Last Updated on October 12, 2022 by Timothy Byron Smith
When we talk about decaffeinated coffee or popularly known as decaf coffee, the most common question people ask is whether decaffeinated coffee is a Diuretic or not?
Firstly, to address the elephant in the room, we have to know what is a diuretic? In a nutshell, if something is diuretic it means it causes fluid loss from the body. Now, while coffee is dear to many, decaf isn’t exactly unpopular either. However, ‘is decaf coffee a diuretic drink?’ is a question that bothers many.
However, on one hand, coffee is linked to several health benefits such as reduction in liver cancer and Alzheimers, decaf appears to be a bit sketchy. But are these assumptions true? Should you stop drinking cherished decaf beverages? Not so fast. It’s time to first explore these claims.
What is a Diuretic? Its Relationship with Decaffeinated Coffee
Before arguing whether decaf coffee is a diuretic or not, one must wonder what diuretic even is? What do we mean by ‘losing fluids from the body?’ And most importantly, is that a good or a bad thing? Briefly, it can be both good and bad depending on your overall health.
In simple terms, a diuretic is a drug that is used to create the urge to urinate in people. It causes the body to pass water and salts from the body. There are different types of diuretics available and are mostly used by people who have poorly functioning kidneys. All have the basic function to increase urination.
Diuretics reduce the risk of blood pressure, heart failure, liver failure, and many other health issues. However, they can also have side effects. For instance, excessive water and salt loss from the body can cause dizziness, dehydration, and other illnesses.
Is Decaf Coffee a Diuretic?
Many people believe that coffee is a strong diuretic and causes heavy urination. And by that logic, decaf also has to be a diuretic. However, there is absolutely ZERO truth to any of that. Decaf coffee is not a diuretic. In fact, even the opinion that regular coffee is a diuretic is changing as well!
The FDA guidelines show that one can consume about 400 milligrams of coffee a day. That would not be the case if diuresis was at risk. In fact, let’s forget about facts and figures for a bit. If you have ever drunk coffee decaf or otherwise, you can tell by experience that there is no unusual urge to urinate.
In fact, decaf coffee is considered a good hydration method. It has several health benefits apart from keeping you alert and productive. For instance, the antioxidants present in decaf coffee are super cleansing for the body!
Decaffeinated Coffee or Regular Coffee? Which is better
This is the moment all decaf and regular coffee lovers have been waiting for. Who wins, decaf or regular coffee? Quite frankly, it depends on your body tolerance and acceptance of the kind of coffee you drink. While naturally, people assume that decaf has to be better, healthwise, it is regular coffee that takes the lead.
The lack of caffeine in decaf coffee alone makes people believe that is the healthier choice. However, that is not always true. Firstly, decaf is often not completely decaffeinated. Secondly, it has several risks too. These range from increased fatty acid production in the body to high LDL cholesterol.
On the other hand, regular coffee appears to flaunt many more benefits. Studies have shown that regular coffee can reduce the risk of type II diabetes by 24%! In any case, if your body does not tolerate caffeine well, decaf is the best choice for you with its rich antioxidants and other health benefits.
Is it Okay to Drink Decaf All Day?
While we have confirmed that decaf is not a diuretic you also now know the potential risks of consuming too much decaf coffee. So, can you safely drink it all day long? Again, it really depends. Yes, it has several benefits too but ultimately it is your overall health that decides how much Decaf is good or bad for you.
For instance, decaf is linked with high LDL cholesterol levels. So, if you already suffer from cholesterol issues then it is best to limit your decaf intake. But, by how much?
Typically, 400 milligrams of regular coffee can be safely consumed in a day as recommended by experts. However, for decaf drinkers with cholesterol, the best thing to do here is to consult your doctor so you can put down some ground rules for yourself when it comes to decaf.
How Many Cups of Decaf Coffee is Healthy?
Ideal coffee consumption can differ from person to person. However, keeping the decaf benefits and risks in mind you should be able to drink 1 to 3 cups of decaffeinated coffee without any serious drawbacks.
However, keep your health in mind before consuming any number of decaf drinks. How much you can drink on a daily basis without any disadvantages is really based on your current health.
Decaffeinated Coffee Preparation: How is It’s Made?
Coffee cravings can occur any time and sometimes you just need specialty coffee. For that Espresso Coffee Time has many many delicious recipes for you! But, when it comes to decaf, there are a few basic methods to first prepare the decaf coffee.
1. Carbon Dioxide Method:
This is the most expensive method of decaffeinating coffee. In this method, raw coffee beans (green and unroasted) are soaked in Carbon Dioxide. This is done by either pumping the carbon dioxide through activated charcoal or pumping it into an absorption chamber.
Once the process is complete and the carbon dioxide separated from the coffee beans, the caffeine is found in a powder form at the bottom. However, since this method is very expensive it is used less and with large batches of coffee at a time.
2. The Solvent Method:
Although it is a common method of decaffeinating coffee, there is some controversy around it. This is basically because it involves the use of industrial chemicals; Ethyl Acetate and Methylene Chloride.
This process also involves green raw coffee beans. Coffee beans are roasted to open their pores. They are then mixed with either of the two chemicals. The chemicals readily and quickly react with the caffeine in the beans.
