The workload on today’s generation is more than it ever used to be. The majority of the population has to spend endless hours in the office to be able to live a good life. In the midst of keeping energy levels stabilized for spending time working, socializing, and performing domestic tasks, a popular beverage that is consumed is coffee.
In accordance with the research present on the effects of having coffee, it actually does help in better concentration and elevating energy levels. This is mainly due to the presence of caffeine in the drink through which every other person is able to kickstart their day.
However, research also shows that overconsumption of coffee, just like everything else, may be harmful to health. Secondly, caffeine addiction is a common consequence of having too much-caffeinated drinks.
Hence, a rising number of people now prefer ‘decaf’ or decaffeinated coffee instead of the regular one. It is believed that decaf is a healthier alternative that also aids caffeine-addicts to overcome their addiction by acting as a popular but a common question that arises here is – Is it really healthy?
How Is Coffee Decaffeinated?
Decaf coffee contains very little caffeine but is otherwise the same as coffee. For removal of caffeine, the original coffee beans are soaked in water mixed with a number of chemicals including ethyl acetate, activated charcoal, methylene chloride, and supercritical carbon dioxide.
In this process, water is used mainly due to caffeine being water-soluble. On the other hand, chemicals are incorporated to avoid the unwanted effects of soaking the beans in water such as the loss of sugars and proteins from the beans.
These chemicals precisely work by speeding up the entire procedure of decaffeination while successfully keeping other substances in the beans. Additionally, the flavor of coffee is also preserved effectively because of the use of chemicals.
Most of the manufacturers perform this procedure before the roasting of the coffee beans. However, some have also started to do so after the roasting takes place.
Is Decaf Harmful For Health?
According to research, decaffeinated coffee does not cause any harm to health. The study was conducted by reviewing two hundred and one meta-analyses of observational studies and relevant data present on the subject. The findings of the study are published in the British Medical Journal.
Read the study here.
The main cause of concern comes from the use of the chemical methylene chloride in the decaffeination of coffee beans. Previous research has linked this chemical to negative effects on the Central Nervous System.
Secondly, the medical literature has also shown that inhaling a small amount of the chemical can cause symptoms like wheezing, dizziness, slowing of coordination of hand and eye movements, irritability, headaches, and drowsiness.
However, it should also be noted that the Food and Drug Administration allows the use of methylene chloride in decaffeination only when the final outcome does not contain more than ten parts per million amount of the chemical.
Conclusively, decaf coffee does not really pose a threat to the health of a consumer. The only issue would be the presence of caffeine which is usually little or very low in most of the manufactured decaffeinated coffee.
If a consumer is still specifically avoiding caffeine content, it is advised to instead check the amount of caffeine present in product which may vary from brand to brand.