Does Drinking Decaf Coffee Lower Blood Pressure

In recent years, decaffeinated coffee has become increasingly popular among coffee drinkers. While its coffee-like taste and rich aroma have made it an attractive beverage choice, some coffee lovers also may consume it because they believe it can help them lower their blood pressure. But does decaf coffee lower blood pressure?

According to various studies, the answer is mostly a yes. A systematic review of studies conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo in Brazil determined that caffeine-free coffee was able to reduce some measures of blood pressure, including both systolic (the top number) and diastolic (the bottom number) readings. The review, which was published in the Brazilian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, found that regular coffee also reduces blood pressure.

The impact of decaffeinated coffee on blood pressure seems to be significant, but exactly how it works is still a bit of a mystery. One possibility is that the antioxidant polyphenols in coffee, though absent in decaffeinated coffee, may still be having an effect on reducing blood pressure. Research conducted at universities in ex-Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Italy found that decaffeinated coffee could reduce blood pressure, possibly because of the beneficial ingredients that remain after the caffeine is removed.

While it is likely that drinking decaf coffee can help individuals reduce their blood pressure, experts caution that it is not a cure-all. It should be used in combination with other lifestyle measures like reducing sodium intake and exercising regularly in order to lower blood pressure. Coffee also should not be used as a substitute for any medications for high blood pressure that may have been prescribed. It’s still important to consult a doctor before making any changes in regards to one’s medication for treating high blood pressure.

Finally, decaf coffee does contain some caffeine, usually less than 2 percent. This may be enough to have some effect on those who may be sensitive to caffeine, thus it’s advised to read the labels and select coffees that contain the lowest possible levels of caffeine. Pregnant women or those with medical conditions should also consult with their doctor before drinking decaf coffee.

How Decaf Coffee is Made

Decaffeinated coffee is created through one of several methods. Most of the methods don’t actually remove the caffeine entirely, but rather they reduce the caffeine level to a very small amount. The three main decaffeination processes are water processing, direct solvent processing, and carbon dioxide (CO2) processing.

In the water process, the beans are first soaked for about 10 hours in hot water, which helps to dissolve and remove the caffeine, after which the beans are removed and dried. The water then passes through charcoal filters which trap caffeine molecules, and the caffeine-free water is added to the beans. The beans are then dried and roasted.

The direct solvent process uses chemical solvents, usually ethyl acetate, to extract the caffeine from the beans. The beans are soaked for a few hours in the direct solvent, and then the beans are rinsed to remove the solvent. This method is not very popular due to the health risks associated with the solvents.

Finally, the carbon dioxide process is becoming increasingly popular due to its non-toxic nature and safety concerns. The process involves the use of liquid CO2, which is pumped over the beans and helps to extract the caffeine molecules. After this process, the beans are then dried and roasted.

Caffeine Content and Effects

Though the caffeine content of decaffeinated coffee is much lower than that of regular coffee, it still contains a small amount of caffeine. Depending on the decaffeination process used, the caffeine content of decaf coffee can range from about 2 milligrams per 8 ounces, to as much as 16 milligrams. For comparison, regular coffee usually has about 95 milligrams per 8 ounces.

While the small amount of caffeine in decaf coffee is usually not enough to be of great concern for most people, those who are sensitive to caffeine or have certain medical conditions may want to take care in drinking decaf coffee. Caffeine is known to increase heart rate, which can be dangerous for those with certain heart conditions.

Generally, though, decaffeinated coffee is still considered to be safe for most people, and it provides the same great taste of regular coffee, with the added benefit of some blood pressure reduction. It should, however, be consumed alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle to achieve maximum results.

The Debate Around Decaf Coffee’s Health Benefits

Despite evidence of decaf’s effects on blood pressure, debates around the benefits of decaffeinated coffee remain. Critics believe that the findings of the various studies are not consistent, while academics agree that there is still much work to be done to understand the full benefits of decaffeinated coffee. This has made it difficult for people to make an informed decision about the use of decaffeinated coffee for health purposes.

On the other hand, proponents of decaffeinated coffee argue that even if the benefits are not fully understood, its potential for reducing one’s risk of certain diseases can’t be ignored. Many experts agree that the antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in coffee have the potential to reduce one’s risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to make an informed decision about whether to drink decaffeinated coffee or not. Replacing regular coffee with decaf coffee may help some people lower their blood pressure, but it’s important to note that the effects are likely to be minor. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor before making any changes to one’s coffee-drinking habits.


In conclusion, despite its potential for reducing blood pressure, decaffeinated coffee should not be taken lightly. It is generally considered to be safe for most people, but caution should be taken due to the small amounts of caffeine present in it. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual to decide if they should or should not drink decaffeinated coffee. It should be used in combination with other lifestyle changes like reducing sodium intake and exercising regularly in order to achieve the best results.

The Pros and Cons of Decaffeinated Coffee

When considering the benefits of decaffeinated coffee, it’s important to compare both the pros and cons. On the one hand, the lack of caffeine can be an attractive factor for those who are sensitive to caffeine’s effects on the body. It also has been found to reduce blood pressure, which can lead to a reduced risk of certain diseases.

However, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. For instance, many coffees which are labeled as decaffeinated may still contain some caffeine, which makes it important to look at the label before purchasing. The decaffeination process also may cause some of the beneficial compounds to be removed from the coffee, diminishing some of its potential benefits.

In the end, the decision to consume decaffeinated coffee is up to the individual. There are benefits, but it’s important to compare those to the potential drawbacks and do some research before purchasing. Additionally, it’s a good idea to consult a doctor before making any changes to one’s coffee-drinking habits.

Is Decaffeinated Coffee More Expensive?

Decaffeinated coffees can often be more expensive than regular coffees, especially when it comes to specialty or gourmet varieties. The reason for this is that the decaffeination process often is more expensive than the regular roasting process, and manufacturers must pass this cost on to the consumer.

That said, the extra cost for decaffeinated coffee is usually smaller than the cost of other alternatives, such as herbal teas. In addition, there are usually more economical alternatives, such as blends of regular and decaffeinated coffee, which can provide a middle ground between price and caffeine content.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase decaffeinated coffee should be made after carefully considering the various factors, such as caffeine content, flavor, and price. For those who are looking to reduce their caffeine intake while still enjoying a flavorful cup of coffee, decaffeinated coffees can be a great option.

Other Ways To Reduce Caffeine Intake

For those who are looking for an alternative to decaffeinated coffee, there are several other options for reducing caffeine intake. One of the most popular alternatives is herbal teas, which are naturally caffeine-free. Many varieties are available and are easy to prepare.

Another potential solution for reducing caffeine intake is to replace coffee with water throughout the day. Drinking water helps to hydrate the body, and multiple studies have found that drinking it can have a positive effect on overall health. Additionally, alternate beverage options such as juices, hot cider, and lattes can be enjoyable as well as reduced in caffeine.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that there are also many food sources which contain caffeine, such as chocolates, energy drinks, and medications. Those who are looking to reduce their caffeine intake should make sure to look at the labels of these products to see the amount of caffeine they contain.

James Giesen is an avid coffee enthusiast and a prolific writer. His focus on coffee has led him to write extensively about the brewing, roasting, and tasting of this beloved beverage. He has been working in the Specialty Coffee Retail industry for over five years.

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