Decaffeinated coffee refers to coffee that has at least 97% of the caffeine removed. This type of coffee is a great option for people who want to limit their caffeine intake level but still want to keep enjoying their cup of joe.
Some of the ways through which you can reduce the caffeine levels in coffee are through:
- use of water
- use of organic solvents
- use of charcoal filter or carbon dioxide.
Coffee has several organic acids. They include tartaric, acetic, citric, and quinic acids. The caffeine present in coffee is the main reason why the stomach generates acid. Now that decaffeinated coffee contains less caffeine, does this mean it has fewer acids? Before answering this question, let’s have a look at the meaning of acids in coffee.
Acids refer to those substances that have a PH level less than 7. The only way you measure the acidity of a substance is to use a PH scale. The PH level of regular coffee is around 5. This is an indication that regular coffee is acidic. What is the PH level of decaffeinated coffee? There are factors you have to consider to know the specific PH of decaf coffee. They include:
- The bean type used in making the coffee
- The roasting process involved making the coffee
- The brewing method used to make the coffee
- The ratio of coffee to water used in the extraction process
Decaffeinated Coffee and Acid Levels
Decaffeinated coffee has lower amounts of acids compared to regular coffee. The acid reduction takes place during the decaffeination of the coffee process. This is a better solution if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux and you still want to enjoy your cup of coffee. This is a disease that involves acid reflux. The stomach contents reflux back to the esophagus. How does this happen?
The lower sphincter muscle found on your esophagus relaxes as a result of drinking coffee. This allows the stomach acids and other stomach contents to flow back to the esophagus causing heartburn and other GERD symptoms. Heartburn in decaffeinated coffee is not as severe as regular coffee. High levels of caffeine present in regular coffee are the main cause of acid reflux.
The Signs and Symptoms of GERD Include:
- Heartburn or a burning sensation that occurs in the chest
- Difficulty when swallowing
- Chest pain
- Re-tasting of the food you’ve just eaten or some sour liquid
Drinking decaf coffee doesn’t deprive you of the benefits that come in handy with drinking regular coffee. Decaffeinated coffee contains amounts of antioxidants and nutrients. The antioxidants and nutrients are responsible for:
- Protecting the liver due to the reduced liver enzymes
- Reducing the premature death risk
- Reducing heart disease deaths
- Reducing ageing effect
- Reducing heartburn
- Reducing rectal cancer risk
- Reducing type 2 diabetes risk
Decaffeinated coffee has its flavor reduced. Usually, the acids that are present in regular coffee are responsible for the coffee’s flavor. Citric acid, for example, is responsible for the citrusy flavor that is present in your coffee. Removing this acid makes the cup of coffee a bit boring.
However, acids in coffee have some disadvantages. They include:
- Acids in coffee damage the enamel of your teeth by demineralizing your teeth.
- The acids present in coffee play a role in helping the bacteria present in your mouth to create more acids.
- Acid reflux resulting in heartburn.
Low Acid Alternative
Another option apart from consuming decaf coffee to cut the acid levels is cold brew consumption. You make this type of brew by soaking coffee grounds in cold water for 24hours. This reduces the acidity level present in the coffee beans.
Now you can enjoy your coffee and not worry about acid reflux or repeatedly heartburns.