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Is Decaf Coffee Bad For You?

Also Known As: decaffeinated coffee



Short answer

Decaffeinated coffee is not bad for you. It contains many of the positive benefits of naturally caffeinated coffee without the potentially harmful effects of too much caffeine.



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Long answer

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks, and studies show that coffee drinkers have fewer incidents of diabetes, cancer, heart problems and strokes. While this drink is consumed by many, some avoid coffee because of its caffeine content. For those who want the great taste of the beverage, without the negative health effects of caffeine, Decaf coffee is considered to be a great alternative.

“Decaf” or Decaffeinated coffee, tastes the same and is prepared the same as traditional coffee, with the exception that the coffee beans have approximately 97% of the natural caffeine removed. The decaffeination process consists of washing the beans in a solvent until most of the caffeine has been eliminated.

There are a few different ways the decaffeination process can work. One of the most popular methods is utilizing Ethyl Acetate, a solvent that naturally occurs in fruits and vegetables, to soak the coffee beans. Once washed in Ethyl Acetate, the beans are then rinsed in water. This method is popular because the solvent removes the caffeine, but leaves behind other important components like flavor. This process is completely safe but does remove some of the natural antioxidants in the coffee beans.

Antioxidants are wonderful additions to our diets because they help prevent conditions like heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes. Although the decaffeination process washes away some of the antioxidants, a normal cup of Decaf coffee only loses about 15% of its natural antioxidant levels.

Recently, coffee has been found to be incredibly beneficial to the liver. Studies through the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland have compared both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee options and have found that participants of both groups experienced positive impacts in liver enzyme counts. Dr. Xiao, who conducted the study, also found that participants, who drank three cups of coffee a day or more, had the most positive results. This was true for both caffeinated coffee drinkers and decaffeinated coffee drinkers. However, caffeinated coffee drinkers must weigh out the benefits, as high levels of caffeine can be harmful to the body.

Possible short-term side effects

  • heartburn


  • better cardiovascular health
  • lower risks of diabetes and cancer
  • contributes to healthy liver
  • caffeine-free

Healthier alternatives

  • naturally caffeine free tea
  • warm water with lemon

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Four Sigmatic Decaf Coffee

  • Swiss Water Decaf Process
  • Organic ground coffee
  • Immune supporting mushrooms
  • Stress relief properties
  • No chemical decaffeination
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 05-16-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 05-16-2016
Last updated: 12-01-2023

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