Next, the beans are steam done to separate the reacted caffeine and chemical from the beans. All that is left is roasting to prepare them for brewing!
3. Swiss Water Process:
This extremely organic and clever method of decaffeination is patented by an Australian company called Coffex. It is majorly a water process and uses precisely natural spring water.
In this process, the green coffee beans are soaked in hot spring water which is pressurized as well. This soaking causes the caffeine and other oils and acids to enter the water from the beans. The beans are then separated from the green extract solution. Next, from this solution, 99.9% caffeine component is separated using activated charcoal.
A new batch of green beans is then soaked in the extract solution. Because this solution only lacks caffeine, the caffeine from the new beans leaves and enters this solution. This allows an efficient decaffeination of the coffee beans through a natural process.
Does Decaffeinated Coffee Have Caffeine?
For the most part, yes. It really depends on the decaffeination process that the coffee beans have undergone. However, in any of them, a hundred percent of caffeine is not extracted from the beans. This is why traces of it may still be found in decaf coffee.
This tiny amount does not make much of a difference to your body, you probably will not even feel it. The Swiss water process, for instance, removes 99.9% of the caffeine from the beans. So, yes the 0.1% is still there, but will it have any effect? We don’t think so.
What are the Side Effects of Decaffeinated Coffee?
Although it is caffeine-deprived, decaf coffee still has a few side effects that you must look out for. Before going all-in with decaf, make sure your body is equipped to consume decaf. No caffeine does not mean you can overdose on it at any rate.
1. Heart Issues:
Decaffeinated coffee is known to increase LDL cholesterol levels in the body. An increase in cholesterol is linked to several heart issues. So, you might want to keep a strict check on your decaf coffee consumption.
2. Harmful Chemicals:
Decaf coffee itself does not contain any harmful chemicals. However, the decaffeination process often involves chemicals such as methylene chloride. While they are used to remove the caffeine from the coffee beans, they can be super harmful as well.
3. May Cause Acidity
Decaffeinated coffee has been shown to increase serum gastrin concentrations. This gastrin is a hormone that can increase stomach acid. So, a high or excessive intake of decaf coffee, especially when you already suffer acidity problems, can cause acidity.
4. Withdrawal Symptoms
For those who have abruptly switched to decaf coffee because of excessive caffeine consumption, this can cause extreme withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can range from fatigue and drowsiness to severe nausea. So, suddenly switching to decaf may not be a very good idea.
Questions People Ask
Is It Okay to Drink Decaf Coffee at Night?
We ask you, why not?? If you crave it at night then you consume it at night. The key idea to remember is that decaf coffee does not have caffeine.
Decaf might taste very much like your regular caffeine-saturated coffee but it doesn’t have the caffeine to steal your sleep. So, you can easily drink decaf coffee at night without any fear of losing sleep, altering your body clock, or any other such drawback.
Since the decaffeination process of the coffee beans removes 99% of the caffeine at least, there are no stimulants that will have a negative effect on you. However, the caffeine content of decaf can vary depending on the decaffeination process used. Still, it won’t be so much that it disturbs your sleep in any way.
Does Decaf Coffee Cause Inflammation?
No, decaf coffee does not cause inflammation. Actually, it is quite the opposite. Instead of causing an inflammatory reaction in your body, decaf coffee actually contains healthy compounds that are anti-inflammatory. In fact, this makes it even healthier compared to regular coffee.
This is because, unlike regular coffee, decaf has no risks associated with caffeine intake while containing most of the added benefits of regular coffee as well.
Can Decaffeinated Coffee Cause Heart Palpitations?
Heart palpitations are definitely a serious concern that bothers many decaf coffee drinkers. However, we are here to inform you that you have really nothing to worry about. Decaf coffee has no such component that may cause your heart to palpitate.
While many link caffeine to heart palpitations, however, even that is not a confirmed link, In any case, decaf coffee does not contain much caffeine in the first place which removes any risk of heart palpitations that even caffeine might cause.
Can Decaf Coffee Help with Weight Loss?
Yes. You can definitely lose weight with the help of decaffeinated coffee. Decaf coffee and regular coffee both contain several healthy components and antioxidants that are very beneficial for the human body. Many of these components also help with weight loss.
In addition to that, decaffeinated coffee is also low in calories. So, you might feel full after drinking it but you won’t be feeding any excessive calories to your body for it!
Key Take Away!
So, the bottom line is that your decaf coffee will not make you pee excessively or unusually at all. So, if you have been wondering ‘is decaf coffee a diuretic?’ and probably avoiding it, for this reason, you don’t have to anymore! Because neither will it make you urinate a lot nor will it cause any excessive harm.
However, that is a sling as you consume it in a healthy amount. Especially keeping your current health in mind. Considering the many benefits of decaffeinated coffee, it’s probably time to unlock a new coffee level – it may not have caffeine but it is just as good and healthy!
Note: This article is just for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. It is recommended to consult a certified practitioner in case of medical advice.
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Tim is the author and webmaster of this blog. He is a coffee aficionado who has always strived to succeed by simplifying the many facets of the coffee business into engaging and informative writing. In addition to helping readers discover their next brew, he intends to educate them about espresso and coffee.