coffee drinkers ran 4.2 seconds faster than those drinking decaf). In addition, caffeinated coffee can increase a drinker’s metabolic rate as well, aiding in potential weight loss.

Unfortunately, caffeinated coffee can be a habit-forming drink that can also increase depression and anxiety levels, and result in difficulty sleeping, ulcers, and heartburn.

Decaf Coffee

Decaf coffee has most of the same benefits as caffeinated coffee, and almost no drawbacks. Some people claim the taste isn’t exactly the same (and 42.9% of American coffee drinkers indulge in the beverage for the taste), but that depends on a specific brand’s decaffeination process. And for those who can’t process all the caffeine, decaf coffee is a solid choice.

Physiological Health Help
Decaffeinated coffee is a great option for a coffee drinker who is trying to reduce caffeinated coffee-related anxiety levels, “the jitters,” and other health concerns. Although not completely caffeine-free, multiple cups of decaf coffee has a fraction of the caffeine found in one cup of caffeinated coffee.

Disease Prevention
Decaf coffee may reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, as well as reduce the risk of premature death, stroke, heart disease, and rectal cancer. Three to five cups per day is the optimal range for lowering disease risk. The drink also contains antioxidants that may help prevent type 2 diabetes, as well as a small amount of some nutrients.

Decaf coffee likely won’t be a strong source of energy. Also, the decaffeination process includes a chemical compound that can temporarily slow hand-eye coordination and may cause headaches, drowsiness, and coughing.

Choose Your Favorite!
Caruso’s Coffee Roasters proudly sells both caffeinated and decaf whole bean, single serve, and ground coffee options. Tag us on social media to let us know which is your favorite!