Every day, Americans drink over 400 million cups of coffee. Coffee wakes us up in the morning and keeps us going throughout the day. A cup of regular black coffee has about 95 mg of caffeine – which is what keeps so energized after we drink it. Decaffeinated coffee – or decaf – only contains about 3% of the caffeine of regular coffee. People may choose to drink decaf because they prefer the milder taste, or they are sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
Caffeine can affect people in different ways, especially if you consume too much of it. You may have experienced the “coffee jitters” before: rapid heart rate, shaking or trembling, restlessness and even increased stress. For people who are sensitive to caffeine, decaf seems like the perfect solution. It has less caffeine but the same taste and satisfaction as a normal cup of joe.
Because of its caffeine content, regular coffee should be enjoyed in moderation. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that it is safe to drink up to 4 cups of coffee per day with no significant risks to your health. However, coffee can affect people differently. Some individuals can tolerate a higher amount of caffeine with no side effects, while others cannot. Limit how much coffee you drink based on the way it makes you feel. If you start feeling anxious from too much coffee, switch to decaf after your second cup.
Regular coffee is also a good source of antioxidants and minerals like Vitamin B, potassium and manganese. Decaf coffee has vitamins, though in lower concentrations. Some of the vitamins are stripped away when the caffeine is taken out. While decaf does not have the same nutritional information, it is still a source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Coffee offers a range of benefits from increased focus and physical performance to reducing the risk of certain diseases and cancers. In general, coffee in either form is not harmful to your health. There is no clear winner in the debate between regular versus decaf coffee. It all comes down to a matter of preference.